By: MARK SNEDDEN
A thirty plus international career in music is amazing in any genre, but for Kreator and Millie Petrozza, it is even sweeter than most. Kreator burst on to the scene in the mid 1980’s with a brand of Thrash Metal that was unparalleled, with the release of Endless Pain, followed by Terrible Certainty and Pleasure to Kill in quick succession. They perched themselves at the top of the thrash metal tree and have stayed there. Being a part of the European thrash metal scene, a group of bands simultaneously producing the same style of metal from across the Atlantic of the the San Francisco thrash scene; which is traditionally viewed as the “birth place” of thrash; well to some anyway. The European scene was far more aggressive than the US form, which at times had more of a carefree “fuck you” attitude to the state of the world and society, where the European bands were heavier and much, much darker! The US scene, proclaimed the “Top Four of Thrash Metal” (Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax) about ten years ago and this stole some of the limelight away from the history of the European scene, but this is just for the ignorant, arrogant and ill-educated. Kreator are not in the top four because quite simply they are above it, and their back catalogue of progressive, powerful and thought provoking material makes some of the “top four’s” back catalogue quite mediocre, and third division thrash metal, at best.
Fast forward to 2016 and thirteen albums later, the band is ready to unleash Gods of Violence. Millie Petrozza has been the heart and soul of Kreator, a founding member, guitarist/vocalist and principle song writer throughout the bands career, and I was lucky to touch base with them prior to the albums February 2017 release.
Millie, how do you see Gods of Violence fitting in to Kreator’s back catalogue?
“I think it is a continuation of what we started in 1985. Being around so long, you evolve and you try new things, but this album fits nice into Phantom Antichrist and our journey. Our vision is what metal should be like in 2016 and this is what God’s of Violence is.”
The video for the track, God’s of Violence, is very intense; can you talk us through how this came about?
“The video is, we tried to come up with a concept where the Kreator demon came from. He has been on our covers since 1985 and we wanted to visualise him, to come up with a version where he comes to life in an ancient orgy. We worked with a team from Poland and they were amazing. We love this video and it came out exactly how we wanted it.”
Now that the album is complete, what stands out on the overall piece for you?
“Iook, I am so happy with the album that nothing really stands out for me. Like all albums I am really close to the creation process and so there isn’t anything that I am not comfortable with or attached to. All I can say is that this is a Kreator album that won’t disappoint anyone, as I am the hardest person to please with our material and I love it.”
There has been a fairly large gap between the release of the last two albums Phantom Antichrist in 2012, and now Gods of Violence in 2017. Was there a specific reason for the five years in between?
“We had to tour a lot on the last album and in order for us to be inspired gain we had to have a break. We needed new ideas so we lived our lives and let ideas sink in. On the road it is hard to be inspired and so it was the fact that we needed some down time and to find direction for the new album and this was the only reason.”
I know that I have spoken to you about this before, but I can’t state enough the impact that Sami (lead guitarist) has had on Kreator’s sound, since his debut on Violent Revolution in 2001, but what part does he play in the writing process?
“He is my right hand man, a very talented musician. He has a good talent for melody and guitar licks. I come up with a riff and and musically he is a continuation of my idea. It is very much a more detailed version of what I see or envisage. When Sami comes in to the picture he makes most of the songs sound better and more brutal, he adds another direction to the Kreator sound and songs.”
I want to ask about your cover of Iron Maiden’s, The Number of the Beast, Kreator’s version is amazing, how did this come about?
“That was just a fun thing to do. We had some time left in the studio for Phantom Antichrist and it wasn’t to be taken seriously. Iron Maiden is one of our main influences. It was tricky, it could have gone wrong because we all love the band and it worried us to be honest. But we are happy with how it turned out.”
To focus on Kreator and your following in Australia, do you remember playing in Australia for the first time in the early 1990’s? I saw you play in a small pub in Parramatta.
“I do I remember this very well, we did three concerts, one in a club and two in a pub and this was just in Sydney. It was really cool, and to me was one of the most amazing things. We had time to check out the country and we had a great time. I fell in love with the country and since then the fans have been really loyal, it is still very special still. We don’t play Australia too often so when we are there it is always amazing.”
Can we expect to see Kreator in Australia in 2017?
“We are planning a tour and it is coming up very soon so you will definitely see us in the new-year.”
Finally, do you see an end to Kreator’s time, or do you envisage a stage where you might hang the guitar up and stop playing?
“Come on man not in the next twenty years at least. As long as I am shape and there are people wanting to hear me play I won’t stop. I have done this my whole life to now, so I can’t really see me stopping.”
Kreator are a band who demand respect for the longevity of their career, but more than this, they are a band who earns respect, because of the material they have released. Gods of Violence is not only an extension of Kreator and what they stand for, but it is an album that bleeds intensity and sincerity, and it is a piece of art that the US “Top Four” are incapable of creating. Gods of Violence is released through Nuclear Blast in February 2017, Kreator fans, metal fans and fans of real music will not be disappointed!
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