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Mille Petrozza Kreator - Interview
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It's been 5 years since Kreator released their last album "Phantom Antichrist", the longest gap in their career to date. That album was a huge success as they hit the road for a lengthy tour cycle which was captured on the "Dying Alive" DVD in 2013. 2017 sees the the Germany thrash veterans release their new album "Gods Of Violence" which is a reflection of the world around us as we speak, frontman Mille Petrozza talks to us about the new songs and how adding new elements to their music is important for the longevity of the band.



Andrew: I was just listening to the new album "Gods Of Violence" and taking it all in. It's a great album, you guys never really let up on it as it's really cool. How are you feeling about the new songs?

Mille: It's all fresh right now and I'm terrified of the way it sounds but it's the end of a very long process. I'm happy with the outcome, the production is good, the songs are there and I'm up for another round.

Andrew: Well you mentioned the lengthy process, it's been some time between albums so what were the reasons for the length in time between albums? Did it take a long time for you guys to make this album or was it because you were on the road for so long?

Mille: A mix of both. When you are on the road it's hard to write. I'm not one of those artists that takes a recording device on the road and comes up with ideas, I have to take some time off in order to be inspired again. I need the time to live my life in between records otherwise there's no inspiration so it was absolutely essential to reflect on life for a while before we started to go back into rehearsal for new songs. It's never good to rush things and we've been touring a lot for the last record, we've been on the road for years.

Andrew: Yeah "Phantom Antichrist" was such a successful and a big record for you guys so in what way did that album and the success of it and being on the road for so long affect the way you approached the writing of this album then?

Mille: We didn't put ourselves under pressure really, we just wanted to come up with something really exciting and especially after an album like "Phantom Antichrist", it wouldn't make sense to go and rush things. We are our own worst critics and we never settled for just 'OK', we didn't want to release an OK follow up to "Phantom Antichrist". We wanted to make a crushing comeback after that record.

Andrew: Yeah I definitely feel you have done this and not only is it heavy and fast like Kreator usually does but there is quite a few different elements on here as well which is quite interesting. Can you tell me a little about how these guests made an appearance on the album?

Mille: There was never a moment where we were like, 'OK we need to have some guests on the record'. It was more like, 'OK we have a part here', for example on the intro for "Apocalypticon" I only had the guitar melody and drums and I had in my mind this huge orchestra playing along with it and my producer Jens Bogren had the idea to contact the people from Fleshgod Apocalypse in order to try something for the intro. And they added some more stuff on other songs and the same thing happened with the 12 year old Harp player (Tekla-Li Wadensten), In the title track "Gods Of Violence" in the soft intro I wanted to create an atmosphere of like an old Acropolis, very philosophical, very Greek and the Harp just fitted there so we contacted the Harp player. Same with the song "Hail To The Hordes", my producer said this sounds like a Scottish song so he had the idea of adding bagpipes. And I have this friend from a band called In Extremo who is a bagpipe player and I knew if there was ever a time when a bagpipe would appear on a Kreator album, he would be the one to play it and so all these guests came in a very natural way without planning it. It was very spontaneous in the studio, the decision was very spontaneous.

Andrew: That's probably something you would of never predicted 25-30 years ago that there would be bagpipes on a Kreator album!

Mille: [laughs] Absolutely not no but I'm happy we did though, it sounds good.

Andrew: Yeah and it's funny you mention that song as it's one of my favorites on the album but I never even thought about the Scottish side of things as it kind of reminds me of that Norse/Viking kind of stuff like an Amon Amarth kind of thing. It's a great song and it's very Northern European sounding.

Mille: Yeah and like I said I'm never aware when I write stuff, I just go for it and when I talk to you or when I talk to Jens about it everyone sees something different which is a cool thing.


Andrew: Yeah definitely! Tell me about the 12 year old kid who plays the Harp on the title track as that's a very interesting idea as well, where did you find this kid?

Mille: That was someone that Jens brought into the picture, like I said the Harp just fitted the vibe of the intro for "Gods Of Violence". Jens knows so many musicians man and she's also a Swedish girl and he knows so many musicians who are able to do these things and in Sweden there is so many talented musicians and you can just hear that by listening to the song because she seems to be very talented. I'm happy to have that, it adds a different flavour.

Andrew: Absolutely it keeps it interesting instead of doing the same thing over and over again. I know you guys have experimented quite a bit in the 90's and all that so it's nice to see you bring those experimental side of things into the new songs like that.

Mille: Yeah absolutely. I think it keeps it fresh, adding new ideas. There's nothing worse than repeating yourself and becoming a boring band, that's one of the things I really want to avoid. We've been doing this for many years and I think it would be fatal for the band to sound tired all of a sudden.

Andrew: Now I think we saw you guys in Australia about 2 years ago or so with Death Angel which was such a great tour, how was that tour for you guys?

Mille: Oh that was great because we love the guys in Death Angel and we had so many great memories. One thing that's very hard when we come to Australia is the jetlag as you're on the other end of the world. One of the guys in Death Angel told me to take this pill and it will make your jetlag disappear and I didn't understand that I was only supposed to take part of the pill and not the whole pill [laughs]. It made me kind of dizzy and that's my first memory when I think about that tour is this weird pill that they were taking.

Andrew: [laughs]

Mille: It wasn't bad, it just felt like I was walking on rubber! But other than that it was a great tour, great audience as always in Australia. There's definitely a tour in the making, we will announce it very soon.

Andrew: It would be great to see you come back because it's always great to see a band of your stature come to Australia because as you said, it's a long way to get here but I think the fans definitely appreciate that.

Mille: Oh yeah we love it there man. It's just the travelling part, it's a long flight [laughs]. But it's great man.

Andrew: So what do you have in the near future as far as touring? Obviously bringing out a lot of the new songs on the road?

Mille: Yeah that's going to be our main focus at this point and what's also going to be tricky is to come up with a setlist for the album but I think we'll manage.

Andrew: Yeah I suppose that's something that's becoming more difficult as the years go on with each album, it must be quite strenuous for you now.

Mille: Yeah it is man, I can tell you this much. I understand that a lot of the fans want to listen to old classic songs but also we definitely want to come up with the newer songs as well. So yeah it's becoming harder and harder but we'll take the challenge and we'll see what we will come up with.

Andrew: Well we are looking forward to seeing you guys hopefully in the near future in Australia and congratulations on the new album, fantastic as always. Thanks for your time today, really appreciate it!

Mille: Thank you man!

Interview by Andrew "Schizodeluxe" Massie on December 19th 2016