KREATOR Frontman: 'I Try Not To Sound Like Anyone Else'
April 15, 2017
Jimmy Kay from Canada's The Metal Voice conducted an interview with guitarist/vocalist Mille Petrozza of German thrash metal veterans KREATOR prior to the band's April 12 show in Montreal, Quebec, Canada at Club Soda. You can watch the full chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On his influences:
Mille: "As a kid, I was listening to a lot of JUDAS PRIEST, IRON MAIDEN. Later on, I got into VENOM, all of the old-school stuff. MERCYFUL FATE, a lot of MERCYFUL FATE. Anything from THE BEATLES to Lana Del Ray… to anything. Kate Bush. I listen to everything; all kinds of music. I don't know if that is a direct influence on the music. I don't really think about it, really. When I write an album, it's almost like it's very spontaneous. It's very intuitive. I'm really focusing on what's coming out and don't think about what's going to transpire. What I try to do is, I try, since I absorb a lot of music, I try not to sound like anyone else. Rather than being influenced, I try to filter the riffs that I write in the category of whether or not they sound like somebody else. That's more like a negative…you get rid of things rather than you put in things where you go 'I want to write a part that sounds like THIN LIZZY.' If I hear it and it sounds like some other band, I go 'No.' I would re-write it to make it sound like KREATOR. That's maybe the way that I write."
On how KREATOR's music could be considered a reflection of today's world:
Mille: "It's very easy if you open your eyes. You can see it all. It's right there, every day, every time, all the time. It's nothing that I do…again, I don't think about these things. I write about stuff that just moves me from the inside and every time I have my lyrics done at the end of the day, mostly, five minutes before I record them, the final version, I can see it mirroring reality. It's like that with a lot of bands that don't sing about personal emotions like love. There's a lot of bands, or a lot of artists that write more personal stuff and I don't really write…I do write personal stuff, but it's very hidden. I guess if you write, like I said, I avoid current events to pop up in my lyrics, like saying names or mentioning places where something took place, or attacking certain people in my lyrics. I just try to keep it more general. Maybe that's why you could take 'Gods Of Violence' as the soundtrack to the Syrian war where you could have taken [2012's] 'Phantom Antichrist' to the soundtrack of whatever was going on back then. It's just a matter of all my lyrics are reflected by stuff that's actually happening, but I don't want to mention them. It's hard for me to talk about lyrics."
On KREATOR's 1999 goth-infused "departure" album "Endorama":
Mille: "It's a different album. It's little bit of a different approach. Some people said that it shouldn't have come out under the name of KREATOR. I think it should have."
On whether KREATOR would ever play albums like "Renewal" (1992) and "Cause For Conflict" (1995) in full:
Mille: "We just did 'Renewal' here and there, the title track pops up. For some reason, we don't play so many songs from 'Cause For Conflict' because the album…there's some bad memories from that album. That's one we should re-record one day, but then again, it's over."
On whether he felt any pressure in the '90s to fit in with industrial-sounding bands:
Mille: "It's not that we felt any pressure. The general vibe was a different one. We were in a mindset where we wanted to experiment with different sounds because it was an exciting time. It was an exciting new technology. When you're a musician, you want to experience it. That's the reason why we experimented with all of these new technologies, even though it was in a very primitive way because we came from a different era of music. We didn't really know too much about electronic music even though we come from a country that brought out bands like KRAFTWERK, but we never really went into that direction before it was accessible for us and also possible for us to experiment with these sounds."
On what his "desert island" album would be:
Mille: "Maybe I would take… MAIDEN. 'Killers', maybe."
On how long it took for him to become proficient at rhythm guitar:
Mille: "I'm still learning. It depends on the time of the day. I'm not as perfect as it might sound. I can be very sloppy if I have a bad day. I'm constantly learning. Once you say it's perfect, it's over. If you say, 'This is it. I'm perfect. That's it.' Then you're done."
On what KREATOR has left to accomplish:
Mille: "For me, the journey is never-ending until the day I die. I think it's still exciting. Maybe we should work with a different producer. Maybe we should go to a different country to record the album. Maybe we should write a more metal or more full-on thrash metal. Whatever we feel, first and foremost, that is the most important thing. Time will tell."
KREATOR is headlining this year's edition of the annual Decibel Magazine Tour. Support on the trek is coming from Florida death metal legends OBITUARY, old-school Ohio brutalizers MIDNIGHT and progressive death prodigies HORRENDOUS.
KREATOR's new album, "Gods Of Violence", entered the official chart in Germany at position No. 1. The cover artwork for the disc was created by renowned artist Jan Meininghaus, who also made the limited-edition artwork for KREATOR's previous effort, 2012's "Phantom Antichrist", and has lent his talents to bands like BOLT THROWER, ACCEPT and OVERKILL in the past.