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Interview with:

Mille Petrozza

After some years the trashmetal gods from KREATOR are back with a new record 'Enemy Of God'. It seems that they have chosen the right moment, because every show in Europe is sold out and the record is well received. They play on the big metal festivals, so enough reason to be optimistic. When I meet front man Mille Petrozza before their show in 013 he is just recovering from a flue, but it turned out to be a nice conversation.

Mille Petrozza (guitar and vocals) is very positive about how things are going at the moment: “A lot of people come to the shows. All the places were very good and we are very happy about the way things go now. The thing is that it is always better when the response is there. That makes it easier and you get more energy, especially when you have a cold.”

The conversation starts very general to get into the mood. Mille is sitting on the couch of the tour bus. The hood of his big, black, sweatshirt covers his eyes, but when he starts to talk about the new record he smiles and I see the energy coming back again: “The music that we play has to be on a high energy level and it wouldn’t make sense to me when we make an album that was only 70 %. It has to be all or nothing! With this new album we spent a lot of time in the studio. Everything worked well. To get to this level; when you believe in what you do, it comes natural.

You always have to prove yourself, that you still can write good stuff. There are new bands who write really good stuff and we have to keep up and be the top. That is something we want to achieve  and that gives us new inspiration. It has been 4 years between 'Violent Revolution' and the new record. We toured the globe twice within those years. When you are on tour you don’t get inspired: it’s too hectic and not comfortable. I never can write, because I need my environment like a quite place where you can sit down and think.”

The band started to write new songs in October 2003, but they started to rehearse material in the beginning of 2004. Mille is positive about the record, but it wasn’t easy: they had to work very hard:
“It’s a lot of work but you do it or not. I decided to be a musician. To me it wouldn’t make sense to make a new record when I wouldn’t be able to work at top like we did in the past. It has to be better. There aren’t many bands who play this music and have songs. There are great bands, but for me it’s important to make a melody like, for example, Johnny Cash. The quality of songs in metal has to be just that good.”

“Sometimes you start with a riff and sometimes with a line. For the title track of the record 'Enemy of God' I had the title and wrote the song around it. For other songs I had the lyrics but not the music: that took a long time. Sometimes a song takes longer and sometimes it comes natural. I have a room in my house where I have a little studio. Sometimes you can not force things. It’s not that when I go in there I force myself to be inspired. Sometimes the inspiration just comes. You have to wait for the right moment. You can’t just go because that doesn’t work. It’s frustrating sometimes and can make you crazy, because your mind is always rotating and working.”

It’s difficult for Mille to explain how he creates music, but after some moments he had the time to think and is very clear: “It’s an instinct to see what is good music. You have to be able to mix between what you really believe in and your experiences. You have to learn what a good record is. The thing is that when you’re in a band you always should make a song you want to hear from other bands: What would I think when I hear it now by an other band, would I like it? That’s how it works for me. I Also think: does it sound like Kreator? Does it make me excited and what’s the emotion?”

Mille hold his breath and stares at the table, then he continues: “On the other hand I think it’s necessary. Rather than you release to much: wait for the right moment in time to release something. What we want to show is different from song to song. With “Enemy of God” I talk basically about catastrophe inspired by September 11. When I saw that, I was really shocked. I wrote about a catastrophy that can happen anytime. The songs on the record are about terrorism, cruelty, death and pain. It sounds a bit cliché because a lot of heavy bands do that, but I do think it was necessary to make an album about this, because the world became like this. We have issues and you see what the world is going to. You have an opinion and you can be shot for it like Van Gogh. It’s very hard nowadays not to think about that.”

After that it’s silent: we both have to think about what has happened with the world. He is very serious when he continues. His voice is low and a bit hoarse when he tells me that he isn’t a negative person: “I don’t want to be pessimistic or that the world is coming to his end. I am an optimistic person: I enjoy life. On the other hand you do have to be realistic.”

There is a contrast between the ‘negative’ lyrics and the heavy, energetic music. Mille startsto laugh but he reassures me that he does understand it: “Having those contrasts creates a certain form of life. What to do, what we want as a band, is to have an unique sound. Where we can have energetic music and very dark lyrics. You don’t have to read the lyrics to enjoy the music. At the moment you see a new generation coming up. When they come to our show they will see what our spirit is!”
Mille is a bit amazed about the new kids who come to the show: “It’s not common that a new generation checks the older bands. For some reason they come to our shows and I appreciate that.” When we talk about the past I ask him how important it is to have those experiences, but the front man is very down to earth: “Your experiences won’t change... of course time passes but in the end it’s the same. As long as you feel the same about the music. It’s natural to be in the scene for so long. It’s good to fight for your place, because it makes you work harder. When it’s easy the music would be less interesting. If everything is easy you get lazy. When you know the guys rehearsing is easier and the communication is better. We also are more critical after those years.”

When I ask him about his goals he has a fast reply: “Surviving this tour is the goal now! It’s hard now because I have a cold. I am better than yesterday, that was really bad. In Belgium I was about to die, but I survived and ate some vitamins. It’s hard work but I enjoy it. I am in the position that I can do what I like. I don’t think it’s normal and I appreciate that. There are many people who don’t like their job.”
The main goal for Kreator is to keep it up: “Doing this, continuing this is already a lot of work. We play on the big festivals this summer and festivals are very difficult because it’s chaotic. To me they are more entertaining than a real show. Of course the show has to be powerful, but it’s not that hard. Just concentrate and focus on what you do. I know a lot of bands who go on stage drunk. I would never do that. That’s the experience but it has to do with living and learning. Mistakes are important to learn and become a certain person. If I wouldn’t have made those mistakes I wouldn’t be the same person. So it all comes together."

Then he starts to talk about the music again: "It’s like climbing, step by step, we achieve things we dreamed about two years ago. Little steps keeps you realistic. Everything must be realistic when a dream comes true. It’s the power of the mind. I am not a spiritual person, but it works. I think when you really want something and believe in it, it’s going to happen. Because you create a whole world around it and that makes it happen. It sounds simple, but you have to follow that dream and make it reality. Otherwise you won’t be happy in life.”

Then he looks at his watch and he has to hurry to get ready for the show.
I would like to thank Kreator and the whole crew for their kindness and time.

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