This year marks the 35th anniversary of Teutonic Thrash Titans, Kreator. Founded by frontman Mille Petrozza and drummer Jürgen “Ventor” Reil in Essen, Germany in 1982, the band has crafted some of the genre’s most seminal albums. On January 27, that legacy continues as Kreator will unleash its 14th studio effort, Gods of Violence. The new album is the follow-up to 2012’s Phantom Antichrist, and the band, which also features guitarist Sami Yli-Sirniö and bassist Christian “Speesy” Glieser, once again worked with producer Jens Bogren (Sepultura, Opeth, Devin Townsend, Ihsahn). This week, Metalholic spoke with Petrozza about the new album, his first ever Facebook Live Chat, and 35 years of Kreator.
You did your first Facebook Live Chat today. The changes in technology are crazy. Did you ever imagine you would be doing something like this 35 years ago?
“No, no, no, never. This whole new technology….I’ve always been into new technology. I was one of the first ones that I know that had a computer, that had a CD player, whatever. But of course when I started the band, I was a kid. Of course I never thought that I would be able to speak to thousands of fans at the same time. It was something unheard of and not even science fiction writers would have come up with an idea like that. If you think about it, it’s pretty amazing.”
To me the new album definitely has Kreator sound; it is heavy and brutal, but there’s a bit more melody to my ear perhaps. Tell us about Gods of Violence from your perspective.
“My perspective of the album is it has a lot of variety, which also contains the melodic part of it. Whatever happens, we do what makes the songs stronger. So in order to make the album exciting from start to finish, there’s some songs like the opening song, ‘World War Now,’ which is a straight up thrash metal song. Not so many melodies involved in this one. Then of course, as the album continues you have more melodic stuff like ‘Satan is Real.’ Everything that excites us, everything we thought was worthy to be on the record ended up on the record.”
As you mentioned, there is a lot of variety on there and some intriguing bits and pieces. You have a young girl playing harp on the title track.
“Yeah, it’s a 12-year-old girl from Sweden, and she did a great job. The reason why she’s playing the harp is that I wanted to create a Greek vibe in the beginning of the song. To me, music is also very visual, and I was imagining myself sitting at the Acropolis with all the philosophers. That’s what the intro should make you feel like, like being in ancient Greece.”
You returned to work with Jens Bogren again. How different was it the second time around and what dynamic does he bring to the Kreator sound?
“He’s very critical, and he’s very much a team player. ..but sometimes he’s not. He’s very stubborn. Once you start working with him he already has a vision of how the record’s going to sound, and he’s kind of like leading you through the process which is something every producer should do. He’s a good producer, one of the best I’ve ever worked with.”
You mentioned that movies inspired some of the songs on the new album. Any movies in particular that inspired you?
“Not direct inspiration, but there was this movie last year called ‘The Witch’ that was a big inspiration on the video we did for ‘Satan is Real.’ Then there is this TV show, I really, really like, it’s called Black Mirror. There’s some ideas on that TV show I thought were really cool. I didn’t write a song about a particular episode or anything, but it was very inspiring.”
You guys have such an amazing canon of work, but is there an album in the Kreator catalog that you look back on now and think, ‘Man, I’d like a do-over on that one.’?
“Yeah, there’s a couple of them. For example, the album Cause for Conflict, or also the Renewal album; the sound could have been better, or the production could have been better. But it is what it is. You live and learn. Redoing an album is not my style. Even though, in a perfect world, I would like to hear how it sounds. But there’s been bands that try to redo albums and it’s never for me. For example, there’s one or two bands that try to redo one of their classic albums, and it just didn’t get me the same. Even though it might sound better technically, it’s just never the same.”
You can check out the full interview with Mille below as he talks more in-depth about Gods of Violence as well as taking a 30 year look back at their third album, Pleasure to Kill. Youcan also check out the uncut/uncensored version of the “Gods of Violence” music video HERE and the Facebook Live Chat with Mille.