Kreator’s Mille Petrozza – Albums Should Be a Piece of ‘Art’ + a ‘Statement’
Kreator's Mille Petrozza was the latest guest on Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio program, on hand to chat about the thrash legends' latest album, Hate Über Alles.
The band's albums always seems to hold up a mirror to the ills of classist society and this latest release, the first since 2017's Gods of Violence, does just that. Petrozza expresses that when a band writes an album, it should always be viewed as making a statement of some sort and that it be a piece of art rather than merely churning out new music for the sake of going back on tour.
With a catalog totaling nearly 150 songs, Kreator, he says, could rest on their laurels and the strength of the catalog when it comes to touring, strengthening the idea of impact with a new record.
Read the full interview below.
Albums are snapshots in time and a sort of reflection of the artist and the world around them. What does Hate Über Alles reveal about you in relation to the world today?
It's what I felt during the last couple of years, especially being at home like all of us during the pandemic. I had nothing to do but write a new record and I could reach out to the fans on the internet, but there was no real physical concert possible that during that time, so Hate Über Alles is like a reflection of the last five years.
The album assimilates different musical styles into metal, particularly Sofia Portanet singing on "Midnight Sun." Why was it so important to create that contrast on this album?
The song was inspired by this movie Mesosoma which came out a couple of years ago. There's this very strong female protagonist who is carrying the story and I had a vision of bringing that into our music. The lyrics were very inspired by that movie.
I've known Sofia for a little bit and when we got together in the studio, it clicked. I wanted to make sure that it really fits what we do.Unfortunately, in the past we've never really had a song where it did fit to have a female guest singer and Sofia. It sounds like she's a part of the band and it really feels natural and unique.
Sometimes in metal it can be a little cliche if bands do a growling voice and all of a sudden [there's] an opera singer which Celtic Frost started back in the day. We didn't want that — we wanted to do something that we haven't done before in order to have more variety on the record.
Kreator, "Midnight Sun" (ft. Sofia Portanet) Music Video
Growing up, opera was prevalent in your household. What influence does that bombast and expressiveness still have on your own music?
I listen to all kinds of genres now and I don't really think in [terms of] these categories. Music either touches me or it doesn't — I have to feel something when I listen to certain music.
Opera and classical music have meaningful, epic sounds and maybe that's a kind of like reflection on music and certain songs.
Why are thrash bands so adept at maintaining a high level of proficiency so deep into their careers?
We have always tried to justify the fact that we're putting out another album after so many years. We could easily do like a best-of set and we could do like four or five tours without playing the same setlist — we have about 140 songs.
Before we went into the studio to do Hate Über Alles. If you come up with a new record, it should have something unique and fresh. It should be something that you haven't done before and, of course, it should be powerful. You should maintain the energy and it should be meaningful.
I don't like when bands just put out records to go back on tour. I don't want to sound too artsy, but it should be a piece of art — it should be a statement that should be something that reflects your emotion that you have when you wrote the song.
I always make sure that the power or arrangements are right in the pocket and it's fun to listen to. The older I get, the more and more I make sure that we come up with quality records.
Kreator, "Hate Über Alles" Music Video
You were young and relatively inexperienced when the first Kreator album was released. When did you hit your stride in terms of understanding the craft of making music?
When we were doing the first two albums, we're still trying to figure out how it's done. When we did Extreme Aggression, that's when I kind of understood how it works, but that didn't mean that from then onwards that I didn't try to absorb new influences and learn new things.
Extreme Aggression was the first time that when we consciously went into an album where we understood the process of producing an album and what the difference is between producing an album and recording songs. We had a producer back in the day, Randy Burns, who really really helped me at the time and I've learned a lot from him.
Thanks to Mille Petrozza for the interview. Follow Kreator on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Spotify and get your copy of the band's new album, 'Hate Über Alles,' here. Find out where you can hear Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio show here.