Last month I got to see my first Kreator show. What the hell took me so long I don’t know, but everything about them was intense: The playing, the energy, the fan reactions, all of it. Due to a bus mishap they weren’t able to do an onsite interview like we had planned, but I was able to catch up with lead singer/guitarist Mille Petrozza by phone a few days later, so all was well. Here’s what we chatted about:
Amps: First up. Awesome show on Monday night! My first Kreator gig, whew!!! So sorry you had the bus issues.
Mille: Thank you so much. Yeah, it was a little stressful and we barely made it to the show on time, but once we got onstage, the night was a good one.
Amps: One thing I noticed during your set was the very large amount of YOUNG Kreator fans there. How does it feel to be introduced to a whole generation of new fans?
Mille: Oh, it’s the best! We couldn’t ask for a better audience. It’s like, not only do we have the older people that still come to our show, that have been with the band forever. And then there are also people who just discovered the band with Enemy of God or Hordes of Chaos, or even the new album. It shows me that the band can still do something right especially nowadays. I wouldn’t be happy dwelling on our past life story; we want to be relevant nowadays. It seems multi-generational now and that’s definitely a beautiful thing, like passing the torch. Usually the kids don’t want to listen to what their parents do, but I think metal is cool enough that they can, and I see a lot of fathers and sons at shows.
Amps: It really seems to me that these last few records (Hordes of Chaos, Enemy of God, Phantom Antichrist) you’ve definitely done some of your strongest writing to date. Do you feel that way too, or no?
Mille: I definitely do. We’re more focused as a band. We had some problems in the past like a lot of bands do, when you’re together for that long. Personal problems, egos, being burned out, whatever, you know. We put all that aside in 2001 and decided to play music and just be Kreator, and be productive being Kreator. And play music for us that we love while playing music for the fans that they love. Not really reinvent the band, but just become more aware of what we are, what people see in us, what’s the real strong heart of the band. It’s something that we discovered over the last few years, I think.
Amps: Speaking of which, you’ve had the same line-up a long time, over a decade now. Do you think that has helped impact the quality of your albums?
Mille: Yes, yes. Because we all get along. I mean, sometimes it’s a little hard being on the road for a long time but we found a way to get through that.
Amps: You’re closing things out with a pair of shows in NYC this weekend. I’m sending a couple of my friends, told them you guys are NOT to be missed. I really mean that, you guys killed it.
Mille: Well thank you. Thank you very much.
Amps: What’s after this run? A break, or more dates, or back into studio?
Mille: We’ll do another run. We’ll take a break for a couple of months, but we’ll head back out. You’ll see, it’s in the making.
Amps: Well the live album you just put out, Dying Alive, that’s got some serious legs, so you’ll get a lot of mileage out of that one. I’m a BIG live albums guy, and this one was great, seriously.
Mille: Thank you.
Amps: What would you like to say to the Kreator fans out there, old and new?
Mille: Thank you for the support. This was a fucking great tour, really good, one of the best tours we’ve done in the U.S. so far. And we will be back!
Amps: So if you do another run, you might hit Dallas again? Maybe? Maybe?
Mille: (Laughing) hopefully, hopefully!
At this point I let Mille get back to enjoying some downtime before their show that night. And from the reports I heard from my New York buddies, BOTH nights were sheer thrashing metal madness once again. Long Live Kreator, and I can’t wait till they come back!