Mille Petrozza - Keator

November 11, 2004

You guys have been around for almost 20 years.

Almost, yeah. 19 years it's going to be.

Did you guys ever think you'd be playing music this long?

No, not really to be honest. We never thought about playing music for this long. When we did the first record, we didn't think we were going to do a second one. I definitely feel like that long. It's been 20 years. We still enjoy what we do. It's not like we get bored of it.

I think it's great that you can kick people's asses like that for 20 years.

We started at a very young age. When we started out, we were all like 15 or 16 years old then. We're not getting bored yet so it's all right.

In your press release for Violent Revolution, you were talking about some of the albums that you had done. I got a kick out of where when you put out Endless Pain, your producer thought you were vile so he got rid of you after 10 days.

Yeah, it's true. He didn't really get the music that we were playing and I think he was happy when we left the studio. We were so inexperienced and so young. He didn't know what to think about us. He worked with professional bands before and when we came in there, we didn't have our stuff together and couldn't really play our songs. We weren't tight. It was hell for him but we enjoyed it.

On December 9, you will be playing at the Underground Club.

That's going to be in Germany. That's going to be for the TV show Rockpalast. This is a very old running TV show on national TV in Germany. It's just very cool for us because when I was a kid I used to watch that show all the time and I saw all kinds of bands on there. It's almost like an honor for me to be on that show. It's great.

That has to be pretty cool to play on a show you've always watched.

You know what I mean? I saw Thin Lizzy playing on that and all these bands from the old rock dinosaur bands. it's really cool. It's a cool show.

The last time I talked to you was on the Violent Revolution tour back in 2001. You were on tour with Destruction. I will never forget that night. It was at the Bronco Bowl in Dallas, Texas. That club was so packed.

That was a fun show.

People were so excited to see you guys because you hadn't been here in a while.

Yeah, before that we toured the States in '96. It's been a couple of years.

You guys put out Violent Revolution in 2001. Enemy Of God is coming out in January of 2005. Why such a long period between albums? That's about four years.

We've been touring a lot and the thing to me is that I rather not release a new record if I'm not inspired. It's important to pick your time to reflect on the time in between records because there's nothing worse than putting out an album just to go on tour. Thinking about the music, I think that's the most important thing. It stays there forever. I couldn't release an album where in 10 years time, I look back on it and I think "oh, that was a little rushed." Rather than rushing things, we took our time and wrote some songs that we thought were strong enough to be on the record.

Being with SPV, they give you a lot more freedom.

Oh yeah, they don't push us to go into the studio and they don't set any deadlines. It's all up to us. They just let us do whatever we feel like doing. It makes total sense. It's really cool to work with these people because they keep you busy in a way but not too busy. They ask you if you want to do another record and then you do it. They don't set any deadlines. It's good.

A lot has happened in the world between 2001 and now. When you did the album you kind of had your thoughts on terrorism and the wars.

Yeah, definitely. A lot of the lyrics on this record are about that. I'm not into writing horror stories. There are definitely bands that do that a lot better than we do. Our lyrics are based more on reality so keeping that in mind, with all the war and terror happening in this world at this point in time, it's sometimes even more horrifying than making up horror stories. I think it's pretty sick what's happening now. Definitely when you read the lyrics on this new record, you see what I mean. Most of the lyrics are just a reflection of what I've been through. How I perceive the last three years.

War is the ultimate horror because that affects real people and it's real people dying. I think a lot of people when they're so pumped about war don't realize that the victims are human beings and the horrible things that happen to these people.

People dying like you said and for no reason in my opinion. Of course other people will argue with me "yeah, but it was a necessary war and the world is a safer place now." It's not. This world didn't get any safer. It's just war.

I've never held the belief that war is necessary because if two political factions have an argument, they need to deal it out amongst themselves. Instead they use human beings to do their dirty work and all they do is kill a bunch of innocent people which doesn't resolve anything. I don't believe it ever has and I don't think it ever will.

True, I totally agree with you on that. In my opinion, it never solves any problems. It just makes things worse. This war has a different quality. It's almost what you would call a religious war. It's like the eastern versus the western religions. It's totally useless.

I was once told that if you look at the bottom of any war, there's a whole lot of money. There are a lot of financial transactions that go on. To me that equates into killing people for money which is blood money and that's pretty sick.

Yeah, exactly. It's sickening. You can't close your eyes to that. You can't just ignore this. Just the fact that it's affecting us all.

Absolutely. In ways we don't even know about yet. You guys recorded your CD in Derbyshire, England. Why did you pick England this time around?

Our producer, Andy Sneap, has a studio there and it's on a very nice spot. It's at a farm and it's an old building where it's very nice and quiet there. You have time to concentrate. It's very peaceful and you can really concentrate on your work. It's all just work when you're there. It's a very relaxing atmosphere. Picking that place was really good for the record. We took our time. We were in there for more than two months. Getting away from everything and just concentrating on the record.

I've been listening to the CD for a few days now and I like it. You guys did a good job on it. You can tell just by listening to the quality of the music. Tell us a little bit about the new CD.

It's a nice mix between the very beginning and the roots of the band. Stuff like Pleasure To Kill, Extreme Aggression, and even Violent Revolution. It has a lot of melody which was inspired from our more experimental albums like Outcast and Endorama and rather than being inspired by different styles of different bands, we took our own history as an inspiration. We mixed it all together and added a more brutal sound than on Violent Revolution to it and of course new songs. I was really concerned about making the best songs possible and as strong as possible. Putting lyrics on it and make statements towards the state of the world right now.

Plus you really didn't want to repeat yourself. One thing that I've noticed about your albums is that they all sound just a little bit different. It's great when people are comfortable with mixing things up a little bit.

Yeah, and it's still Kreator. You hear it and it's 100 percent Kreator. No matter what we put out. Even the more melodic, more experimental albums. You can figure that out right when you hear it.

You had Michael Amott from Arch Enemy play on one of the songs.

Yeah, he did a solo for "Murder Fantasies". I have total respect for the guy and I think he's one of the best lead guitar players in the world. I couldn't think of any more lead parts. I played 40 percent of the record, the other 60 percent were played by Sami our lead guitar player. I ran out of ideas and we're pushing the solo back and forth. Andy had the idea to contact him and ask him if he wanted to put on the mix. It really worked well and I think it's one of the nicest spots on the record.

You guys are fixing to start a European tour in February.

Yeah, and we're planning on coming over here in April.

The bands going on tour with you in Europe are going to be Dark Tranquility, Ektomorf, and Hatesphere. How long will that tour run?

I think it's going to be about five or six weeks.

Any idea of who you will bring to the States?

Right now we're looking at bands and we're talking to some management of some of the bands. We want to put together a nice package and we'll see what happens. I don't really know yet. I can't mention any names yet but it's definitely going to be a small package.

You guys are changing your website around a little bit.

It's going to be re-launched really soon. I think as we speak the guys are working on it. It's going to have the design of our new CD.

Are you using the same guy that you used on Violent Revolution for your CD design?

No, it's a different artist. Joachim Lutke. He worked for bands like Dimmu Borgir, The Kovenant, Hypocrisy, and Pain. All kinds of stuff. I think his design is very dark. He kind of captured the vibe of the music. It's a different artist this time.

Yeah, I like how it's done with the head.

Wait until you see the final artwork. The one you see there on the promo copies is just a little bit of it. It's more intense than that. It's just a little piece of the whole artwork.

Just a little taste of what's to come. Any other thoughts or comments?

I'll see you all in April.