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After two decades of writing metal history, KREATOR is presenting their very first live double CD "Live Kreation" and live DVD "Live Kreation - Revisioned Glory" - also available as a limited edition "deluxe" package consisting of both the CD and the DVD. I talked to Mille Petrozza about the recording and editing of the CD and DVD, touring in general and writing songs instead of just riffs;)
Hi Mille, congratulations on the success and the great reviews on Live Kreation! I've bought it two days ago and I think I've seen just about all by now. Next to the live clips it's very interesting to see all the footage behind the scenes, the fans and all. You can tell that you have put so much work in it!
Yeah, yeah... I think for us it was the most important thing not only to show the artistic part of the band like with all the video clips and all the live stuff but also feature the fans a little bit, because that's the reason why we're able to do this. This whole thing, the live record and the live DVD, to us, is some kind of tribute to our fans in a way. So we put together all these little clips that we filmed on the last tour and put it into a certain frame, so it split up the live show a little bit, so that it doesn't get boring watching the whole thing because it's not the same as being in a live concert. It's always hard to sit through a whole live concert, no matter how good it is recorded and how great everything is, I think it's always nicer to have something in between.
I guess it's a choice you make. Because it is interesting to see all the things in between, the shots of the fans, interviews and everything. But I was wondering if that was a specific choice or there was maybe another reason why you didn't just film one show or film maybe more shows but put one show on the DVD.
I think we wanted to make the whole thing kind of like an impression of the whole world tour. Even though we had the idea of doing this in the middle of our tour, so a big chunk of the European tour was already over. We always get questions from the fans like "how are the fans in (let's say) America?", so now with this DVD the fans can see like ok if they want to get an impression of how the concerts are when we play there, then they can see the fans there, right there. And the American fans can get an impression of how the European fans are.
You are right, that is a very good idea. Even though the upside of having one continuous show is maybe that you feel more part of that particular show when you're watching it.
Yeah, maybe you're right.
But on the other side this is indeed more interesting and more fascinating to watch and to see all these different sides of it.
Yeah, that's what I thought, too. Because I've seen so many DVDs beforehand, I came to the opinion that I just wanted to do it differently. This to me seems the most interesting way to do such a project.
I think you're right. Why did you wait so long with recording a live cd, was that your own choice or was that a thing of the label(s)?
We didn't want to be in the position where we... you know, in the 80's, when our fans first asked us for a live record, the technology wasn't so good, so back then it would have been a lot more of a pain to record one live show because you would have to rent a recording mobile which is a big, big thing and very expensive so and then you only have this one show and you get all nervous because you know tonight's the night, you know. Nowadays, it's very easy to just bring a couple of 8-tracks on the road with you and set up some microphones and record everything right there every night. So we had the opportunity to record 22 shows on the last tour and then on top of that we recorded the show in Brasil and in Korea and we had a lot to pick from. We never had the feeling "ok, now we have to do the best we can" or whatever... we are always like that but once you know that something is recorded, subconsciously you feel nervous.
Yeah, you got more pressure.
You feel you've been put under pressure, even though it's the same kind of live situation. But you know that this is the night, so this is way more comfortable and on the last tour we just had the idea of taking the equipment on the road and do it.
But still, that's not something you knew like 10 years ago, it's not that you were thinking back then "oh, let's wait 10 years for a live CD because in 10 years the technology is gonna be so much better, we're going to have this and that"...
Hahaha, yeah, but I think the reason, or one of the reasons was that of course, and I don't want to start with this again, but the record companies you know. They were always like "no, we don't want a live record, we don't know if this is gonna sell, blablabla" and I told them the fans want a live record they were like "no, no... we know you will only sell this much of a live record". So, ok, what can we do?
Yeah, it's a commercial thing too.
Yeah exactly, we kept promising the fans that we're going to do a live record and they started to not believe us anymore, hehehe. So now, like I said, this modern technology gives us the opportunity to do everything right and the way we want it and because of the fact that we had so many shows to pick from we could do a real live record. There's not a lot of overdubs on this, there's only like 1 or 2 things where we tweaked the tuning a little bit because the guitars were out of tune, but you can do that without an overdub, so all you hear is live.
I was wondering if you would have changed or added anything to the original recording...
One little piece where my microphone fell down, there was one little piece where I had to sing one line, that's it.
Oh that's not too bad, hehehe. I know you guys play so tight, I've been watching you play live since I think 1987 or something, but I think the sound of the DVD is so good, that still it's really like "wow, is this really just live?"
Hehehehe, yeah, but do you have a surrounding mode on your stereo, that 5.1, can you hear that?
Well, we have the sound via the stereo but it's not much of a stereo, we don't really get the whole surrounding sound as we should.
This whole thing is mixed in 5.1, so whenever you have the opportunity to listen to it in a 5.1 surrounding mode, that really adds a lot to it. It's really cool.
You're more in the middle of the concert...
Yeah, it's sounds like that, you know, people talking behind you and stuff, it's really cool.
Haha, so I will be turning around and saying "hush!" and everything, hehehe. That'll be cool, I have to do that.
How are the reactions of the fans about the choice of songs that you picked from the set?
I think they're happy and we're happy. The thing is, of course there could have been at least 20 more songs on this record but there are always people who go like "ok, why didn't you put this song or that song on it". Maybe if we do another live record one day, we will put different songs on it, but right now, at this point, I think we made a good choice.
Yeah, you made a good cross-section of almost all the albums.
The selection you made, the songs you picked per album, was that based on the popularity of the albums or just your personal choices?
Personal choices and interaction with the fans. You know, we have a website and we kept asking the fans, the fans even picked the title of the album. It was like working together with the audience in a way..
So a combination of things...
...yeah, it was really exciting for us. Because in a studio situation, we're always isolated, we lock ourselves into the studio and then we work on a new album but that was a whole different situation and it was really amazing and a new experience for us.
So you've become much more active on the internet yourself?
Yeah, our webpage is very active and we keep close contact to our fans through the page, it's great.
I talked to you at the Dynamo festival in 1999 briefly and I asked you why you didn't have an offical website yet at that time and I was wondering, it's not too long since then that you got the website, maybe two years or something, did a lot of things change for you once Terrorzone came online?
Yeah, I mean of course I was online for longer than that, I was online since 1998 or something. But it's really different to see, to really get the direct reactions of the audience. It's a whole different thing than just reading magazines and reading journalists' opinions - which doesn't mean that a lot of the journalists are also fans. But you know, sometimes they have to listen to 10 albums a day and you can kind of predict what they will think of the record. But with your audience, it's completely different, it's so interesting to hear the fans' opinions because they are the most important ones, you know.
Nowadays it's easy to reach the bands also, from the fans' point of view. I mean, in the old days, when would you ever write a letter to your favorite bands, it's something you just didn't do.
There were some people who did this back then.
But not a lot...
Yeah, but most of the times I got some mail, but then, you know, I was too lazy to answer hehehe, but nowadays with the internet you just put in some lines, it's not a big deal, it doesn't take much time. This whole internet thing changed the whole world.
Yeah at least the whole metal scene. I've definitely become much more fanatic again since we've got internet, you just connect to all these people all over the world.
It's almost like in the tape trading days.
That's true. What is your own favorite Kreator album or era or are there some specific songs that are more special than anothers for whatever reason?
Don't say you like them all;)
Nah... you know, it's hard, it depends on which mood I'm in. Sometimes I like the "Endorama" record because there's a certain vibe behind that record. And then sometimes I like the more aggressive stuff like "Pleasure To Kill" more... you know, it always depends on how I feel. I don't really listen to my albums at home but if I do, it could be the "Outcast" record or "End Of Pain" record.. .you know, it doesn't make a difference to me. Well, I always like the latest album the best, so I would say "Violent Revolution" of course.
About the touring, you guys have pretty much been all over the world with your tours. What are your favorite countries to play in and what's your best market in terms of sales and popularity?
Pooh.. I don't know where our best sales are, I think Germany, because we are from Germany and it's still the strongest market for us, but I think that goes for all the metal bands.
But other than that, I think it's a very nice balance between all kinds of countries in the whole world. It's really amazing, you can have a huge crowd in some small village in South America and have a small crowd in a capital of Germany or whatever. It depends, you never know what to expect, that's what makes the whole thing interesting or keeps it interesting, to me at least.
So you don't have real favorite countries?
No, I wouldn't go that far because that also depends on what mood I'm in. I really like Australia but we've only been there once and it's very hard to get there, its a 21 hour flight or something, you know what I mean.
And it's hard to do a good tour there probably because it is so big.
Exactly. I like South America of course, I also like Germany, basically I like almost the whole fucking world, hahaha!
Hahaha, see, there you have that answer "I like everything", hehe!
I knew we would get to that eventually;)
The live footage, most of it is from Brasil and Korea, were those just the best recordings or was that because of the audience or the atmosphere or whatever?
Yeah, it was the best recording. We had a professional team there.
Ah, that was planned before?
Yep, that was planned beforehand.
And after all of this touring, don't you get spoiled? You see so many enthusiastic people, do you still get surprised or excited by the enthusiasm?
Of course, of course. As soon as I lose that I should quit. I really appreciate it still, you know.
But I could understand that you get spoiled in a way, that you kind of expect things...
Sometimes you find yourself being dissapointed when there's a small audience there, but that's the trick. The trick is to be not dissapointed and play as if there would be 20,000 people at the fucking show. It sounds like a cliché but that's the way it is. You always have to give your best, no matter if there's only like 5 or 10 people in the audience, it doesn't make a difference.
Are there any places left where you haven't been yet and where you would really like to play?
We haven't played in Africa yet.
But who has?
No, no, South Africa is possible, I know Napalm Death have played there. There are still a couple of places left.... Indonesia we haven't been to.
They should have fanatic fans there I see on the internet
Yeah.. we haven't been to Russia, I mean, we only have been to Moscow but we haven't been to St. Petersburg and stuff like that, there are still some parts where we haven't been to.
And Israel, but it's not so safe at the moment.
No, no, we've played there already. But I wouldn't play there at the moment;)
And are there still bands you would love to play with?
This weekend we're going to play with Iron Maiden and Motörhead and Slayer at one festival, of course musically it's very exciting to play with Motörhead or Iron Maiden, it's like "wow". But I always think it's more important that the people that are playing in those bands are nice.
Especially on tour.
Exactly. It could be some small band, if the people are nice I would look forward to play with them and just to meet new people and make new experiences and get a new impression of how people can be like. Sometimes it's very dissapointing when you see your idols from the early 80's and they turn out to be rockstars.
Talking about experiences, do you have any funny tourstories that come to mind?
Yeah, I should write a book or something. Everytime someone asks me this question I don't have an answer. I don't know what I would think that I find funny and interesting to say now. I don't want to ruin your picture but most of the time when we are on tour, most of the time we spend in hotel rooms, busses or the fucking airport waiting.
Yeah, you're not ruining any picture, I'm into metal for over 20 years...
You know what I mean then!
Yeah, I mean, I've never been in a band or anything but I've talked to enough people by now, yeah, hehe...
It's not that exciting, which doesn't mean it's boring. It's always exciting but it's not like glamour, that's a cliché, a myth, you know.
What about the next studio album, you already have plans for that?
Yeah, we want to have it done until next year some time in the summer. I really want this record to be even more intense than "Violent Revolution" and so it needs some work.
Have you already started writing?
I got ideas for 3 songs so far and I have tons of riffs but i only have 3 songs ready yet.
It's the songs that are more important than just the riffs of course.
Exactly. It's very hard to have a good riff and you can't make it a song. I have so many riffs now but just no song... but they will come to me.
Yeah, look at St. Anger, hahaha! They forgot to write the songs!
Hahahaha! That is the perfect example, man... I mean... oaaah, this album!
Hehe, soooo, what's your view on that? Haha, this must be the most up-to-date question these days.
Some people asked me this already and I always have to say "I'm sorry", I mean, I wanted this album to be good. I'm not anti-Metallica, I'm the opposite, I really like Metallica, I'm one of their first fans in Europe, I guess. I mean, I've been to the Aardschokdag!!
Yeah yeah, I was there!! We grew up on the same things I believe:)
I really wanted this album to be good, but it is so fucking disappointing. I'm sorry, where is the fucking song and why do they have to have these fucking raps in there, the fucking nu metal thing, why? It's not necessary, come on, you're Metallica and not a fucking 20 year old nu metal band. I'm sorry.
Same thoughts here.
Yeah, but I think we're the only ones that are thinking that way because everyone in the web world seems to like it.
Nooo, oh no, with the interaction with other fans on message boards and everything, almost everyone hates it and just every now and then someone shows up who says "well, I like it", well, ok, that's good, he should say so if he does, I think. But I did come across a few reviews that are positive, also in the Aardschok which said "oh, they are so inspired again" and I thought "where? where on earth do I hear inspiration on this record!?"
Yeah definitely, I mean, of course they are heavier.
Yeah, that's the only thing that I do like, the raw energy.
Yeah yeah, but they could have done it so much better, you know. If they would have done it just in their own style.
Maybe this is what they think their own style now is.
Fuck no, this is fucking KoRn style. Where's the fucking guitar solo? All the trademarks are gone.
(in a sarcastic voice) They've evolved, Mille! You have to see it from a different point of view!
Hahahaha! Yeah right!
Oh, ok, whatever... they should do what they want to do, I don't have to like it.
Whatever they're happy with.
Exactly, that's the most important thing, whatever it is.
What about the German metal scene these days, do you have specific favorites?
There are a couple of good bands, there's one band I like, Dew-Scented, they are not too bad. The german power metal seems to be very strong but I'm not really into that kind of music.
But still, there are a couple of bands where I think they're doing it alright. The Edguy guys, they are very nice people and they're friends, that's why I kinda like them. Even though I couldn't listen through one of their whole albums;) But I like them as people.
They are not bad, they are really not bad.
Yeah, what they do, they do good, like early Helloween, maybe even better. Other than that, I don't really know...
What about e.g. Brainstorm?
I only heard one song, it's really good, very professional and it's not like this typical power metal thing.
Exactly, I think there are a few German bands that are more like the US power metal style.
Yeah, I thought that that one song that I heard was really cool, I gotta get the record somehow.
You should, they are really good, I love it. They have a DVD also hehehe..
They also have a DVD?
Yeah, but that's a very simple recording that shows their Summer Breeze festival show, shot with five cameras but fairly simple filmed, you know, hand cameras and everything, not comparable to "Live Kreation" at all. But as an extra it's really nice.
You've influenced so many singers and bands over the years, who were your influences when you started out?
I would have to say Bathory, the stuff from the NWOBHM, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and the early punk rock stuff. Kinda like a mix of let's say 70% metal and 30% punk.
And what kind of bands do you listen to or are your heroes these days?
I got into Johnny Cash, don't get me wrong, hehehe, but his latest stuff is really good , the last three records that he has done, produced by Rick Rubin, they are really good, you should check them out. It's different, I know it's not metal but it's really done with the heart, it's cool music. And what else do I like? I still like the old stuff from the 80's; the new Iron Maiden album, I think I should pick that up, I bought the new Cure DVD yesterday. So, after this interview, I'm going to check that out, hehe.
Have fun with that already:) Do you have any last words for our readers?
Keep clicking, hehehe, on this website, and we will see you very soon!
Thank you very much for the interview, Mille!
submitted by Marlies 18.07.2003