Kreator – Running Amok

Friday, 29th March 2013 After [1999’s] Endorama, what was the turning point where you said, “Hey, I need to get back to being aggressive?”

Petrozza: When we did the tour for Endorama, I got bored on stage because to re-produce the stuff we did on that album, we had to play to a click-track and that didn’t feel right. As much as I like the record, I think Kreator has always been known for fast and brutal stuff. The 90’s…we experimented a lot. A lot of those were good, some of them failed, but I think it was natural; it was something we had to do. A lot of people didn’t agree and didn’t like what we were doing. The turning point was a natural thing. We had written [1997’s]Outcast and Endorama, two albums that were not so fast and brutal like the other ones. When the millennium changed, we decided we’d start it with a much heavier record [laughs]. We felt the passion again to play extreme thrash metal. I think [1992’s] Renewal is a hidden gem in the Kreator catalog. Does that fall into the good experimentation side or bad side?

Petrozza: It’s a very different album. Some of the songs are pretty good, but the production isn’t so great. I’d like to hear this record with a different production and with somebody showing us how to actually to do all of these things we had in mind and to arrange these songs. Tom Morris [longtime Morrisound Studios producer] was a great producer, but he didn’t quite understand what we were trying to do with that record, so we were producing it ourselves and that didn’t help either [laughs]. There were a lot of computers on that record. On the other hand, it runs like a soundtrack. All the songs are linked together – there’s something very interesting about this record. You’ve been doing Kreator for over two decades now, so have you started to think about your age? This is not easy music to play, so I’m guessing some physical toll has been taken.

Petrozza: [laughs] That’s the beautiful thing about metal – it keeps you young. I think age is a state of mind and I don’t feel any different than when I was 22. Of course you have to keep in shape nowadays. When I started touring with the band, I was 16 and of course you could drink all night and get up the next morning like nothing happened. You can’t do that nowadays; you have to watch your body a bit more. In my opinion, that’s what life is all about – you grow older, grow into your situation, you’re more aware of the things that surround you; you’re not the little aggressive kid anymore destroying his body. But, you have a different awareness, view of things. It’s very exciting to play this music. As soon as I go on stage or go into the studio, I feel like fucking 18 [laughs]. Along those lines, do you still have the same feelings about some of your older, classic songs like “Flag of Hate” or “Pleasure to Kill?”

Petrozza: Those are lyrics I wrote when I was 15 or 16. “Flag of Hate” was one of the first songs I wrote, ever. I think it’s a part of Kreator history and I won’t ever deny it. They’re very important to a lot of our fans. A lot of them are waiting for that song when we play live. Of course it’s not the deepest lyrics [laughs]. It’s a statement and it still works up to this day. When you see the crowd reaction…it’s one of the highlights of our set. It proves to me, after a long set where we play for an hour or an hour and a half, that song comes up and no matter how tired we have the crowd, they wake up. You were prophetic with “Love Us Or Hate Us” offExtreme Aggression, detailing the ills of the music industry. Does that ring true today or have things with SPV been going well?

Petrozza: Very well, actually. When we wrote that song, it was more of a statement about who we are. We wrote in ’88 or ’89 and the poseur scene was really big. It was an anti-poseur song [laughs]. I remember one time, there was a guy from the record company we signed to when we did Endorama and he asked if we could do one song in German. And that was the end of that relationship with Kreator and the label. That would never happen with SPV – they know what our music is all about. A lot of old thrash bands get asked if this new thrash thing can sustain itself. So, can it sustain itself?

Petrozza: [laughs] I hope some of those bands will survive. I think it’s an interesting scene. To me, it always will be about the songs. I look to write classic songs and great songs that keep with you and get stuck in people’s minds. If you’re able to do that, you’ll survive. In metal, it’s all about the songs. I think some of those bands write great songs and great riffs and everything’s there, but sometimes, I’m missing the songs.

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