KREATOR Interview - Metal Forces 1989


KREATOR,what can one say about them? A band who has toured the US, UK and Europe, Released three extremely good records which each time have shown a large progression, but most importantly has never forgotten it's fans - that's what KREATOR personify to me. The band has been very busy recently writing and recording the basic ideas for a forth album and I wondered if that same feeling still holds true.

KREATOR have taken German music to many people and have certainly taken alot of the credit for stoping the stigma that was laid on the german music scene for years and years by critics who refused to listen to anything from the vast talent lying within those borders.

Very greatly aided by the addition of Jorg Tritze almost two years ago as the second guitarist the band has pushed back the boundries of thrash and has itselfdeveloped into a household name among devotees throughout the world. But i'm here with guitarist Mille Petrozza to talk of things to come because history is history.

So what delights has KREATOR in store for the next generation?

"Alot. Terrible Certainty" has been out a long time and we feel that it's important to get something else out for our fans to show how KREATOR has moved forward. "Terrible Certainty" was a very important album for the band, t did alot for us, but you can't live on one album for ever."

How important is this album then?

"As important as all the others. What we are trrying to do is consolidate our style though. We don't want to impress people with extremely complex stuff, we just want to write good songs which will keep our fans happy. The time for impressing lables and other musicians is over, we know we are good musician, I hope they see that also, it's time to put out a really good album for the fans. We don't have to prove anything anymore.The new songs areless technical than "Terrible Certainty", that is my view, but no one can say we've regressed or are crap now because the writing is still the best in our opinion. The songs are easier to play and are songs that come over live alot better. I think they will be alot more accessible because of this and that's what we are aiming for. It's different again, that's for sure, but then you knew I'ld say that Ha! Ha!"

We've come to the recording very early (only the very basic parts were on tape) how's the arranging coming along?

"Quite well so far. Iwrote all the songs and lyrics this time and although the guys had time to put their own ideas in this time it's really only now that the songs are beggining to come together how we want them to sound. The guys all have good ideas so it won't be easy, but we'll work at it till it's right."

What was the feedback like from fans about a fourth album?

"Very good - alot of people encouraged us to press ahead with the album and to persue the same style. I don't want to go doing any strange experimentation with our music and I don't think our fans want that either. We still like to play fast technical music and to play live and our fans like it. So we'll carry on doing it. We don't deny we play fast heavy material, I think everyone looks for that with KREATOR and that's fine by us because we love it. If we didn't we'd give up. Okay, we'll write slow songs as well of course, all our ideas, but we must stay heavy and I think we do that."

When will the album be completed and released?

"Well, probally February or March I believe. It's better for us to work under a little pressure on each record so we never put things off too long. We can never be lazy because good songs come out of pressure and once the songs are ready we like to get them down. I mean, they don't improve that much when you're working on them over a long period of time, not in our experience. All this long over working on really complex, over progressive material is not for KREATOR - when we have a strong idea we know it is good and we finish it, that's our way."

The band has alot of competition at home, but abroad you're one of the few bands to really push yourselves, why's that?

"Well it's a management thing really. We have chances to tour and we take them. I don't know what happens with other bands, but obviously they don't think the same way. Okay, sometimes we play fuckin' toilets, but we'll still get out and play because it's fun - for example, when we toured the USA, DESTRUCTION too had an offer to tour over there, but they didn't take it. We played with D.R.I., but we never thought, should we do this, is this right for KREATOR? No, we'll play with them cause there's no problem like that. In fact it probally paid off because we exposed D.R.I.'s crossover fans to our style and i hope some liked it. I think it should work like that more often eh?"

You've been quite technical over the years - what now?

"A little simpler I think. On "Terrible Certainty" I think we tried too hard, now we're improving the structure rather than filling the songs with too many parts. There's no parts with strange acoustic guitar coming out of the blue or stuff like that, it's far better, but it's still not primitive. We have classical influences but we're still basically heavy metal with thrashy songs and heavy music."
"All the ideas are freash, they're very recent and i think they illustrate just what we are doing right now. Some of the ideas are really good, way ahead of our past stuff, and I'd say for the time we're at this is the best music we could produce."

What ideas for titles and lyrics?

"Well, the album is called "Extreme Agressions" and all the songs deal with that idea. It's not a concept album, it's just that each song is based on one or other very aggressive act. It's not all about that of course, there's very personal lyrics as well, but it basically concentrates on how we live today and what we have to put up with."
"I get alot of personal anger from the world and many people react in different ways to that - the album tries to deal with positive aggression like music and negative aggression like violence equally. One song, "Stream Of Conciousness", deals with how people don't care about what's around them you know. They live day to day selfish lives without thinking about why they do things or who tells them to do them. "Nothing Will Last" is another song like that - everything has a `life' and it wont just be there for ever, but how people ignore that fact. Then there's "Bringer Of Torture" about child abuse and how that happens - that's sick. Anyhow, I don't want to tell everyone too much because then they won't think about it for themselves."

In between albums you released several songs - "After The Attack" and "Out Of The Dark Into The Light".

"Yes, but I don't like some of them. I liked "Out Of The Dark..."."Impossible To Cure" was a very good song, but "After The Attack" - oorgh, I hate that songs, it's one of our worst. "Impossible To Cure" was very different for us and it had very good lyrics which I like very much, so we were happy with that."

And "Lambs To The Slaughter" the RAVEN cover?

"I don't know - it was just an idea that we thought would go down well with the fans because it was different and because it went well with "Impossible To Cure". Tritze wrote that song by the way. The RAVEN song was fun to play, the high screams were good fun for me Ha! Ha!, but I think that that is the last cover version because it's no longer original even if you choose something unusual like we did - it's not too serious though I assure you!!"

Singles are sometimes bypassed by fans waiting for albums so what was the reaction like?

"Not bad, but I don't think we'll be doing singles anymore. "Out Of The Dark..." was a promotional release for the US tour only really, but I think singles are getting too boring now - we'd much rather concentrate on the albums and I think the fans would rather have more new songs than just the two or three you can put on a single."

Coming on to producers. You've used Randy Burns, or are usingRandy Burns should I say, over the heads of other German produces you've used in the past, why?

"I know alot of German producers and there's very few who can get it right. Only one in my opinion - Harris Johns - has the capability to produce and produce well. I like Harris' work alot, he's the best we've got over here, but we wanted a fresh approach and Randy was that fresh approach. He's better too I think. I don't want to put Harris down but Randy knows exactly how to put the feel of the band onto tape. In many ways he's like Roy Rowland, but he even surpasses him too."
"It's strange, we've had very good experiences with producers and very bad experiences with producers, but this time is definatly the best. This time we have alot more freedom. Randy works for us, not for himself and i think that's good. One of the best things about the new album is the drum sound, finally we have got that right and that's down to Randy."

Has it taken more time to get used to Randy's style?

"No, not really. Randy really knows about the music because he's a musician as well and that helps because it didnt take ages for him to get the feel of our material. He's a real heavy metal producer and the feeling is alot better. The feedback we got from Randy was so much better than we'd had in the past and his ideas were so positive that we knew he was right for this album."

How about promtion for the band now - where will that go?

"Well, at the moment it's all up in the air so to speak, but we'll definatly be pushing fora lot of promotion and we'll be touring all over the place. We will start in Europe, I think (since our conversationtwo UK dates have already been anounced for the Astoria in London on March 19th and 20th), then we'll try to play in some countries we haven't been to before, like Greece, Italy and Spain. Also our second management company, who also manage RAVEN, are trying to arrange dates in Japan and possibly Brazil, so we'll see. That would be fun for us because we love meeting new people. I think we would be one of the first really heavy bands to play Japan and that would be excellent."
"Our realationship with Noise is great, CBS were very intrested in distributing and promoting the band in the States, so we're very happy and I think they'll be really behind us in 1989 - it will be very busy for us."

You're still satisfied with Noise?

"Yes, a big lable is not for us. They don't how to promote metal or our music. Noise is ideal because they know how to handle our material - that's the best for us right now."

How about a video?

"Well, we had one for "Toxic Trace" that was played on MTV and it helped a little in the US. I like videos actually, but only if it captures the sound of the band well. We have an offer to do a second video in East Germany and I'm looking forward to that. We are still thinking about the concept for it, but if it's special enough, I think we'll do that as well. `Til then just the album."

And there I left Mille to go off and listen to the nights activities in the studio. KREATOR will keep us all guessing for a while but when the album's out watch yourselves, becuase the fire is still burning bright and KREATOR will still be up there thrashing with the best on the most extreme level.