German thrash metal band Kreator are back in Australia for another tour to celebrate the release of their fourteenth album Gods Of Violence and coming along for the ride is Vader which promises to be an awesome double bill. Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles spoke to principal song writer Mille Petrozza about the album an tour.

Awesome news that Kreator are coming back to Australia with Vader?
Yeah, I’m looking forward to it, it’s going to be good! Bringing Vader along will be really good as well, it will be a nice package. I really like the guys from Vader.

How far back does the relationship go back with those guys?
We’ve toured with them many times before, I think at least three times, twice in America and once in Europe. Yeah, we’re friends!

How is the world tour going so far?
Over in Europe it has been going really well, before that America and now we’re right in the middle of playing festivals and it has been a whole heap of fun. The new album has gone down well in the live situation and that’s how I measure the success of an album not necessarily record sales but whether or not people like the new stuff and how the new songs work in the set list next to the old stuff.

Do you prefer playing festivals or your own club shows?
I think both man! I just love playing, it really doesn’t matter where!

With fourteen albums under your belt is it getting harder to work out a set list that does justice to the Kreator discography and also keeps the fans happy?
It never has been easy, the thing is when you have fourteen albums there’s at least three or four fan favourites and band favourites. It is hard to pick and now we are at a point where we try and cover everything off of almost every album. I think we should be ok.

Are there certain songs you just know that you can’t leave out?
Yep, there are!

Have you been happy with how Gods Of Violence has been received?
Oh yeah, it feels like the most successful album that Kreator have done so far but like I said to me what matters to me more is fans enjoying the new music. It is one thing to have a great buzz and promotion for it but if the songs don’t work then you have a problem. We’re happy that both have worked out pretty well.

Is it even more pleasing that the old fans are happy as well?
Definitely, it is hard for us because when you’re in a band you don’t want to please people, you want to please yourself first. To be honest if I am not happy with my music then no one else will be happy because they will feel that it is fake. If would say something it would not work and to us it is essential that we come up with something that we are one hundred percent happy with something to be convincing.

Was there a lot of heated debate and discussion amongst the band when working on these songs?
No, no we’re pretty much all on one level and I am the main songwriter. Basically, I come in with the songs and everyone enjoys what I do. They give their opinion and go add their part to it.

Is it frustrating when there is always that comparison to what you were doing in the beginning when clearly Kreator have evolved as a band?
I think that is a natural thing, a problem starts when people don’t talk about it. There will always be that debate that I like the old stuff better than the new stuff and that’s fine with me. At least they still like the band.

Do you notice that generational shift with your fan base now with parents bringing their kids to shows now?
When you’re a heavy metal band that has been around for so long it is just natural. When I see that it is definitely touching and the good thing is that the old guys still come to shows and the younger kids get in to it. Going to a Kreator show there is a good mix of all sorts of people and metal fans are very loyal. Once you’re a metal head you’re never anything else and will always have a soft spot that type of music even if you get in to different music along the way they would always come back. It is great to see that.

Thirty years as a band, what is the secret to longevity?
You got to be in to it and be passionate about music… that is the key. If you hate what you are doing you might as well do something else.

Do you feel just as energised now compared to when you first started out?
Even more! I’m a lot stronger now than when I was a kid. When I was a kid there was too much distraction and you start out seeing all these possibilities. Then there’s all these things around you, people hand you all kinds of drugs and alcohol so when you’re young you just go for it. Nowadays, truly I don’t do any of that stuff and I’m more focused, more clearer and have a clearer vision of what I want. Now, I don’t think you take things for granted and that’s what it is. I don’t really look back a lot but when I do it is just amazing. When I started this band I was like thirteen years old and now I’m in my forties and still here!

Interview by Rob Lyon

Be sure to catch Kreator on the following dates…

Kreator Tour Poster