Hot off the heels of spending the past couple of months on the European tour circuit, legendary German Thrash quartet Kreator are set to reign chaos over Australian shores once more. Supporting their critically acclaimed 2017 release Gods of Violence, the Teutonic lords of shred are still breaking into new ground on their latest venture to the Southern Hemisphere says frontman Mille Petrozza.
“We’ve got some spots in the world which we haven’t played yet, and Auckland is one of them. We’re looking forward to this, it’s a premiere. Today we’re in Singapore which is also a first time.” When asked about crossing the ditch to return to Australia, Petrozza likened it to a working holiday:
“For us it’s the other end of the world, and the last time we toured Australia was in 2014 so it’s always an exciting and exotic trip for us because it’s so far away.” Petrozza continued, comparing recent Australian tours to the band’s debut Down Under in the 90s, “When we first came here in 1993, it was just Kreator playing with local bands. A lot has changed since then. The equipment is a lot better now, so we can reproduce the sounds 100% to what we have in Europe. Everything is a lot more professional and organised, and we work with a great crew and agency when we’re in Australia. The whole Metal scene is a lot more organised nowadays”.
When asked about how Australian crowds have treated them over the years, Petrozza had nothing but fond memories to look back on, stating, “Australia is a Metal country. I’ve never been disappointed no matter where we play. The audience is always so into it and I’m enjoying every city I go to.” He’s no stranger to the Australian Thrash scene either. “Of course we know bands like Mortal Sin, Slaughterlord and Hobb’s Angel of Death. They all came out to our shows in the early days. When I find out who we’re playing with I listen to the stuff and it’s great. I get to the venue an hour early so I have time to check out the locals, which is a great and exciting thing for me. People bring shirts of the local bands to the meet and greets too so I’m definitely aware of the scene here.”
Moving away from the live scene to chat about their latest studio release Gods of Violence, we touched on how having a positive critical reception isn’t the only thing the band wants to get out of their albums. “The album has been received really well across the world which is really nice. Most of the critics had really nice things to say about the album. But that would all be worthless if the fans didn’t get it. The fans really dig the new songs though, and a really great sign of that is when we put the new songs in a live situation, they don’t feel like new songs in the set if you know what I mean? It feels the same as playing old stuff. The people know these songs by heart already and that’s a great sign so they must like the record.”
Fans have a lot to look forward to when it comes to the band’s upcoming live set, with Petrozza stating, “We’re playing some of those new songs and I’m looking forward to that. Of course you get the full treatment, you get anything from Endless Pain up to Gods of Violence, the whole Kreator catalogue will be featured in the set.” He also touched on the how the band puts together their live set, saying, “With headlining shows we can’t make everybody happy because there’s always the odd people who will always say ‘Why didn’t they play that song?’ but we absolutely try to feature the whole back catalogue. We love playing the title track off the new album, ‘Satan is Real’ of course and ‘Fallen Brother.’ All of the songs we play live are our favourites.”
Petrozza was also eager to talk about the gear he’s using at the moment. The king of European Thrash swapped over to ESP guitars mid-2016 and had nothing but praise for his new endorsers. “The guitars are great man. We work very close with ESP at the moment. If something goes wrong or I need a guitar on the other end of the world they’re very supportive, and the guitars are just amazing.” He then went on to talk about the importance of having reliable gear when on the road, stating, “You can’t go on stage with a guitar that goes out of tune after you hit the first chord. My signature model is holding up really great, it stays in tune and never lets me down which is very important, especially for touring bands. I’m very Metal, and that’s the bottom line (laughs). The people that are working with me at ESP know how to work Metal guitars, and that’s a plus. You don’t have to explain yourself or explain how a Metal guitar should sound or feel.”
He also touched on the band using Kemper units in their live rig. “They give us the possibility to have the same sound all over the world, it’s the same everywhere which is the real deal. There’s this philosophical question about using tubes or digital, and I was always the guy who was like “No, I need tubes,” for a long time, but Kempers are so advanced that I don’t miss the tube sound at all. It’s just a fucking amazing sound man, so right in your face.” Petrozza then praised the ability to have a consistent sound all over the world, stating, “In the past we always had to rely the local amps at venues. Whatever Marshall or Mesa Boogie head was available, and sometimes the tubes would be all run down so the sound wasn’t always the same. That problem doesn’t exist for us anymore and we’re happy for that.”
Switching over to how the band has always maintained an energetic live show, Petrozza highlighted how the band taking care of themselves on the road is the key. “It’s essential to eat well on the road and I’m very picky with food.” When the topic of partying came up, Petrozza admitted that these days he’s settled down, stating, “I’m fine with water mostly. Not a big drinker aside from a glass of wine sometimes. On the road I try to take it easy. What most people don’t realise is that after the show, I’ll get back to the hotel at one in the morning, and then have to be in the lobby to catch a flight at six or seven o’clock, so there’s no partying for me. Although there are exceptions for the rule,” he said with a hint of mischief.
Petrozza had a few final remarks about about the band’s upcoming Australian tour, showing his excitement to play in front of an Aussie crowd again. “You guys are lucky. Every city goes so hard. The audience is always so into it and I can’t wait to come back.”
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