Metalliluola's Ville Krannila recently conducted an interview with guitarist/vocalist Mille Petrozza and lead guitarist Sami Yli-Sirniö of German/Finnish thrash titans KREATOR. You can listen to the full chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the band's new "Gods Of Violence" album:
Mille: "Not all the songs are like the title track [which is fast]. There is a very large variety of music on the new record. There's soft bits, there's sad bits. [Laughs] But there's also a lot of brutal bits, and some very melodic, some very nice stuff. A lot of lead guitars, even a harp and a bagpipe; you get to hear that. There's definitely some surprises for some people."
Sami: "Especially the song 'Totalitarian Terror'. There's going to be a video because it's a combination. It's furious, it's angry, it's thrash, and there's some really melodic parts. We have an interesting combination."
Mille: "That was our plan, if there was one. We wanted to continue the path of where we left off with 'Phantom Antichrist', but give it a new twist, and come up with something that's even more exciting, or exciting again."
On if there is an underlying theme throughout "Gods Of Violence":
Mille: "No. That was an idea at first, to make this a concept album, but it felt forced. It didn't feel natural to come up with a concept album. Concept albums, there's certain concept albums where there's moments that are, even on the best concept albums, maybe not with 'The Wall' by PINK FLOYD, but a couple of concepts albums, there are moments that are funny, cheesy, then all the sudden 'Mary Jane walked through the…' What's that?"
Sami: "QUEENSRŸCHE's 'Operation: Mindcrime'."
Mille: "That was also a good concept album. If you do a concept album, we have to find the cool way on how to connect the songs. It has to have a certain storyline… It felt like a limitation in my creativity rather than adding something."
On whether 2001's "Violent Revolution" could be considered KREATOR's "rebirth":
Mille: "That was the kick-off, and also the moment when Sami joined. We haven't changed the lineup since. That tells a lot. We got to a point where we're a good team. I guess 'Violent Revolution' was the kick-off."
Sami: "With every album, there is a progression. If you compared 'Endless Pain' with the new one, there is quite a progression. I'm not saying it's worse or better…"
Mille: "Some people will go ''Endless Pain' is better!' [Laughs] It's hard when you have 14 albums to reinvent. You have to always think 'This is the first album.' You have to reinvent and rethink, not overthink stuff, but really try to give your best every time you put out an album."
On how KREATOR weathered the '90s:
Mille: "It wasn't only a difficult time for metal, but also an exciting time. It seemed like there were no rules. We were developing as artists, as musicians. It was difficult because we had lineup problems, and I think if Sami would have joined in the middle of the '90s, maybe the progression would have been earlier. We would have maybe come up with something completely different. Then again, you never know. We were all busy. He was playing in other bands, I was busy keeping the lineup together, fighting record companies. I was really happy when the '90s were over and we got the new deal with SPV and Sami in the band, and some good tours. From then onward, we just kept it like that."
On if KREATOR will tour with their German thrash contemporaries DESTRUCTION and SODOM again:
Mille: "To give a real answer to your question, it's about scheduling. We would like to play some shows with these other two German bands, but it's not our focus."
On if the band will ever play their classic "Endless Pain" or "Terrible Certainty" albums in full live:
Mille: "There are no plans to do that. I was talking about this… I don't think, Sami, would it be interesting for you to play a setlist with only songs up to 'Coma Of Souls'? This is an official question."
Sami: "Maybe not. Not now. Now, I'm looking forward to playing the new stuff."
Mille: "There's always these questions, and they come up a lot. We can see this happening, but there's no time. We don't overdo things and if we want to focus on the tour for the new album now, when are we going to do a classic tour? Why would we do it? [Laughs]"
Sami: "It would eat time from the next album."
Mille: "I remember when we were on tour with EXODUS in Japan. All of the sudden they played the whole 'Bonded By Blood' album. It was good, but then on the other hand, I was like, 'Okay… it's long.' This is thrash metal. I don't see the reason why. There's also, and I've said it before too, there's also a reason why certain songs never made it into the playlist back in the day. On 'Pleasure To Kill', there are a couple of songs we never played live for a reason. If we try it now, maybe it would be amazing, but maybe it would also suck."
"Gods Of Violence" was released on January 27 via Nuclear Blast.
North American cover (by Marcelo Vasco):
International cover (by Jan Meininghaus):