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In Words: Kreator



- Mille - July 1995 - Claudia Ehrhardt -
- Mille - February 2000 - Claudia Ehrhardt -


www.kreator-terrorzone.de








Mille - Cologne (Germany), February, 6th 2000




On tour with Moonspell are German metaller Kreator. The former thrashers probably lost some fans with their latest release Endorama. So I took the chance to talk with Mille about the album, the tour and other stuff...


Your album is out for quite a while. I think, Endorama was for many people a kinda shock! Not for me, it's different and I like it, but I think many old Kreator fans probably have a problem with your latest release.

I talked to some of the old fans, but there are always two sides of everything. On one side there are the ones who wants us to do another album like Pleasure To Kill and others are happy with what we are doing. It's a conflicting situation. As soon as we become a band everyone loves, it would be boring.

You should do what you want and not what the fans may expect!

That's right, but not at all, coz the fans made the band big and so we should always do metal. But the kind of metal we do, shall be up to us. I think that as long we like what we're doing and as long as it's a musical challenge to do, to do metal and as long as we have fun, it's okay! You are right that it shall be fun for us, if it ain't the people won't believe us. We can't pretend to have fun without people notice that we are not really into it. There are other bands reproach us to become commercial, but if we wanted to be a commercial band, we would have released a true metal album! A true metal album is nowadays commercially successful and we didn't do that! Commercial... I hate this word, coz as soon as you sold one copy, you are commercial! The people who use this word, shall take a look into a dictionary to find out about the real meaning!

A while ago I talked with Johan Edlund of Tiamat and he said that he doesn't care about the amount of sold copies, he wants that people listen to his music and that it's okay for him if people burn themselves the CD! That's a statement the label hates, coz they need to make money to keep everything going and also Johan needs money for living...

I think that's.... I can't agree! I never let someone burn a CD for me and I'll never do it. As soon as I do that.... Okay, let me say it that way... It's a conflict. On one hand I'm totally against CD burning, but on the other hand I think that CDs are too expensive. I don't buy CDs anymore! I buy once a month a CD. I can't afford to support every newcomer band and spend about 20,- Euro for their CD. I don't want to be disappointed. I have to do a selection like everybody who buy CDs. I think the record companies have to find a way to make it possible to sell CDs for less money. CDs are a lot cheaper to produce than vinyl! In my opinion it's just a question of the profit margin. The want to make as much profit as possible and so the fans started burning CDs. Especially the CD sales of newcomer bands are going down and at the end these bands won't have the possibility to record an album which means that there won't be any newcomers one day! You should think about it carefully, if you let burn a CD... It's a conflicting situation! I think CDs shall be sold for about 10,- Euro! Then the CD burning thing would be going down again.

A few years ago there been the shops where you can rent CDs and listen to them at home. Sometimes I listened to a CD one time and bought it. Sometimes I taped the CD and listened a few times, afterwards I decided to buy the CD or taped something else. Personally I would burn a CD, if it's something I listen to probably once every 6 months, coz that is something I won't buy. If it's something I really like, I buy the album! As long as it is that way, I think it's okay. But many people burn everything and don't buy any CD. That's going too far! But that depends on the CD prices and the economical situation.

Right, but the economical situation isn't that worse! It's the CD price! CDs are too expensive, 20,- Euro is way too much! In the past you got 3 vinyl albums for the same amount of money. I think you remember that days... And it was more beautiful! And the artwork! Not such a tiny thing... I think it's unfair to take that much money for a CD!

Especially for the young fans who don't have that much money and these fans are important, coz otherwise the scene would get smaller and would probably die...

Right!

If the people can't afford to pay for a concert ticket and a CD, then there is something wrong! People want to see a band live and the bands want to play live, but that become more and more difficult these days.

I agree. That's a vicious circle! We have to see how it'll develop in future. It can get better or it's getting worse, we have to wait and see....

Your advantage is that you are established in the metal community and if it's going down, it won't hit you as hard as a newcomer band.

Right! Anyway, it's not good and as soon as it hurts the financial situation of a record company it'll do damage on the metal scene, too. Bands will be dropped or never get a chance.

An the other side I think that this genre became to big. In the 80's, when you started there were just a handful of bands and you were looking forward to get the new album of your favourite bands and to see them live. Today there are too many bands... It's impossible to know all the new acts and I think that you'll recognize at this tour that there are Moonspell fans who just new your name, coz they are not into the kind of music you've done in the past. Probably they get into the band with Endorama, but the differ sound of the new album, I guess, influences the old songs live...

We still sound very heavy, very hard and the new songs are harder live than on the album, but... I think people try to see a bigger difference as there is. Endorama is still a Kreator album and there are still the typical elements from the 80's which we used all the time. I don't want to see it as breaking free from our former style, it's more a modification of our sound.

Probably it's because the fans usually are not as open-minded as the bands...

That was always our problem. The fans had to expect strange things, surprises since we released Renewal. They didn't accept it, but why? Why don't they accept it? I know that the fans don't like this developing thing, but I see other bands, bands which aren't develop. Personally I get bored after a while, if a band doesn't develop. This conservative basic idea, I can't stand anymore! This wish to bring the old days back and the wish of a reunion of a band like VOTUM or VECTOR. These bands haven't been relevant in the 80's and they will never be these days.

These days everyone tries to do a reunion or re-releases the old albums with a bonus track...

That's bullshit, there is no need for! And that makes it even more complicated to survive these days. Today's society wants to consume everything and the industry offers more and more, but at the end the fan has to select and the scene will shrink. So the record companies who just release crap will be dying... You are into this scene for a longer period and you know that there been a lot of companies which doesn't exist anymore.

It's going in circles... There are the major companies and the ones of the midfield like GUN or Noise Records and the small independent once which come and go. Just a very few of these can exist for several years.

Right! It's not difficult to do an album, but to do a good one ain't easy. And many of these small labels release bands which don't have the musical substance to make it.

Back to touring... This time you're not the headliner. In the past you did headlining tours....

It's a double header!

I think so, too.

I don't care in which position we play. Some nights it was an advantage to be on stage early and not to headline. People have to catch the trains or have to leave early due to other reasons. When we toured with a package of 4 bands, I envied the band how played at third! This time we are this band and it's great!

I had the impression that you all get along pretty good and I think that makes it a lot easier...

Right. But I don't care which band play after us! The people who want to see us, will come anyway.

For some this might be a problem...

Never been for me!

Perhaps that changed during the years....

No, I never cared about. We did a tour with VOIVOD and at that tour we switched the headlining position every night. There were a tour with Morbid Angel where we played first, but that's not important for us. As long as we get the same space on stage and the same lights, etc...

As long as they treat you correctly and don't try to put you down.

Right! Same sound, same lights and that we can use our light effects which became a trademark for us, than it's okay! No problem!

That's cool! What are the plans for Kreator afterwards this tour?

Afterwards we'll go to Moscow and probably some festivals this summer. Then there probably will be the time to sign a new contract and record a new album.

So you take you time...

Absolutely!

You're no more in the situation to deliver an album each year.

I think it's not good to release an album every year, coz the quality won't be as high as it'll be when you take your time.

Do you see a difference in the reactions since fans use the internet? Because it's easier to write an email and much faster...

I see, I visit the different web pages and there I read what they think and what they think about our develop, etc. It's cool, it's more real.

I think the difference is that you easier write something then to fling it into a persons face.

Right! Internet is accessible for everyone, so...

Do you have an official homepage?

No, but there are enough fan pages.

So you don't want to change this?

Not now. We don't have the time to take care of and we haven't found someone we trust and who can do it.

Probably one of the fan pages will become official one day....

The fan pages are really good, they don't need our support! A few are killer! Probably we'll put their URLs at the coming album...

That's probably the best thing...


But we all have to wait and see... Kreator is a band which is part of the German metal scene and even if they take a time off and return at the end of the year or in 2001, it doesn't matter. Probably it'll be a surprise again, probably they stick to what they are doing now. Anyway, it's worth listening! Personally I like their new sound and I would welcome a developing in that direction, but probably they'll sound differ again. Expect the unexpected from Kreator!



Claudia Ehrhardt

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Mille Petrozza - live 1995
Claudia Ehrhardt


Mille (by phone) - July, 19th 1995




Kreator are a part of the German music scene for about 10 years now. The talk about their past is wasting time. I talked with Mille on the phone about the new album and the line-up changes.


After the release of Renewal we toured in Australia, Japan, America and Russia. When we were back we had problems with our former label. To change the label took about a year. At the time we solved our problem with the label we got problems in the line-up. Our drummer and bassist won't be able to develop. They couldn't fulfil our claims. We need to change. The new ones are drummer Joe Cangliosi and bassist Christian Giesseler. Beside all that stuff we played a few festivals and wrote new material.

How do you found the new band members? Was it a kind of 1. choice? Or just the best possibility?

It was our 1. choice. We knew that Joe lives in Germany for more than a year and that he wasn't in a band. Also he didn't was involved in any metal project. He was part of a jazz project. We knew Christian for a long time, 'cause he was rehearsing in the same building as we do. Yes, he was the one we wanted to be part of the band.

Was it a kind of luck?

I'll say "Yes, it was luck". This time we want to be sure that we have the right ones. We worked with Andreas Herz, but he had a different kind of view and didn't fit in the band that well. We don't want to repeat this.

Kreator are touring a lot. I think for this kind of band it's very important that the members are like a family and share the same attitude.

That's right. For us it's very important to have the right attitude and to live the music 24 hours a day.

You can hear the positive influence of the new members when you listen to the new album. It's obvious that your new drummer didn't just play metal.

That's what we wanted.

The new album is a huge step forward. For a German band Kreator are very successful in the international scene.

Yeah, many people heard about Kreator world-wide. From the beginning we tried to build up a fan community also outside Germany. We toured a lot.

Soon you started touring in Germany and the European countries.

That was very important for us, 'cause we think that our music fulfil the international standards. We won't limit ourselves and just play in Germany.

You not just playing in Europe, Japan or the U.S.A. You played in Russia and in South America for example.

Right, if there is demand we go to play in every country. We even play there if we didn't get our "normal" salary. Many bands have another kind of view. If countries like Israel or South America invite us, we are playing there for a lower salary as we get here in Germany, for example. It depends on the economical situation in that countries. Most couldn't effort to pay us our "normal" salary.

It's great that you did that for your fans.

I think that's important. We play for our fans. We're not keen to make a lot of money on the 3. World. It makes no sense. We try to equalise it in countries like Japan or the European ones. We don't want to lost money. That's important for us, we don't want pay to play. If our expenses are equalised we go to play Russia or Brazil.

It must be a different experience. The fans there appreciate it more that you are touring. Especially in Germany are so many concerts, it's nothing special.

That's right. Russia is not one of the countries everyone plays. There ain't concerts every week. Imagine, in Germany I can go to concerts 3-4 times a week and in Russia there is a concert every 4 months perhaps. Especially in the hard edge metal the fans are very enthusiastic. The fan support is very good. It's a very good for us.

I think it's a kind of equalisation that you didn't make much money, but make a special experience.

Exactly, we thin it's a special experience to play there. We can get a grip of the different culture. If I won't play in a band, I won't have the chance to go to all of the countries we already played. It's important to develop. I can't imagine to go to all these countries without the band. I couldn't effort to pay it.

These experiences are influencing the song writing, the lyrics. It's a different surrounding. The influences of the different cultures even change yourself.

You get another point of view. I think especially for Kreator it's important to involve the influences of other cultures. The lyrics are very important for the band. It would be to easy to talk only about the social mismanagement in Germany, 'cause it ain't as worse as in the 3. World.

It's been talked a lot about the social mismanagement in Germany.

Music should get you away from the bad side of life for a little while. Music should be entertainment. We want that the lyrics show a little bit of our surrounding. Not the way that everything is bad, drink, take drugs and didn't care about. The essence of the lyrics from Cause Of Conflictis: Try to make the best of all the shit!

Not just say this is worse, try to change it for yourself. Do the first step into a better world.

Right, it's wasting time to moan about all the shit. No future is past, we have to believe in out future. It's time to take the initiative for oneself. Try to change things in your surrounding. It's unrealistic to think that one person could change the world, but everyone could try to make it easier to live together in your own neighbourhood.

In Germany the people love to moan about everything. In other countries the people don't have as good circumstances as we have in Germany, but they don't lament that much.

Yes, I think it depends on living in a affluent society. We are spoiled. Sure, not everything is fantastic, we shouldn't play it down.

Right.

At the moment everything is okay, especially in the social area. But in a few months the government will extremely save money in the social benefit. We don't play that down. A lot of what happen in Germany I hate. On the other hand we are living a more or less good and save surrounding. You learn to appreciate that when you have seen other cultures.

In Brazil many people live in Favellas. The people seems to be satisfied by the way they are living. I think they accept that they couldn't change a lot. they don't lament, try to make the best out of their situation.

Right. Here it depends on the comfort of the people. The people are lazy, watching TV all day, the media make them drunk in a different kind of way. My opinion is that many people think that it's not their business. They just want their comfort, the rest ain't interesting. This kind of thinking didn't exist in the 3. World. The people help each other, try to make it better for their group. In the last couple of years the attitude against the socially weak ones changed. The people didn't care that much about.

It's a lot of egoism.

The capitalism conquers the society. Germany is admire the United States. I don't know why? In my opinion many things are wrong in the U.S.A. Fighting against everyone is a part of the American society. People who accept a system that easily are very superficial. That's what makes the U.S.A. fail. The people are no longer able to help themselves.

Nevertheless the world see the United States as a world power.

I don't see it that way. If you are talking with people about that many thinking about the system. There are two groups, one is extremely poor and the other is extremely rich. The middle class ain't as huge as in Germany. It's the same with the education. On half is very interested in what happen in the world, the other half didn't care about. There been people who ask me if Germany is communistic. That shows the information standard. The dictation of the media is stronger than in Germany. We are in the beginning. In the States the TV has the power about the people. Even in Germany the privatising of the TV station starts the media power.

The TV stations just want to entertain, not to inform the people.

The people are no longer interested in informations. You can get a clue of this through the extremely high market shares of RTL and Sat 1 which they get with superficial entertainment.

Back to the cause of this interview. Why do you chose Lost as the first single?

The song is very representativ for the album, 'cause it works with different emotions. The beginning is very hard, the middle part is more melodic. Even the lyrics have a strong message. It's about the media, about the information overkill. The information overkill make the people uncritical in the end.

Is it the most important song for you? Was it important to give this message to the people?

Definitely yes. I always try to involve positive experiences in the lyrics. There is not place for mystic in any case. The real meaning of life is getting lost. It's getting more superficial. Do you take a look at the private TV stations after midnight?

Yes, but now I don't turn on the private TV after midnight.

It's just consumption, very superficial.

It seems to be the way the German society chose.

That's a mess.

The question is if we are really should be glad about living in Germany any longer?

It's difficult, but everyone should try to keep your own identity. Follow your own believe. Stop following every trend. If you try to live that you'll have a chance to live in Germany without giving up yourself.

I know that Kreator always been a band which try to get in touch with their fans. Do you think the fans understand your message?

Most of the people changed. When we began making music it was just having party. The people just want the music and drinking. It changed for the good. Today the people are able to understand the situation, they become more critical.

Not just consume music?

Not only consuming. Sure, MTV and VIVA have a big influence on the kids. Luckily the not just accept everything they see.

Even if the trends come from the U.S.A., e.g. the Seattle-scene or the hard-core.

That's dictated by the music industry. If you don't follow the trend you are not cool. That is one thing which changed, accept every trend. A few years ago the fans went into the record stores, listen to the albums and than chose what they buy.

In that days you could also buy records of unknown bands. Today you can just buy the known ones or the ones the industry wants to make big.

The willing to accept things has become bigger. Especially through the influence of the TV. Today the kids just watch TV or playing computer games. That's the result of the media overkill. I see the difference, 'cause I have younger brothers and sisters. I see how many time they spend watching TV. I know that I haven't spend that much time watching TV when I was their age.

I think it was easier for a young band in that days. The competition between the record labels hadn't been as strong as today.

Nowadays the bands don't really get a chance. If you won't play the right music at the right time they ignore you. Today it's cool to be out of Brooklyn and it's even harder to get attention if you aren't from Brooklyn.

At the moment the industry hype the punk. The record companies release more and more punk albums. In about 6 months nobody wants to listen to punk any more.

That's very dangerous. It will shrink to a normal size. We live in Essen and rehearse in a culture centre. We have seen the developing of the scene. Punk has always been there. At the moment the media spend more attention to the punk scene. Bands like Green Day or Offspring are existing for a long time. But nobody knows about! MTV makes it cool to listen to this kind of bands. If it will be still cool in 2 years, no one knows. The people who are really into this kind of music will support "their" bands for all time. Only the ones who jumped on the bandwagon will get away from this music. That's what makes it dangerous, nowadays the people just consuming the music. I have to confess that it's not that extreme in the metal scene. The metal fans accept bands which don't follow the actual trends. Bands like Manowar are still successful. Even if they will have their fans if they change their musical direction.

I was at the Summer-Metal-Meetings. Most of the bands which played there been part of the music scene for about 10 years. At this festivals you could see fans which you haven't seen for many years. This fans returned with "their" bands Grave Digger and even running wild.

The ones who go to that kind of concerts are the same who think metal is against every trend. These people think that metal has nothing to do with rap or hardcore. It's a like a private party. Crossover worked out for a few bands successfully, but I think it has nothing to do with metal.

You will play live in Europe, Japan or America. Will you play in other untypical countries?

We hope that we get the chance, but it depends on the offers we get.


Nothing left to say. The tour will be successful. Kreator will keep their own high standards and entertain us with their powerful show. In Europe they tour with 3 other bands, everyone should be seen. this is value for money. And surely they will play Russia if they get an invitation. So bombard their record company and the national concert agencies. You, their fans, have the power to bring them to your home country!



Claudia Ehrhardt

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