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Mille Petrozza (Kreator): Phantom Antichrist, a hidden menace

Mille Petrozza (Kreator): Phantom Antichrist, a hidden menace
BANDS : Kreator

Kreator will perform on July 6, 2012 for the fifth time in Romania. We take this opportunity and talked with Miland "Mille" Petrozza, the group leader, about the concert in Romania, football, politics and ultimately not about Phantom Antichrist, the new album. More in the rows as follows:

Metalfan: Hello Mille and welcome to Metalfan!
Miland "Mille" Petrozza: Hello, nice to be here!
Metalfan: This year Kreator will play for the fifth time here in Romania. Do you start to feel a little bit Romanian? What do you expect from this show? What should people expect from you?
Miland "Mille" Petrozza: A bit Romanian? I guess so, hahaha. I think it’s gonna be a great show, we’ve always had good shows in Romania. I think it’s going to be amazing. We’re gonna bring some new songs and we will bring some favourites [of the public – editor’s note], so nobody will go home unhappy that we didn’t play one song or another. It’s gonna be great, it’s going to be a great night.
Metalfan: Have you had any chance to taste the local food or some of the local drinks during your previous visits here?
Miland "Mille" Petrozza: Yes, I’ve been there so many times, so I tried some. As you know, I don’t eat any meat, but I know that the Romanian kitchen uses a lot of vegetables and greens so I really liked that and I really appreciated the fact that it’s like that. 
Metalfan: Back to music, then. What kind of songs will you include in the playlists this time? I know it will be a mix, but will you favour the songs from the ‘80’s or the more recent ones?
Miland "Mille" Petrozza: It’s gonna be everything: from the ‘80’s through the ‘90’s and 2000’s, you know... It’s going to be a “best of” show – like The Best Of Kreator – both with the older stuff and the newer stuff.  Don’t worry, it’s going to be a good setup. 
Metalfan: On the 1st of June this year you released something that we, the editorial stuff, saw as a very good album – Phantom Antichrist. Could you tell us more about the title of the album, the meaning of it? Not the actual meaning in English, but its significance, haha.
Miland "Mille" Petrozza: It’s a metaphor for mass-media manipulation. Phantom Antichrist stands for something that’s up there, like a hidden menace, something that puts fear into people, something that controls people.
Metalfan: So you are basically saying that the system regularly comes up with menaces that don’t exist just to keep people under control?
Miland "Mille" Petrozza: Maybe not that drastic, I would say that some of those things might exist and they might explode; there might be wars, there might be something, but sometimes they make it more dramatic than it really is, so... Yes, there’s a lots of things that governments come up with to keep people in control – literally. 

Metalfan:  We’ve seen the nice chart positions for you album and we think they are well deserved. Do you think metal music is reviving and this somehow may help metal albums go higher in charts?
Miland "Mille" Petrozza: I don’t know about other metal bands, I don’t follow the charts that much, you know... I think we are just happy that so many fans are really supporting the band and they are actually buying the album, not only download it on the internet. Yeah... it’s not like metal in general goes up in the charts, it’s about certain bands, I think. Like I said, we are fortunate to have such a huge fan base that is very supportive.

Metalfan: It’s interesting that you don’t follow the charts, but I would expect big bands to have someone following the charts for them. If you don’t do it personally, do you have someone else – friends or people in the music industry – following them and coming to you saying...
Miland "Mille" Petrozza: Yes, we have, but that’s THEIR job. My job is to be a musician, you know... Of course they send me the results, they send me great news like “We are top 5 in Germany” or “We are in the charts in USA” and in many many other countries in Europe. But if our fans wouldn’t like the album then it wouldn’t be really worth it. To me it’s important that the fans are happy – more than anything, so more important than charts positions.
Metalfan: Let’s talk a bit about the recording process of your latest album. What kind of equipments did you use? 
Mille: We used many many old fashioned, vintage amplifiers and pre-amps. And of course we used the newest technology possible as well. So we made a nice mix between the vintage stuff and high quality new tools.
Metalfan: We’ve seen along the years two approaches on this subject: bands who try to sound live as clean and flawless as in the studio and bands who try to replicate their live sound in the studio. What school of thought do you belong to, haha?
Miland "Mille" Petrozza: Hmm... Whatever... I just say “be the best you can be”, no matter if you are in a live situation or in the studio. You have to always give 150 percent – that’s my opinion. There no such thing as going one way or the other, I think. To me the main thing is to get the best possible, both live and in the studio.
Metalfan: Have you had any special experiences during the recording process, or do you have some tips to share, something important that you’ve learned? Anything that was different about this session...
Miland "Mille" Petrozza: It wasn’t much different from any other recording session, to be honest. I think we were trying to be... actually, we were trying to make the best album, that’s all. There wasn’t anything so different. If anything, we were very much a band, you know and this meant a lot for the album... The only thing different was that we worked with a new producer and that was a great experience, it was a great new experience for us. So more of the same, but more focused.

Metalfan: We tend to hear this a lot when talking to the bands. It’s something that reminds me of a football team. You hear a lot football players saying: “We have a new coach, and we feel different, it’s great, we really needed a change!”. Is this the case with metal bands and the producers? Do you, from time to time, feel the need to change a point of view?
Miland "Mille" Petrozza: Definitely, definitely. It’s always good to bring in new blood, new fresh ears, it really helps to have a new producer coming at the end into the picture and giving us a new prospective on things.
Metalfan: Have you ever had such a good relationship with a producer, that you thought (for yourself, not necessarily out loud): “Wow, I would like to work with this guy for the next ten albums!”? Or you are constantly keen on changing?
Miland "Mille" Petrozza: I’m living in the here-and-now, and now, when we were recording the album we all felt very positive to work with Jens (Bogren – editor’s note) and we would definitely want to work with him again. I don’t know if we want to work with him for ten albums, because if you look at all our albums you won’t see the same producer more than two or three times. So I don’t think we’ll work with Jens for ten albums, but maybe for the next album...
Metalfan: I think any producer is grateful to hear you say “we’d like to work with him for one more album”, I think this is the maximum they can get, right? The top compliment, hahaha...
Miland "Mille" Petrozza: Hahahaha, exactly.   
Metalfan: Do you see yourself as a demanding person?
Miland "Mille" Petrozza: Uh... Yes. When it comes to the music and the band, when it comes to Kreator – yes. It’s either all or mothing. To me it’s like... When you are in a band, be in that band and be the best band. And whatever you want to be: if you are a photographer, be the best photographer there is, if you want to be a lawyer, be the best lawyer there is – always give 150 percent. All or nothing.
Metalfan: Usually the very demanding people have also a soft spot, have moments where they relax and let go. What is your soft spot? Where and when you become relaxed, loose and you tend to forgive a lot, hahaha?
Miland "Mille" Petrozza: I think it’s when it comes to... Well, once the songs are done, once they are ready, the musicians can do whatever they want – if they have ideas, then they can contribute. But before the songs are done, I’m very demanding, I want to make it a better song, make it heavier, make it more exciting, make it more vicious, make it more violent. But once the song is done, I’m happy, I let loose. 
Metalfan: That’s good, it’s an encouragement for musicians that will want to work with you in the future. They now know that there is a cartain moment when they can do whatever they want, haha.
Miland "Mille" Petrozza: Any way, that’s how it should be, no?
Metalfan: We here at Metalfan think there are bands that become better and better over the years. Kreator, Anthrax and Overkill are some examples that come to mind. How do you explain this, apart from the obvious accumulation of experience?
Miland "Mille" Petrozza: Thanks for the compliment, haha. I think it’s about believing in what you do and I really believe, as I said earlier on, that if you have a band, try to be the best band you could be and that’s what I do, you know... When I write music, I wanna write the best song possible. I sit down and I think to myself: “What can I do now? What can I do to keep this band going, keep this band interesting and convince people that never heard about Kreator with this song?”. I think this is what you should have in the back of your mind when you start writing music. Don’t just write another song to go back on tour, but to be the best band you cand be, and follow your heart...
Metalfan: Do you have time to listen to some other bands as well?
Miland "Mille" Petrozza: Yes, of course.
Metalfan: What are the things that you liked from the releases of this year, for instance?
Miland "Mille" Petrozza: This year I only heard the new OFF! Record - a punk band from Los Angeles - that I liked. Other than that, coming to metal, I haven’t heard any great releases, to be honest. Nothing that really really blew my mind. Not yet, at least, I hope there will be something.
Metalfan: We like that band too. One of my colleagues had an interview with the ex-Black Flag guy, it was a great article and funny as hell. 
Miland "Mille" Petrozza: Oh, yeah? Great!
Metalfan: Yes, I didn’t listen to the whole album yet, but - once you recommended it - it becomes a must, haha.
Miland "Mille" Petrozza: Yeas, you should check it out. It’s very old school, very punk rock, very hardcore. It’s nice music, it’s very cool. You’ll like it. 
Metalfan: Talking about metal bands, is there a band that doesn’t exist anymore and you regret it?
Miland "Mille" Petrozza: I think when bands split up they split for a reason. I was a really big fan of System Of A Down, but I think they split up at the right moment, when they got a lot less exciting, you could tell even before they split that they weren’t there with their hearts, they had also started solo projects... I would really miss Judas Priest, I heard they want to split up or something... I don’t always trust what I hear, but if that happens it is going to be really really sad. And if Iron Maiden one day will split up I will miss them as well. But they still go on, so let’s not worry about it, haha.
Metalfan:  Yes, you miss them in anticipation, haha. As this is our first interview, we will go a bit beyond music. 
Miland "Mille" Petrozza: Ok.
Metalfan: Do you follow the political scene these days or do you try to stay away from it?
Miland "Mille" Petrozza: I try to stay away from it. Of course I follow it – kind of – in the sense that I like to be informed about what they try to do, but...
Metalfan: No strong opinions, right?
Miland "Mille" Petrozza: I used to be very radical with my opinions but I have learned that all politicians are liars –  Lemmy from Motorhead said that one and I totally agree with him.
Metalfan: Were you a leftist or a rightist when you were younger?
Miland "Mille" Petrozza: I’m definitely leftist, but not extremely leftist, you know... I like extremes in music, but not in politics. 
Metalfan: Are you a moderate socialist, then?
Miland "Mille" Petrozza: No, not a socialist... It’s too complicated to go to one side of things, you know... Politics is too complicated If you say I’m a socialist, people might think I support the regime that we had until the beginning of 1990 in a part of Germany.

Metalfan: Probably “social-democrat” is a better term...
Miland "Mille" Petrozza: Yes, maybe social-democrat, in a way; but not really. I mean, there’s no such thing as a perfect political system yet. The lesser of two evils would be social democracy, of course, but then again, it doesn’t work perfectly either. So it has to be something else in the future, maybe, but I think we’re definitely not there yet. There has to be something more than left or right, you know what I mean?
Metalfan: I was curious about something that’s related to politics, but not only... Did you have a very intense emotional experience at the fall of the Berlin wall? Where were you back then, what were you doing?
Miland "Mille" Petrozza: We were on tour when that happened and we came back and we had an offer to play in East Berlin. That was amazing, that was great, you know... So it is an experience related to politics in a good way. Finally we had the opportunity to play for our fans in that part of Germany; until then, it was basically the same country, but we weren’t allowed to play for them. And when the wall came down it was the beginning of a new era for Germany, and that was something very powerful. The concert that we had then was the best concert ever. 
Metalfan: I think we felt it throughout Europe. Even here in Romania, which was quite far away and not that well connected in terms of information back then, people felt that Germany had a huge momentum, an extremely good vibe. Has some of that great momentum faded away?
Miland "Mille" Petrozza: No, no, it’s still here. Germany, of course, like any other country, is not a perfect country. But many of the people living here have opened up and have kept that vibe that vibe that we were talking about for years. For me it’s great to be a part of this, it’s nice, even though I’m not a nationalist – I could have been born in Romania as well. It doesn’t matter where you were born, wherever you are happy and wherever your friends are, that’s where your home is. I’m not the kind of guy who holds a national pride, if you know what I mean, but Germany is an ok country. 
Metalfan: Somewhat related to the national pride: are you interested in football?
Miland "Mille" Petrozza: I’m half Italian, I’m a big fan of that Balluccini guy or whatever [probably Ballotelli – editor’s note], so when Italy beat Germany, I became a fan of Italy, hahaha. Even though I’m not a very big fan of football, I watched the match. 
Metalfan: Hahaha, I myself (apart from Romania) support Germany since ‘86, which makes me a minoritarian is this Latin teams-oriented country.
Miland "Mille" Petrozza: They are a great team, but yesterday [the day of the Italy Germany match – editor’s note] they weren’t good enough.
Metalfan: Well, maybe you ought to know that in the Italian team there’s a guy just like you. His name is Monteoliva – Italian father, but German mother. And he still keeps in touch a lot with his grandparents in Germany, so you were not the only one with mixed feelings about that match, haha.
Miland "Mille" Petrozza: Oh, really?? Alright, then...
Metalfan:  Our time is almost up. A custom here at Metalfan is to let the guest have a final word. Do you want to send a message to your fans in Romania or add anything else?
Miland "Mille" Petrozza: I want to thank all our fans in Romania for their great support. The first time when we went to Romania was in ’95, almost 20 years ago – well 17, actually, haha – and I’m grateful for all the support that we had throughout this years and I’m very happy to come back.
Autor: Tzugu, H.
Vezi galeriile trupelor: Kreator

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