Kreator: 'If You're a Thrash Band That Tries to Write Radio Songs, You Have a Problem'

Frontman Mille Petrozza responds to Dave Mustaine's comments: "People don't want to hear radio songs with thrash metal sounds."

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While discussing the band's latest live release "Dying Alive," Kreator frontman Mille Petrozza reached the subject of thrash metal's essence after being asked to comment on one of Dave Mustaine's recent statements. Megadeth frontman's specific comment was that "there is a certain pushback from the heavy metal and thrash community when you start getting too melodic." As Petrozza told Brave Words, it all depends on the specific song. "I mean, if you write mediocre songs, if you write only mid-tempo songs like radio songs, then of course people will push you back - they don't want to hear it because this music is more than that," Mille explained. "They don't want to hear radio songs with thrash metal sounds - people want to hear thrash metal.

"They want to hear the energy, they want to hear the excitement, they want to hear a song that goes from 90 bpm to 150 bpm, tempo changes, twin solos, heavy riffs, stuff that touches people, and of course, if you are a thrash metal band that tries to write radio songs, you have a problem," he concluded. Petrozza also discussed the common claim of metal music keeping its fans young. Although he basically couldn't agree more, the frontman also stressed it's impossible to stick to each of the old habits. "60 is the new 40 and 40 is the new 20. [laughs] But you have to take care of yourself - you can't abuse your body as much as you used to anymore, that's in a physical sense," he said. "Psychologically of course we all age, there’s no alternative to it.

"If you don’t want to get old the only alternative would be to die. For me, I think getting older is a positive thing. I'm more aware of things, I'm more open, I see a lot more than I used to and I've filtered out the things that are important to me and really work on things harder than ever." As the latest Kreator studio effort, "Phantom Antichrist" dropped in June 2012 via Nuclear Blast Records, landing at No. 130 on the Billboard 200 chart with around 4,000 units shipped in the US within the first week.

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    Krieger91
    I actually nearly read that as "gonna have a bad time"
    CoolMcAwesome
    Any thrash metal band that attempts a french fry, when in fact they should have pizza'd, they're gonna have a bad time!
    Abacus11
    [deleted]
    Abacus11 · Sep 24, 2013 06:31 PM
    Zan595
    Or people can just start writing whatever they want, however they want to, and stop labeling themselves with things like "Thrash, Djent, _____-core, ect". It's annoying, and 8 billion bands all end up sounding the same because they're writing their music to fit in with a certain crowd.
    l0ld4v3
    So you're saying Nuclear Assault, Kreator, Destruction and Sodom "end up sounding the same"? LOL. Every musicians writes music to fit in with a certain crowd, their fans.
    Zan595
    First off, the pretentious "LOL" in there just makes you come off like you think your opinion is the only one worth while. And, despite if you think those bands don't sound the same, if a metric ton of bands all approach every song they write with "IT'LL BE FAST AND FOLLOW EVERY RULE THRASH SET FOR ME", things will get stale.
    Absurder22
    LOL, no it doesn't. It means what you said is simple enough to make one lol. Plenty of people can stick to a specific style and do good things with it, and labels are more helpful if anything for figuring out a sound. The point is writting radio songs tends to imply even less creative freedom, hence why the word radio is synonymous with "watered down, uncreative and fits the simplified mold". Something most interesting music doesn't do.
    phili666
    what if what they want to create is basic thrash metal that does happen to fit into that genre? genres aren't things people stick to they're used to describe sounds that are commonly done by people because they wnat to write like that. kreator like writing thrash metal in that style. it's not because they're trying to fit into a "style" or genre.
    Second Rate
    What is annoying to me is the current generation of kids that believe that a lack of a musical direction is somehow a good or desirable thing. Have you ever heard what truly directionless music sounds like? It's a meandering and sometimes outright pretentious mess. Case in point: "Be" by Pain of Salvation. The thing shifts from power metal to classical to prog rock to rap metal to sludge and practically everything in between and never seems to hit the mark with any of it. Having a musical direction facilitates the creation of more cohesive songs. One day, when you form your own band, you'll understand.
    Doomzdayxx
    Yeah but I'd rather a band put out a album with a working formula (ala AC/DC) than try to "go in new directions" (ala Metallica, Korn, etc). Stale >>> Rotten. All day long.
    Lantern2112
    I love Mille and Kreator, but to quote James Hetfield "Limiting yourself to please your audience is bullshit". Thats my opinion anyways. Love Megadeth and Kreator \m/
    Anjohl
    If you are known for songs with lots of energy, and you release songs with none, fans will rebel.
    EpsilonX
    It's pretty much this. People become fans of bands for one reason, and if that band changes to something the fans don't like, of course they'll be upset.
    GenerationKILL
    Metallica laugh at this article. The black album is a perfect example of commercialized popular thrash. Anyone who also thinks the black album isn't a thrash album, is kindly asked to listen to "holier than thou," "through the never" and "the struggle within" again.
    Absurder22
    Pleasure to Kill :
    flood to fire -
    Yup, no evolution there, he's totally just stuck with 10000bpm thrash. It's hilarious how many of you don't understand commercialization vs proper experimentation. Super Collider/Black album is Commcercialization, Nothingface/And Justice For all/Beneath the remains are experimentation.
    Absurder22
    Yeah, no it really isn't. There's no punky rhythems, tremelo picking or any of the things one ascribes to thrash specifically. Plus, if those are the fastest songs the album has to offer, then you more or less just disproved yourself right there.
    Second Rate
    Sorry, Chief. The black album was not, is not, and will never be a thrash album. It is "commercialized" no doubt about it, but it is not thrash metal. If you really wanna get into it (and bring on the down votes because i know they're coming for this), Metallica never were a thrash band. Out of the "big four," the band that comes closest to typifying the sound of the genre as a whole is Slayer. Thrash Metal is fast, loose, and somewhat rickety. The whole composition usually sounds like it could fall apart at any moment. Sepultura's "Arise," Slayer's "Seasons in the Abyss," and Sacred Reich's "The American Way" would be more accurately described as "commercial popular thrash." The black album is a mid paced hard rock record that sounds like it could have easily been released by Skid Row or one of the other later bands of the poodle haired scene.
    qrEE
    The Black Album is the worst album I've ever heard. Not even joking it crippled Metal. Metallica was already getting big off of their sound that they had mastered (pun not intended) in their first four albums. There was no reason for them to make "commercialized" thrash, they were already huge. They sold out.
    CoolMcAwesome
    worst album you have ever heard? Clearly you need a new set of ears, cause that album is pretty solid dude. Agreed it is more towards the radio friendly side, but that was what they were going for, and they did it without sounding like total bullshit. They didn't sell out at the black album... they sold out when they started censoring what songs they will and will not play because they have families, and decided to turn shows into family friendly settings. (ex: they won't lay "So What?" live because their kids might be listening).
    Absurder22
    It's pretty bland and melds all together, so I understand his hate for it. No, they sold out on the Black album when they started writting radio songs. They don't play So What!? because it's a cover from an album no one really cared about. That's not selling out, that's being a band.
    Zerath
    I think that it's good to be able to label something as a specific genre or subgenre so that a person with that preference can find it. I do however, not think that you should care what "genre" you should be playing within (i.e. limiting your creative process to some rules)as the creative process will suffer from it.
    Zan595
    My largest problem with people who label themselves is pretty much exactly what this guy is implying- "You can't be thrash and have mid-tempo songs." Says who? Why follow a set of rules to what music "has to be"? I'd prefer if people came up with their own rules rather than reading up on how to be someone else.
    Iommianity
    Uh, genres aren't a state of mind or something fluid. It's stupid to say a band can't branch out and play whatever they want, but genres have hallmarks, whether it's techniques used, or song writing conventions, etc. It's not necessarily a judgement call to say a band's not playing thrash if they're NOT PLAYING THRASH. Thrash metal can be lots of things, as seen in bands varying from Voivod to Atheist (bands I think we can objectively agree sound different), but fast, intricate rhythms and shifting song structures are part of what define thrash. There's nothing wrong with saying that, and it's not setting limitations. If I think band x writes great thrash, but tepid hard rock, that doesn't necessarily mean they should only write thrash, but it does mean that IMO they don't play rock as well.
    qrEE
    I always considered Atheist Death Metal. But since Death Metal is an off-shoot of Thrash Metal, I'll give that one to you.
    Iommianity
    They get lumped in with death metal, but aside from some riffs here and there and their demo material (which was death metal), they're far more thrashy on the first two albums. If it wasn't for Kelly's vocals, you could easily lump them in with Watchtower. If Coroner are considered thrash I'd say Atheist is. They just happened to be in the most prominent death metal scene America had at the time.
    MaggaraMarine
    Though then you wouldn't be playing thrash metal... But so what? Who cares? Why label yourself? Let other people do the labeling and just write good songs! I mean, who cares if you start writing rock songs and you used to write metal songs? Not being metal doesn't mean your music sucks.
    Absurder22
    He never said you can't write mid-tempo songs, read ity again. " mean, if you write mediocre songs, if you write only mid-tempo songs like radio songs" if you ONLY. This goes for slow OR fast, if you just stick to the safe middle all the time it's boring. None of this speaks about the creative limitations of thrash, but rather the limitations of radio music.
    l0ld4v3
    You're missing the point. Certain musical styles are just that, STYLES. If you made a history of yourself playing certain style, you might end up labeled as that style. Thrash metal is fast, aggressive and loud, never really received that much air play, unless Metallica. "I'd prefer if people came up with their own rules", you mean like a different way of making music altogether? Like creating a language out of what? Even the freest of jazz follows up to a standard as a point of reference, as every human activity. It's alright to be eclectic, but can you play an standard blues according to it's standards and still sound fresh or innovative?
    UncleBluck
    " If you are a thrash metal band trying to write radio songs , you have a problem.....Geee.....Ya think?????
    Wisthler
    So.... throwing Down and Blacklist From exodus are not thrash songs? He is also missing another important point, one of the things that made Thrash Metal THE THRASH METAL we all love, was that sound quality that was spaced between crappy and good quality, like bonded by blood, killing is my business, Spreading the Desease, etc.
    Absurder22
    he said ONLY mid-tempo songs. Not NEVER mid-tempo songs. Plus, Blackllist is pretty upbeat.
    HeavyMetalSonic
    Some mid tempo stuff is alright. They may not be fast and thrashy, but they aren't a lame attempt at radio crap either.
    Iommianity
    Now, this is coming from the frontman of Kreator, a band who went completely off the rails from thrash for almost 10 years, and didn't really start being talked about again until they went back to playing it. There's nothing wrong with branching out at all. Voivod are a great example of a band that started out raw and created a language. But the fact is some metal subgenres lose their integrity when they're watered down for mass consumption. Write whatever kind of music makes you happy, but most thrash or death metal bands go from writing energetic, intricate music to turgid, tepid, flat out uninteresting hard rock, or fumble with influences that don't blend seamlessly with their sound, and they just lose the plot.
    Absurder22
    10? um, try 4 (7 at best if you count Renewel, which is pretty 50/50 for most people). 1995 - 1999 was their weird phase. Even then, it was Industrial tinged, not hard rock. Right after that, they started just right where they left off.
    Iommianity
    I never said Kreator specifically wrote hard rock. This entire article is about thrash bands trying to branch out, and it usually ending up as watered down rock, ala Megadeth. But yeah, I do consider it a 10 year period between thrash albums for Kreator. Coma of Souls through to Violent Revolution is what I'm referring to, which actually makes 11 years. Regardless of the quality of the in between albums, are you going to tell me Mille has a right to tell other people about branching away from thrash? If you want to split hairs, they were released over a period of less than 10 years, but they put out one balls out thrash album in the 90s.
    nicholsonisgod
    "huuur herpaderpa I won't allow myself to move forward as a musician because I fear the fatal strike of the hand of the METHULLLLLZ!" This guy, seriously. Mille has got to be the most narrow-minded musician in all German Big 4.
    Absurder22
    Pleasure to Kill :
    flood to fire -
    Yup, no evolution there, he's totally just stuck with his narrowminded view of 10000bpm thrash. It's hilarious how many of you don't understand commercialization vs proper experimentation. Super Collider/Black album is Commcercialization, Nothingface/And Justice For all/Beneath the remains are experimentation.
    Iommianity
    If Mille's full of shit, it's because Kreator full out stopped playing thrash metal in the 90s and he's trying to save face because those albums were received poorly.