Posts Tagged ‘Thrash Metal’
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Posted in 2017, Concert Reviews | Comments (0)
INTERVIEW WITH MILLE PETROZZA AND SAMI YLI-SIRNIÖ OF KREATOR
The legendary German thrash metal patrol Kreator will be releasing the 14th album called GODS OF VIOLENCE in the beginning of January. The album presents the pure Kreator sound and shows no slowing down. The four-piece is in the high speed energy and offers a huge amount of memorable songs with the catchy hooks and riffs on GODS OF VIOLENCE. Metal-Rules.Com sat down with the band’s frontman Mille Petrozza and the long time guitarist Sami Yli-Sirniö to discuss about the forthcoming album and of course a bit of the 90’s albums.
Interview and pictures by Arto Lehtinen and Marko Syrjala
GODS OF VIOLENCE
Good day sir and wilkommen zu Finland
Mille and Sami: Danke Schon
When I paid attention to the title of the album, GODS OF VIOLENCE, I started thinking about the song titles. “Gods and Violence”, “Awakening of the Gods”, “Men Without God”, “Enemy of God”….
Sami : Familiar vocabulary.
Mille : Yeah, absolutely. Which is a good thing and a bad thing. We also had like different titles floating around, like at one point we wanted to call the album…
Sami : Apocalyptical, which is a nice word. Because I think you invented the word.
Mille : Yeah, yeah. But then it’s also not… Yeah. It could have been one title, someone wanted World War Now and so on. But I think GODS OF VIOLENCE is more catchy, even though people are going. Yeah, it sounds like…
Are you somehow obsessed or fascinated by using the word God?
Mille : (laughter) I think it’s graphic, it’s very like powerful. To me it doesn’t mean nothing. But the word is big. It’s an epic word and it’s an epic… If you think about the title and just forget about “Awakening of the Gods” and all these stuff. It’s a huge title. It’s a very strong title. But I don’t know….
Sami : I know why it is, because a couple of years ago Mille was named at the Metal Hammer Awards party as the God of riffs. That’s why. (laughter)
Mille : Exactly. (laughter)
Who came up with guitar riffs for this album – I mean, how do you share the writing nowadays?
Sami : Mille is the main song writer. He comes up with the entire songs. I sometimes come up with parts…
Mille : But he wants to be like intro parts and then I make them sometimes into… We turn them into middle parts or even choruses on this one song.
Sami, you’re more like a learned musician, but Mille is more like self-taught.
Mille : Yes, you can say so I guess.
Sami : I used to study in the conservatory in Helsinki. When I was a teenager , but I never graduated.
Mille : Okay. I thought you did ?!?
Sami : I didn’t, because there was too many shows to do “Laughs”
Mille : I told everyone that you did.
Sami : It’s okay. (laughter)
You have bagpipes and a little bit more melodic things on the album, which might not be compared to previous ones like HORDES OF CHAOS, which is really straight forward album. Was it more decision that this album has to be more melodic and add more different instruments and elements?
Mille : Bagpipes, he wanted to play the bagpipes. I told him, no. (laughter) Seriously, the bagpipes just came about. It was a suggestion from Jens. All over sudden he was like, I did the new song, the song “Hail to the Hordes “ song with a bit little Scottish vibe. He was imagining bagpipes and I said to him “If we use bagpipes, it has to be the guys from In Extremo because we like the band a lot and they’re friends”.
Sami : It’s more I think to spice it up really. In fact when I heard the mix, I could barely hear them.
Mille : Barely hear them. I would have liked them to be louder too.
Sami : But it was nice to spice it up towards the end. It’s not that… It could also be without it.
Mille : Also the melodies, it was a conscious decision. We didn’t put a dogma on the song writing, in order to make the songs more melodic.
Sami : No. Definitely no.
I already mentioned term symphonic but in my ear there’s also much more melodic stuff on this album compared to the last two albums…I can even hear some ENDORAMA style on this album and it’s not a bad thing at all.
Mille: Absolutely. Songs are just developed in a very natural way, and there was never a moment where we would go, “Are the songs too much like this or too much like that, too much like this band or too much like that band?” We don’t obviously rip off other songs, that either we or other bands have written. So, whatever happened with ENDORAMA… Even to me there was even almost some COMA OF SOULS type of stuff in there.
I was surprised to hear Symphonic elements. It was the first time, I think.
Mille: In this? Yeah.
Sami: We had some on ENDORAMA too.
Mille: Yeah, absolutely. But only on the last couple of albums, we only have used just bits and pieces.
Those elements helped the album to sound much wider and bigger.
Sami: That’s what it should do.
Mille: That was the whole idea of it. We wanted the album to have more variety and whatever it takes. We didn’t want to limit ourselves saying we’re a thrash metal band, we can’t do this. This was not the case, because we didn’t limit. There were no boundaries. When we had like an idea for something. We just did it, we just went for it.
Sami: We had some help from an Italian band called Fleshgod Apocalypse.
Mille: Great band. We got into them when we were doing the album, and Jens suggested them. I heard the name before, but I wasn’t aware of what they were doing. A good band.
Does it mean that you’re going to use backing tracks in the future?
Mille: No, no. All these little parts can be played without it. The compromise would be playing to a clique and have like a tape. But that’s not awesome thing to do.
Sami: Playing 95% to a clique, where there is nothing coming out.
THE RECORDING SESSION
I’m asking this because you recorded this album at the Fascination Street studio in Sweden again like the previous album. What made you record the album there once again?
Mille : You can look at the previous history of the band, just recently with the band. There has been some producers that we worked with twice. Especially Andy Sneap and now Jens. There is no reason for us, not to work with Jens because he’s great.
Sami : No. In fact there was a new studio in Stockholm…
Mille : Yeah, yeah. It’s called Fascination. It’s still called Fascination Street, but it’s a different location. So there wasn’t any reason for us not to work with Jens again, because we worked great in the last time and we kind of got something more out of this time I would say.
Sami : Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. He’s a creative guy and he puts a lot of input in the songs, and he’s very, very… He feels like very strongly about his responsibility also. So do we, but if we have one more person who feels that. It helps.
Mille : It helps a lot, it helps a lot. A producer is very important, but if you listen to the demo tapes. They are almost there. But the last 10% or 15% or whatever. The difference is essential. It makes the song a lot stronger. So it is definitely to me, I would not want to work without a producer. A lot of bands think they can do it and some even can, I guess. But for us maybe it’s not… I never saw it as a good idea, because when you get somebody there like Jens. Who is very like strict and sometimes has an opinion. It might not reflect or be the same opinion as… He makes us think, makes you over think. Not over think, but revisit idea again and maybe question it in a good way.
So, he kind kicked you in the ass to work harder?
Mille : I guess so. Right?
Sami : For sure, for sure.
Mille : Actually performance wise, yes. Songwriting, he would never come in and write a part or write a song or write whatever.
Sami: But he would edit some parts.
How he is different to work with compared to Andy Sneap?
Mille: I don’t know. They are both great, they are both amazing producers. But I think Andy was more focused on different things or maybe… He has a hand in all.
Sami: Andy is more a guitarist and so is Jens?
Mille: Yeah, yeah. Just different personalities. I think that’s…
Sami : A little bit different ways of working also and Jens wants to achieve the performance of the… Live performance feeling much more good and Jens doesn’t copy paste “Laughs”
Mille: No, no. I doesn’t think he does it either. No. It’s just two different personalities, but both like equally good producers.
Who was the guy who produced the HORDES OF CHAOS album, because it sounds very brutal?
Sami: He definitely doesn’t copy paste “Laughs”
Mille: Yeah, we had to work more. It was Moses Schneider, the guy that did HORDES OF CHAOS. To me it was a good production, it was a great production. But there were some things that because of the way we produced HORDES OF CHAOS, they got lost along the way. For example, guitar tone. Because when you have a guitar tone that’s recorded at the same time as drums, you would never get the same tone. You get a good guitar tone maybe, but you don’t get the same precise…
Sami : Crashing, demon (laughter)
Mille : Yeah, yeah. Absolutely, absolutely. So it was a different… It was more like a recording in the old, almost like Beatles record. You know what I mean? Like very old school.
Sami : Yeah, yeah. We had to rewind. It took a long time. “Wait a second, we got to rewind”.
NEW VIDEO AND SATAN TALK
Speaking about brutality. I just checked out the latest video “Gods of Violence”, and that’s brutal stuff
Mille : It is brutal, isn’t it?
Yeah and there is a very cool looking Kreator demon appearing on the video “Laughs”
Sami : There are also Satan sex slaves.
Mille : Oh yeah. I think that the video for first time, I mean I like Phantom Antichrist video. I like the “Civilization Collapse”, but this one I really, really like. I think this is finally something that I would go, “Yeah, this is for my taste.” Because I’m a big fan of horror movies.
Sami : It’s important to know that the story continues in two other videos that are going to be.
Have you filmed the other videos already?
Mille : Yeah, yeah.
Is it the same kind of thing like what Slayer recently did?
Mille : No, better. It is better. (laughter). I think Slayer was good, but the story was… Yeah, it was good. It was there, untouchable. But I think ours is more…We will see, maybe it’s not better. (laughter)
I remember from the old day that when you did a video for “Terror Zone”, you had a horror movie producer who worked for that video.
Mille: Yeah. It was supposed to be done by Jörg Buttgereit. Who’s the “Nekromantik” movie. I’ve wanted to do these things forever. I think back in the day when there was still MTV, we had to make a lot of compromises. Because the first original idea for the “Terror Zone” and the “People of Lie”, was supposed to be done by Jörg Buttgereit. Who did the “Nekromantik” and it was like very bizarre movie. But then we heard already that MTV is not going to play it, and then Jörg said, “I won’t do it, if I can’t do it my way”. Nowadays these things are not relevant anymore. Because if you look at, you can go on… You put the stuff on Vimeo and it’s on sensor. YouTube still sensors, but they sensor nudity. Which I think haven’t changed. If you look at our new video clip on YouTube. You can see the killing of the girl, but you cannot see the breast.
What actually was the main inspiration for the “Gods of Violence” video?
Mille: It was more inspired by… I think what it is, the song is “Gods of Violence”. So, to me it’s like a kick off, it’s the first impression what the album is all about. We wanted to really keep people in the face, with this video and the music. Just to give you like an impression of what to come. Because I don’t think that… There was a big discussion, which should have been the first song that we put out and there could have been like many songs. Like on the record there was many songs that we could have put out as the first single. But we decided on this song, because it kind of like. It gets you in the mood for the record, but it doesn’t really give you the full treatment. Because mostly like it’s one of the songs that’s on the record and it’s a title track. But there is also songs that have a different dimension, just brutal. Or some said I have a different vibe. So there is a lot more on the records. But I think to kick off the campaign for the album and to give our fans an impression of what’s to come. Let the fans hear first song.
This is not deadly serious question but is Satan real? “Laughs”
Mille: He’s real.
Sami: Well I have to say. Last week when I woke up, I had to wake up to be somewhere at 7:00 O’clock in the morning. I had to wake up at 6:00 O’clock and it was minus 10, it was really windy. I live next to the ocean and when I opened the door, yeah. I had to start walking. I felt that Satan is real. (laughter)
Mille : He’s real. The thing is we had a lot of discussions about this title, especially like… Sami liked this title right away. But Jens for example, he’s like, “You have to over think the title.” I’m like, no. Because we think that… The song doesn’t talk about Satan being real. So it talks about the relevance of religion in the year 2016, where it shouldn’t be so relevant nowadays. The fact that there are still so many people obeying and following icons, that should have been obsolete by now. But the title is not to be taken too serious. I take just…
Sami : I think the title reflects exactly that what you just said. So that’s why I think it’s a good title.
Mille : Yeah, of course.
Sami : When you just see the words, might sound naive. But when you think what it’s about, it’s…
Mille : Yeah, yeah. And also I think this is like naivety that we’ve never tried to lose. I would put a song called “Satan is Real” on the first record on ENDLESS PAIN. Of course, when you grow up and you get into your like 30s and later on, 40s even. You start questioning like. Can I still say that? And you’re like… Then on the other hand you are like, you shouldn’t say anything stupid and you shouldn’t just write okay lyrics or childish lyrics. But I don’t see a reason why we shouldn’t use those. We could have also like written tittles like, “My Inner” something, intellectual journey or something. Then people would have been maybe, now they’re matured. Wow! But it would have been boring, because Satan is Real would have never existed.
The song“World War Now” – Does it refer to the current state of world?
Mille : Yeah. It was actually about Bataclan, it was inspired by that. Tied to the lyrics. I think musically this was a good song, it’s a very brutal song. It has a lot of like nice ups and downs.
Sami : In February we’re going to play it Bataclan. It must be the safest club in the world right now.
SOME OLD STUFF
If you don’t mind we would like to ask something about the 90’s and early 2000 period of Kreator?
Mille: Of course.!
Let’s start with rude but straight question, what went wrong with the OUTCAST album?
Sami : Nothing. That’s one of the best songs that we still play live on every set, “Phobia”. So, there is nothing wrong with that.
I like the “Leave This World Behind”, it’s a really good song.
Sami : We play that live too, it’s even on the live CD. LIVE KREATION.
Mille : Yeah. I think that what went wrong with OUTCAST, was the fact that we were not like… There was nothing wrong with the album, but at the time Tommy Vetterli just got into the band and he didn’t find his place.
Sami : I was always surprised, now what I think of that. One thing pops into mind. I was also wondering why there is so few solos with such a guitarist.
Mille : I told him not to play solos, because I had this vision of an album. That’s more basic without solos. That’s why nowadays I would never write like this. But at the time I thought, let’s put a dogma on everything. This album there will be no solos, ENDORAMA will be the most melodic ever. But not fast. So this is like, I guess it was a learning process. Exploring new styles and new ways of expressing myself, and instead of like making a part of what’s already there. Like just going all the way.
How about A CAUSE FOR CONFLICT then? That was a great album. I don’t remember having heard any songs played live, at least here in Finland?
Mille : We have played “Lost”. I have bad memories from that recording session and that era, it wasn’t the best for me. Not that I think it was a wrong album, but there is many things that when I listen to this album nowadays. It’s like a couple of things, that I know. You don’t, but when I listened to it. It was like, this could have been better. This could have been done differently. There is many things that I would have done different, if I could have. If I would have known what I know now. But you can’t change the past.
RENEWAL album was completely different after COMA OF SOULS. I remember that the album dropped jaws of several fans, when you had changed your vocal style that radically back then!
Mille : Yeah, yeah. That was due to many, many things. I didn’t want to please anyone’s expectation and my voice was fucked from smoking too much weed to be honest. Seriously. This time was very dark. Not whether we had like, it was not impressing dark or anything. It was almost like an early mid-life crisis or sort of thing. Yeah. But I still like the album. I think the idea was good. Like it was supposed to be our… Not that I want to compare the band to Pink Floyd. But I had like a vision of like writing a thrash metal album, almost like Pink Floyd’s THE WALL.
On RENEWAL there is a song called “Europe After the Rain”. And you have played that song several times on shows. You always said that it is against the right-wing people. It’s basically the same thing which happens nowadays. But I guess we have asked this before. But do you feel that you are some kind of Nostradamus, you can predict what happens to years ahead?
Mille : I wish I was man. But no one is, but sometimes art or music has maybe not a prophetic power. But it’s just quite obvious, if you think about things and you reflect on things. Things sometimes by accident, something that might seem in retrospective almost like a prophecy. But it wasn’t. I wish I could predict the future.
Sami, ENDORAMA album is popping up all the time. You weren’t in the band when the album came out or when OUTCAST came out, what do you think about those albums?
Sami: To be completely honest with you, I haven’t listened to them that much that I should tell you. But I mean if you can get ENDORAMA, it brings me too much into kind of Gothic. I think it’s better than 69 Eyes.
Mille: Thank you “Laughs”
Sami: But the Mission came to my mind
Mille: The mission, right. Yeah. But there was a couple of songs that they are very influenced by The Mission.
Sami: Yeah, that’s true. Of course, I know ENDORAMA actually better than I just told you, because we have played some songs quite also. We have played the “Golden Age” on tours.
Sami, how do you feel when you’re reading the old lyrics written by Mille, that you’re praying that fits the present day?
Sami : It gets to sour, over the wall I mean.
Mille : That was also obvious and I took that from a book. So it wasn’t really my idea, of course it’s easy to say that it was prophetic. But no, it’s too big of a word anyway. I think yeah, but thanks anyway.
UPCOMING TOUR AND SET LIST TALK
You have a tour starting soon together with Sepultura and Soilwork. It sounds like an interesting package.
Mille: Yeah, will see. I think to me this is like a great combination of bands, because Sepultura play kind of like the same style, but totally different now. Their own unique version of thrash metal. Sepultura and Kreator has same roots, but both bands we’re going into complete different directions over the years. So it’s a nice… It would be a good kind of metal I guess and also Soilwork is a good band too. They even have a song called “Helsinki”, Soilwork.
What would be the idealistic touring package for you?
Mille: This one “Laughs”
Sami: Yeah, of course. It feels great.
Mille: I know what you’re trying to go with the question. “Would it be like the big three? Why can’t you go on tour with Metallica or whatever?” Yeah. But we think like headlining, this is a good package. Yeah, ideal package.mWhatever comes up, we’ll see.
I remember that ten years ago you toured together with Celtic Frost and Watain. That was a great package I have to say.
Mille: That was good, that was good also.
A new tour means that there’s also going to be a new set list. It’s must be a tough and difficult process to pick up a set list for a new tour. So how are you going to have a balance with newer stuff and older material?
Mille: It will be fun. We will find a way. Let’s see, I haven’t even thought about that yet. But there will be a good set list.
How about doing some really radical changes and drop songs like “Pleasure to Kill” and replace those with something more exiting, like with “Ripping Corpse” for instance?
Mille: Why not? Maybe you are right, maybe you’re right.
We have seen Kreator so many times and you always…
Mille: And always we have played “Pleasure to Kill”
When Kreator fans come to see Kreator, they want to hear something different instead the same old ones, you know? Maybe you should be more brave when creating new lists and “shake a tree” more than you usually do?
Mille: Yeah. Maybe we will think about it. But actually, I think we did play “Ripping Corpse” a couple of times.
Sami: We did, yeah.
Mille: And it’s also a song of that PLEASURE TO KILL record. So why not?
It could be interesting to see the reaction of the fans, if you drop some regular songs… But anyways, you will always hear the same old comments “Why don’t you play this and that song?” BUT for example, when KISS does their KISS Kruise thing they play lots of obscure songs what they don’t usually play and the fans are more than excited about it!
Mille: Actually, we have… I haven’t talked to Sami about this before but… There is this company in Germany who wants to make like a Kreator Kruise. Not a huge cruise, but it’s going to be like a sweet water Cruise. So to speak. But anyway, three days of… But then again… We have to do like summer fests first, it’s going to be hard.
Sami: We would need to play several different sets, we should be okay. To think about it, we’ve been playing live with Mille for over 17 years now. We have quite a few songs. To choose from.
Mille: But there are a couple of songs that we can’t do acoustically. But there would be a couple of songs that we could acoustically that we’ve never played. But the whole thing is just in the talks. But yeah. It’s hard, these things are hard to set up. But there was some interest by one company to do it with us. It’s not like we have to do it… No, no. Because there were so much going on man. We have so many shows coming up but we’ll see if that’s going to happen.
OPINION ABOUT NEW METALLICA ALBUM AND MORE
Well our time is up soon but there’s one mandatory question what we need to ask from you before we are done. What you think of the new Metallica album?
Mille : What do you think Sami?
Sami : I listened n to a few songs. It’s probably blues, it’s sometimes.
Mille : I haven’t heard the whole album. I heard only the singles and I like them.
The classic last question… Tell me your all-time favorite metal albums?
Mille: That’s a hard one. Probably BLACK METAL, probably Iron Maiden’s first one. BRITISH STEEL, MELISSA by Mercyful Fate… I don’t know. What else was there?
Sami : Deep Purple’s IN ROCK?
Mille : Deep Purple’s IN ROCK. Yeah.
Sami : POWERSLAVE.
Mille : Yeah. There are so many great albums, you know?
Sami : REIGN IN BLOOD
Mille : They are so many. Yeah, REIGN IN BLOOD and maybe HELL AWAITS?
All right, thank you guys.
Sami and Mille : Thank you.
KREATOR IN WEB
Amon Amarth + Testament + Grand Magus
@ Roundhouse, London
4th November 2016
Review by Torbjørn ‘Toby’ Jørstad
Photography by Inty Malcolm
Swedish Vikings Amon Amarth returned to the shores of Britannia the first Friday of November in the year of 2016. Having finished plundering and burning all relevant villages and settlements about a millennium earlier, the Swedes arrived that day with gifts rather than trouble: gifts in the form of a behemoth of a metal show, including old school thrash from the New World, rocking heavy metal from their homeland, and a good dose of hard hitting melodic death metal centered around themselves. This was of course Amon Amarth’s stop at the Roundhouse in London, as part of their headlining tour promoting Jomsviking together with Testament and Grand Magus. An eager London audience greeted all bands with what was probably more enthusiasm than the villagers of the isle a millennium earlier, when they saw the armada of longboats approaching their shores.
Tags: AMON AMARTH, bay area, Brotherhood of the Snake, concert review, Grand Magus, HEavy metal, jomsviking, jomsviking tour, London, melodic death metal, roundhouse, Testament, Thrash Metal
Posted in 2016 | Comments (0)
25 October 2016
Review by Demitri Levantis
Bloodstock Open Air 2016
@Catton Hall, Derbyshire
11th – 14th August 2016
Review by Demitri Levantis
Photography and Additional Reviews by Graham Hilling
Derbyshire is probably the last place you’d expect to find metal. It’s not one of England’s most famous counties, nor has it built up a reputation for a place of art and culture. But within the south of this quaint midlands county, some of the country’s finest music promoters are at work building the county’s reputation as a haven for metalheads.
Tags: 2016, Akercocke, Aklash, Anthrax, BEHEMOTH, black metal, BLOODSTOCK, BOA, BRUTAL ASSAULT FESTIVAL, Derbyshire, Dragonforce, England, festival, folk metal, Gothic Metal, Holiday, Isarnos, MASTODON, Metal News, Music Journalism, news, Outdoor, PARADISE LOST, Power metal, Press, Repentless, Review, Rotting Christ, Satyricon, SLAYER, Sophie Lancaster, Thrash Metal, Twisted Sister, UK
Posted in Heavy Metal | Comments (0)
Along with the Hobgoblin New Blood Stage, this year’s Bloodstock Open Air has a wide range of up and coming bands showcasing their varied talents on the Jagermeister stage. With the festival less than four weeks away, the lineup for said stage has now been confirmed.
Tags: "The Sentinel" KILLgast, 2016, BLOODSTOCK, BOA, Doom Metal, festival, Jagermeister Stage, Kent, Metal, New Blood, news, Scotland, Thrash Metal, UK, Wales
Posted in Festival/Tour News, Metal News | Comments (0)
Scottish Power Metal group Gloryhammer are among 11 new bands confirmed for Bloodstock Open Air 2016 today, with just two months more left to wait!
Gloryhammer, formed in 2010 and having released two studio albums dealing with themes of fantasy and Scottish history will appear on the Ronnie James Dio stage early on Friday 12th August.
Tags: BLOODSTOCK, BOA 2016, Death Metal, Doom Metal, Festival News, Gloryhammer, hark, Metal News, news, Power metal, Psykosis Thrash Metal, Sanguine, Stoner Metal, Sumer, The Heretic Order, Thrash Metal, UK, UK Festival, Whispered
Posted in Festival/Tour News, Metal News | Comments (0)
Marduk + Immolation + Origin +Bio-Cancer
10th March 2016
Review By Pete Mutant
Tags: Bio-Cancer, black metal, Death Metal, Frontschwein, Frontschwein UK tour, Gig review, Glasgow, IMMOLATION, Immolation new album, live review, MARDUK, ORIGIN, The Garage, The Garage G2, Thrash Metal, UK tour 2016
Posted in 2016, Concert Reviews | Comments (0)
Overkill + Vader + One Machine
@ The Classic Grand, Glasgow
8th April, 2016
Review by Pete Mutant
Photography by Gavin Lowrey
Tags: Bobby Blitz, Classic Grand, Death Metal, Gig review, Glasgow, Killfest Tour 2016, Live Music, NuclearBlast, One Machine, overkill, Piotr Wiwczarek, Steve Smyth, Thrash Metal, vader
Posted in 2016, Concert Reviews | Comments (0)
w/ Testament & Carcass
March 14, 2016
Review by JP Wood
Photos by Monika Deviat
It is not too often that the 2500+ capacity MacEwan Hall gets completely sold out for Metal shows, but Slayer, who have performed at this same venue a few times before, managed to do just that on their most recent stop in Calgary, Alta. Slayer is riding high on what many people are saying is their best album in years (REPENTLESS [Nuclear Blast, 2015]) and the legions of Metal were out in force! Managing crowds and traffic flow is a complicated endeavor at the best of times and it was a bit of a struggle on Monday night.
The Finnish thrashers Lost Society got thrown into the larger attention after winning the Global Battle Of The Bands and inked a deal with the prestigious Nuclear Blast. The four young thrash maniacs took the metal world by storm with the intensive fast and furious speed/thrash maelstrom, but with the obvious sense of humour. The debut album titile FAST LOUD DEATH got the overwhelming respond and with the second opus TERROR HUNGRY gained more and more attention from the metal world.
Interview with Bobby Blitz
8th September 2015
Interview by Jarod Lawley
With the imminent release of their Historikill: 1995-2007 box set we had a chat with Overkill’s iconic vocalist Bobby Blitz to discuss belt buckles, being a tourist, and what’s in store for the fans with this mega, 13 CD box-set.
Tags: belt buckles, Bobby Blitz, box set, historikill 1995-2007, Interview, johnny cash, Nuclear Blast, overkill, SYMPHONY X, Thrash Metal, tour, white devil armory
Posted in 2015, Interviews | Comments (0)
British Thrash Metal group Reign of Fury have been confirmed as the first band for UK festival, Bloodstock.
INTERVIEW WITH DIMI PONTIAC OF THE FINNISH SPEED METAL PATROL: RANGER
Hail the old school speed metal! It lives well in Finland, thanks to the rising forces of metalbangers known as Ranger. The four piece has taken the metal scene by storm and conquered both new and old metal heads with skull splitting metal. Ranger’s most recent output, WHERE EVIL DWELLS, is a pure old school speed metal onslaught, with a modern approach. The band’s frontman Dimi Pontiac talks more about the new awesome album, and yes, every old school worshiper needs to get a hold of the album now!
Interview and pics by Arto Lehtinen
I had an opportunity to interview Peter Hobbs in Jalometalli –festival which turned out as an interesting session for covering up the history of the band from the late 80’ties to the present day. We talked about future plans of Hobbs Angel of Death as well as the shape of music industry today. How does Peter Hobbs feel about the comparison of Hobbs Angel of Death to Slayer??? Got interested already? Read on!
Interview by Niko Karppinen
Pics by Arto Lehtinen
Short history lesson of what happened after the first album
The debut album of Hobbs Angel of Death was released in 1988 and second album was released in 1995. What happened during those years and why it took so long between those two albums?
PH: A lot of line-up changes. A lot of line-up changes and unfortunately the window of the line-up changes when you go reshow people the past. By the time you get to show them the past songs and you get to a stage where you can get — again you can do tours and whatever, you end up playing the old songs. By the time you finish a lot of people realize that they can’t really cut the deal. It’s not what they want in life. You got to be a diehard to be doing this sort of thing. That’s why there were so many — so many years past.
I was trying to find the right people that can actually work with me. I’m not a tyrant. I’m a pretty easy going fellow. But some people at the end of the day they got commitments. They got commitments and normal lives.
I always made Hobbs Angel of Death to be a part of my life when I possibly can. Unfortunately line-up changes have been a great deal in my career. But while I’m still here today I keep going and going and going to give my fans what they expect from me, the best I possibly can.
During recent years there have been lots of reunions from the old bands. Which probably got something to do that thrash metal has become popular again? What actually made Hobbs Angel of Death to come back in 2002?
PH: Hobbs is full of passion, passion and aggression. I thought it was a good time in my life when I saw maturity coming into it, that I could go out again and fight those wars as a gladiator and actually even get wounded in the process but always finish that war and be proud of what I did. In the earlier days a lot of people take for granted what you can go and do. I found it was a very good opportunity for Hobbs and to me, personally to go back out in the world again and show the artistic thing that I withhold. You know? And I did some great gigs with Destruction of course, Mayhem, of course close friends of mine. And a lot of numerous other bands that sort of asked me to be playing with them and whatever.
So when bands came to Australia they will ask for Hobbs support or whatever. I actually didn’t want to do supports. I said, “Look, this is your guys, this is your night. You’re in my hometown. Enjoy, enjoy your time. Enjoy your gigs. Do whatever. I’ll play after. . I’ll play afterwards and I’ll just fill my hometown with my enjoyment.” That’s a badie, you know? I went on a long fishing trip earlier in that year and I caught a whale and it took me around the world a few times.
The sound of the band was unique right from the start because you were using keyboards in the debut album and that was not very common in those days when it comes to the thrash metal bands. Do you think that it made a difference between the Hobbs Angel of Death and the other thrash metal bands at the time?
PH: It was keyboards. Hobbs never had keyboards. You mean at the end Marie Antoinette?? Correct. I wanted that to be a very classic ending. I wanted it to be epic and I played those keyboards myself. I believe that French Queen, Marie Antoinette deserved to be remembered for total history. I hope the younger generation remembers a lot of people through the old past times. Because without history, you can’t move forward and you need to learn from history for repair change. Or make another way of it to progress. So it was my honour back there at that time to make it an epic ending and do the choirs.
The music press was praising that the Hobbs Angel of Death was the Australian response to Slayer. What do you think about that especially now when you are sharing the stage with the Slayer here in Jalometalli-festival?
PH: I’ve waited 30 years for this to arrive. 30 years to actually prove that Slayer and Hobbs Angel of Death are totally different. I mean there’s no denying that my influences were Slayer. I’m a sort of guy that I guess shaking the future in front and I loved it. Slayer’s coming through with Show No Mercy, Hell Awaits and all those classical awesome songs. I know that that sort of band is going to really happen because I could see the support they had, I could see their hunger, I could see their warmth, I could see their passion and I knew that was going to happen.
Last night, on the 9th of August 2013 Hobbs Angel of Death had the opportunity — and I ask Peter Hobbs had the opportunity to show to Slayer is that we are not the same. There are some influences but everybody has influence on everybody. It gave me great pleasure to — and I know they heard — I know they heard from their dressing rooms I was giving it what Hobbs – Peter Hobbs is all about and I just hope a small part of my life if they can respect me as much as I respect them.
What kind of elements are Hobbs songs made of ?
Your songs are quite often referring to the historical events or characters such as “Bubonic Plague”, “Jack the Ripper”, “Marie Antoinette” and “Tutankhamen”. You seem to find history inspiring when writing songs?
PH: Okay, a quick rundown. House of Death was — I wrote that song in Italy. I was there, there was a shrine of monks there and had these — they were fucking real. They were standing there and they were holding crosses and there was content there of what you are, we once were a monument of life. Now what we are here you will become in the House of Death. I took that and I put it in my own way.
As Jack the Ripper, I’m a person that gets a feel — I need to feel the realness. So back in that time I was in White Chapel in England as I was there in the year previously. I did a bit of a promo tour as well on my own. I actually walked around the Jack the Ripper walk and felt the ground, felt the walls, felt where the murders were. I could actually feel that — I could feel what happened.
Marie Antoinette, the Bastille — the real Bastille is not there anymore. Actually wrote that song in the early times with Tarsus and at the same time when I was there I actually went to in my imagination to the Bastille on the grounds of where it was. I asked my first wife to bring me my last supper to actually let me feel how that pain was going to be, heading to the guillotine the next day. How Louie was thinking. How the children were thinking and I put myself in the position of that pain knowing that come that time in the morning there’s going to be no more.
That gave me great inspirations for those choirs and everything when I recorded that album. Yeah, I like to get feeling from real life things. A lot of other songs that I’ve wrote, well you can’t commit such crimes to feel that feeling but to still have the fantasy and whatever. I think it really helps a lot writing music.
What kind of bands influenced you most in the beginning when you formed Hobbs Angel of Death?
PH: Okay, so if I can just go into my early stages like when I was 9-years-old. I was listening to all those sort of bands like Status Quo and all that sort of stuff. Then of course Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Uriah Heep, Iron Butterfly all those sort of bands. I was listening to Demon… A lot of early things…
I should tell you a little quick story. When I was in Wacken back in 2004 I had the opportunity to meet Ronnie James Dio personally. I was talking to Ronnie for about half an hour and I mentioned to him that watching you guys — sort of made when I was young, wanting to be in a band and now what I’ve saw. That’s what I want to do with my life. After length of time and he actually said to me, he said, “I’ve listened to you bullshit for fucking half an hour.” And he said, “I actually know who you are from Australia.” And he said, “You make me want to keep going at 60.” – I was just fucking shocked! I was just absolutely blown away that talking to my idol could turn around tell me that back to me! Made him still trying to conquer and continue in his career. You know? So it was quite a shock.
I hear a lot of things from a lot of people and – Norwegians; Hell Hammer, Frost, Faust, Emperor. All these people, they’re saying to me that fucking you do matter. It’s amazing and I inspired them in the things that they do and they inspire me. So what I’m actually seeing now is a mirror image of me being able to have the pleasure to have been around watching them saying that fuck you guys, you really fucking kill. It’s a pleasure to watch this talent, you know, from around Europe and we’ll watch. You know? Especially when they say that I’ve influenced them. I’ve just come from Norway. I saw Bloods & Army and I thought, fuck, these guys are now influencing me back again. They made me hungry to finish off the rest of the tour and to finally today be in Finland and fucking enjoy myself and you know, play. Last night was awesome.
You have once said that Hobbs Angel of Death is playing “virgin metal”. Was this term about to differ the sound of the band from the others or does this term contain certain musical features?
PH: Pure black virgin metal are my old management from back here what nearly 25 – 27 years ago now. He came up with a sort of name and we actually came with it together, you know. I was the black, he was the — you know, anyway what it is not fucked by anybody. That’s what it means. Pure black virgin metal is Hobbs’ pure aggression. The black is my satanic lyrics and the virgin is not being at that stage by anybody. It was unique. It was something special and the metal, yeah, pure black virgin metal.
Back to the roots of thrash-metal
European thrash metal has its roots in traditional heavy metal whereas U.S. thrash metal (especially east-coast bands) has clear hard-core influences. Hobbs was among the very first Australian bands playing European-style of metal. But do you think that the roots of Australian thrash metal lies somewhere else compared to the European and U.S. bands?
PH: I don’t know. I mean being far away in Australia I’ve always said there was a band in Australia called Depression, another band called Renegade and I had my band called Taurus. We actually changed the movement in Australia of that cross over deal. So we — being living in Australia, very far away from everywhere. America’s far, Europe’s far. But I actually learned that if you combine U.S., European and Australian on Australian way. I’m English born but I still have that European thing about me inside. You know? I’ve also always believed that European ways the way to be. They’re straight forward; you say it straight up front. If you can’t fucking operate with the rules, get the fuck out. You know what I mean? It’s I believe the way of being true to yourself. Be a Viking, be a Gladiator, and be whatever. Add to the combination of the American, Europe.
I still to this day walk around thinking, well how do you judge genres? How do you judge them? Now where did it come from? So I like 70s punk, Sex Pistols. You know you can be mixing 60s sorts with explode into that. You know? And as thrash and that’s where you come up with the aggression. The aggression, that rudeness and forceful way, you know what I mean?
The tape-trading and the metal underground scene began to take shape in the middle of the 80’ties. How do you see the importance of metal underground scene in those days and do you think it helped Hobbs Angel of Death in the very beginning to gain success?
PH: Definitely! At the time when European metal underground put a lot of support behind Hobbs for Germany that was the first time in Angel of Death before I changed it to Hobbs Angel of Death it took quite a lot of copies and Europeans helped us to get through that area there with the first demo. The demo was accepted worldwide and it sold so quickly. The amounts, the units, I still even believe today that it’s a great opportunity for bands to release a demo. Do a demo first. Like it’s really hard because it’s very financial now to be doing these sort of things but I believe in the old school way. Do a demo. Do a very good demo. Have it as a teasing thing for companies.
We all know that the industry has got older now and there’s downloading and stuff like that. But I believe — an that’s what I’m actually doing is what I’ll do is I’m going back to the roots of how I saw success to make things happen. There’s nothing wrong with doing demos. If you can do a great demo and you have interest, you can do a great album and that’s where companies may help you go in the old school way. You know? A lot of companies want you to do it all now so financial and they want you to do all the products and just take the easy road. I think it’s time to go back to the old roots. Go back into the bedrooms. Start writing this stuff. Stop doing any demonstration form. You know? Come out with a good demo. Enough to tease show what you got. Then come to the product.
Touring in Europe and a few words about the forthcoming album
This is the very first time for you to play in Finland. What kind of expectations do you have towards the Finnish fans? What do you know about Finland and do you know/ like any Finnish bands?
PH: Oh, it’s always been a dream to play in every country of the world. I heard a lot about Finland. I got here yesterday and I walked in through these gates. Got out of the — you know, walked through these gates and there was just so much respect for me. You know? I must apologize for a little bit of my naiveness because there’s some great talent here. You know, I can go back home in the next few months and appreciate the talent that has come here from Finland’s. There’s great talent worldwide and I think that everybody has the opportunity to do that. I’m seeing that here at this festival.
It’s a great organized festival. Everybody’s friendly. Everybody is respectful and of course it’s in turn. Organizers are to be respected for their efforts. They’ve done a great job here. I want to actually come back to Finland here when it’s snowing. I want to see it in winter. You know, I want to feel that — I want to feel what you guys feel. You know? Out here in the summer I get the feeling like in Australia sometimes.
But I actually want to feel the — I want to feel what it’s like to be living here in Finland fucking minus 30 degrees and feel the passion of getting up every day. Going to do your normal life I take my hat off to this country because it’s something that I just wouldn’t see. But I’m going to make it a good effort to come here in the winter. Yeah, I want to do that.
You just finished your European tour and this gig in Jalometalli –festival is going to be the last one of the tour. You have played in Italy, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Holland and Belgium. How do you feel about the tour?
PH: Very happy with the tour, the tour was going extremely well. I came in 2012, did a little mini tour to see how Hobbs would be accepted to come back after a long term of absence. I’m absolutely overwhelmed by the attention that I’ve had here. The respect is just abundance.
It really makes me quite emotional at times to actually feel that, because one thing that I always said to a lot of people in the young generation as well; is that never ever in your career disrespect any fan! Listen to input. Your fans are what are making you. Without fans you’re nothing. You might as well stay home in the bedroom. Which I’m very lucky and very graced to have a great lot of gratitude to my fans for giving me the support. And it just grew, I understand now that it makes me feel that 2013 is not over. I’m going back to Australia. I’ve got a few things to do. I’ll enter back into Europe again before 2014. So I will be returning in 2013 again to show my appreciation. Love Europe! I love the people in Europe! I love the fans in Europe and all I’m trying to do is return that gratitude! That’s what I’m here to do.
You have Harris Johns 0n the tour with you who mixed and produced the first album?
PH: Because that’s the guru, the guru is Mr. Harris Johns! Awesome producer, awesome engineer! Harris and I collaborated 25 years ago and we made something special that become cult. When I’m dead and gone, another 25 years — though I hope I’m around to see it — this new album to become cult again.
To do a product you have a product, you have a market and to make something work you need to work with the right people it saves everything. Harris knows what I can deliver. I know what Harris can supply with his maturity and professionalism, and also his experience in Music Lab. I know what he’s doing so well that I would be an absolute fucking fool to not ask again this man to help me do something special together and collaborate and do something special again.
You know, like I’ve got seen through a lot of other bands that I’ve had producers, engineers and they’ve changed. A lot of the ones that have succeeded and I’ve ended up with great big names, humongous names today that stuck along with the same way. The same process, not everyone’s a winner but it is there. You keep chumping and changing in life, fucking nothing works. You know, you got to get something, think about it, put it all together, do the planning of it and then come and execute it.
So that was my thought. What I’ve done here, while I’m here I believe that I’ve done that again. So I’m going back here in about three weeks’ time to complete what I believe and personally believe and with support from people. Is I’ve recreated that cult album in another way. Let’s see what happens.
There is new album on its way which you recorded in the Musical Lab in Berlin? What kind of material we can expect from the forthcoming album?
PH: Okay, so what I’ve tried to do is I’ve had advice from you know like old listeners and old school people. I understand and I appreciate exactly what they’re talking about. Hobbs was something special back in the 80’s. I did create something special. Somehow try and recreate that. So think of the old way, this of the old roots and everything, you know.
So, I feel that I have put back into the — this upcoming album a lot of taste from what I did in the past. You know, like you will hear 12-stringer again. You may even hear more than choirs this year. Maybe even a harpsichord. You know. And that’s me showing a very old instrument there.
About the new album: What kind of process it was to work it out? Did you do something differently than usual?
PH: Am I doing something different? Unusual? Yeah, I’m putting back the passion back in satanic part of fucking Hobbs Angel of Death. That’s what I’m fucking putting back.
Hobbs Angel of Death, what it’s all about
The current line-up consists of skilled musicians like Luke Anticevic who has played with Angelcorpse, Krisiun and Forbidden etc. How difficult it was to find right guys for the band and do you think this line-up is going to be the permanent one?
PH: Hobbs Angel of Death is never going to have permanency. Hobbs Angel of Death is always going to be changing line-ups talking about commitments and things like that. Not everybody can afford to be playing the game with Hobbs. It’s not a game, it’s a very — I take my career very serious. It’s not a joke. People have got to be in the unit that actually believe in me. It is my baby. It always will be my baby. I’m offering my heart for you guys to come on an adventure with me. If you can cut the distance and you can run with it, you can do it. You can abide by the rules? Okay. So join the family of Hobbs Angel of Death. Tell me now before I get to a stage where I feel that you can be a part of the family and fucking now if you don’t want to do it. You know?
Having Luke in the band is absolutely fucking amazing. This guy’s young, this guy’s talented. Very, very talented and the way he uses his instrument, plays an instrument. Matt’s also a professional as well that’s playing and filling in with drums. I’ve got Bo Rami with me as well. Bo and I — he worshiped Hobbs from his younger days when he was 16. He used to come and see me in Cantarus days. Bo is with me today too.
The reason — another reason why Bo will probably be — will obviously stay with Hobbs is because he has the same fucking dream I have. We — he has the same dream. We get up, we sing music, and he’s wanted to come here as much as I have and fucking we’re here! So he said to me last night, you know, he calls me Boss. I started laugh about it and I call him brother. You know? And we both thank each other for being a team. Hobbs is a team. And that’s what we’re here, to be a team. Execute what we’ve got to do as a team. I’m not better than these guys. But I do know that the situation and the line-up that I’ve had here on this tour, it has been fucking cream. It has actually been cream. I’ve got to go back home and do what I’ve got to do to now gather again and to have Hobbs come back to wherever again in Europe. If it’s one month, two month, three months, I have to — I have to fucking put it out! I’ve got to get it…and that’s life. That’s what it’s all about. A lot of people have a lot of different things in life. There’s opportunities knocking on another door then we’ll take that. If that opportunity is not the right door to open it’s not my fault. because the train does actually pull in the station; “All aboard!”, and then leaves…
Music industry today is in crisis, record sales are getting down resulting that the gigs and online sales have become important issue for the bands. So there is kind of “do it for yourself” –mentality prevailing in scene which reminds me a bit of a situation we had back in the 80’ties with the metal underground. Do you agree with me?
PH: I do. It’s becoming very, very hard. You go to the internet, very easy to download things. I’m actually thinking to maybe stay in the independent area where I can have full control myself. It’s my product. I pay for the recording. Actually Peter Hobbs personally pays 99% of what I do. That’s a big sacrifice for me to just give that away.
I’m very strict about when I do recordings and whatever, there are no leakages. Because I want to offer if there’s an opportunity with a company to have Hobbs Angel of Death on their label. I want to have total security and respect to them that you’re getting the whole 99% of Hobbs without any interference. So I have strict laws. Anything I record does not leave that recording studio. It stays mine. It’s protection. It’s a protective way.
The internet has personally fucking — we need this internet and what’s been invented for us to use? Technology! We need technology to move forward. Unfortunately technology’s destroying a part of what the metal scene is. I’m old school and I know that to get things was hard. You had to in your ways fucking get up, go to the bloody record store, sit there before it opened and all this stuff. And wait and fucking bleed for the new Exodus, new Destruction album. Sodom all this sort of things, fucking Raining Blood… Everything, you know, you had to really wait. It was an excitement. Fuck now you got to do is — you can actually do it in bed. You just fucking roll out, turn on the fucking laptop, push this, fucking bang. YouTube is there and, you know, like Lars for Metallica many years ago was trying to stop all this. I could see his intentions but unfortunately you’re one man now competing against the world and you can’t stop it.
But, he gave it a good shot, he tried to do what he had to do and it’s a part of growing as well. You have to accept the fact that technology is growing. I at my age have to understand and appreciate I guess and respect also because a little bit of a leakage can actually fucking help in ways. It can tease and whatever…
But for me personally Hobbs Angel of Death is I keep everything fucking secure like the Mafia -man. I think that’s the best possible way for it to happen for myself. A lot of people wouldn’t agree but fuck them. I treasure what I have and everything that I’ve worked for I’ve had to work hard. I don’t believe that it’s a free ride. If I’ve got to get on public transport, I got to pay. I tried it in my younger days to sneak on it but I got fucking caught and but I’ve learned now through wisdom fucking pay the money. Don’t try to sneak in anyway because all you’re doing is ripping somebody off. Instead of trying to get on a guest list: See the band, fucking pay! Pay to go in! It’s helping them! It’s helping the younger generation of the world. That’s my honest opinion. It’s good for some, bad for others. But we all have to adapt to it, you know, in our own way.
What kind of music does Peter Hobbs listen nowadays? Are there any new bands which have impressed you lately?
PH: I’ve always answered this in a very intelligent way. There is so many bands that I listen to and I can’t mention them all. To leave anybody out from who I would mention is — I would, you know, to me personally, the person that I am I would find it insulting on my behalf that I can’t mention the great artists and the great bands that are in this world of today.
I’ve always tried to be political in that way as well to not mention so and so and so and so, without mentioning so and so and so and so. So where’s it start, where’s it stop? I just sort of like to add to that comment as well that everybody that’s trying to do what they’re doing. Fucking don’t stop!
I appreciate everything that I hear. It doesn’t matter whether it’s fucking hard core, soft core, fucking new metal, blah, blah, blah… black-metal. Ya, ya, ya, ya, ya. …As long as everybody’s trying.
Look at these guys behind me now. They’re still fucking going. I can spell it. T-A-N-K-A-R-D, you know what I mean? Fucking my hat’s off to these sort of people! European acts, fucking awesome! I love them! I was English…Born in England and I’m not racist so I love music from every avenue of the world and it keeps me versatile. So there are some great bands in Australia. Some really great talent and I’m going to help them personally. I’m going to help them. I’m going to offer my advice if they want to listen, so be it.
What kind of plans does Hobbs Angel of Death have for the future?
PH: To come and keep pleasing you Nico… To show you that at my age I still have passion. I still have aggression. I still have respect for my fans. I have respect for organizers. I have respect for festival organizers, promoters. Again, Hobbs has material but I also need the help from promoters and organizers to help me put it out there. So Hobbs has a future that is still being respected today. So why not continue that fact and keep coming back.
Fucking put on those fucking boxing gloves bro and I’m ready to fucking enter into any ring as a Gladiator would. The bigger coliseum, the more opponents I have, the more it makes me hungry! So and I feel like that. The voice has its story. You know that movie Gladiator? Where that fucking — that gate is like that. The sun is shining in your face and I see on the other side the fucking thing man, whipping that fucking thing. And I’m looking here… Are we ready to go and some are pissing themselves and I’m thinking fuck, I got to get out of here. Soon as that gate opens, actually duck, come around from the back. Get that big fucking guy. You know and that’s how it is. Because I’m older now, Nico I’ve got wisdom in my head. I know how to fight wars, which is normal strategy. Wars are built on strategy. So the wars for Hobbs Angel of Death in the future are about to fucking stand tall! Respect those who respect me. Have gratitude, have honour, and have dignity and fucking continue on in this fucking metal industry!
Just — I’m going to go further. I haven’t finished. And like Ronnie James Dio said to me once is, well I gave him the reason to keep going. Well now I look at all these younger bands and they’re giving me the fucking reason to keep on going!