Nowadays, you can’t swing a guitar without hitting some type of rock band — heavy metal, thrash metal, death metal, etc. Up-and-comers find inspiration in established bands. When multiple bands point to one in particular as their influence, usually that group has a pretty serious reputation.
Formed in 1982 in Essen, Germany, Kreator is one of the bands credited for creating thrash metal. They dabbled in other rock genres, but thrash has always been their staple. Fresh off the release of their live CD/DVD combo release, “Dying Alive,” Kreator is set to rip apart the stage at Empire in Springfield on Friday.
For the release, the band got to see the DVD play at the historic Lichtburg Theatre in the band’s hometown of Essen.
“That was a trip,” said Mille Petrozza, the band’s lead singer and guitarist. “We had the biggest movie theater in Germany and it’s a very ancient place. … Yeah, it was good. We had many people there, we invited a lot of fans and it was a great night. It’s cool to see yourself on the big screen. It was fun.”
“Dying Alive,” is Kreator’s second live album. “Live Kreation,” was released in 2003 to modest success. Since its release on Aug. 30, “Dying Alive,” has reached No. 9 on the rock charts in Germany and is getting major play around the world.
Petrozza said the band felt it was the right time to put out the CD/DVD combo.
“The first [live album] we put out in 2003, it’s been 10 years since,” Petrozza said. “The tour was very, very successful and we had a great stage set up. … I think it’s more entertaining recording a live album. We feel it’s always more intense. Even though you can’t catch the intensity of a real live concert, we tried to give people the impression of what it’s like to come to a Kreator show.”
Now 46, Petrozza said music has always been in his life. When he was in school, he was in a band named Tyrant. Since then, he’s worked not only as the frontman for Kreator, but has worked with Israeli metal band Nail Within, played guitar for the heavy metal supergroup Voodoocult with Dave Lombardo of Slayer and Chuck Schuldiner of Death and has worked with popular Danish metal band Volbeat.
“I was always into music,” Petrozza said. “Even when I was a little kid, I was into music. I grew up in the ’70s where the disco generation was really strong in Germany. I listened to bands like the Bee Gees and stuff like that on the TV and the radio. At one point, I discovered [a heavy metal] band in America, like many people did, and that was the first time that I had been in touch with hard rock and heavy metal.”
Kreator won’t be alone when they play at the Empire. As part of the Legends of Thrash Tour, Kreator will be joined by Overkill and Warbringer, among others.
“Those guys are really cool,” Petrozza said. “We’ve toured with Warbringer before and this is the first tour we’ve done with Overkill. Great guys, great atmosphere. It’s a very, very cool tour. I love it. It’s the perfect match.”
Petrozza said it’s important to the band that their fans at shows really take home a positive energy and just have a good time while they’re there.
“Hopefully we can give the fans something that makes them feel good for the next couple of days.”