MILLE PETROZZA (Kreator) – Har ingen teknikk
Mille Petrozza er en ekstremvokalist med en meget karakteristisk stil. I forbindelse med Kreator's opptreden på Betong helga før Inferno fikk Eternal Terror stilt ham noen spørsmål om hans vokal.
ET – We do a series of questions for extreme vocalists, so I have some questions about your vocals. When did you start to do extreme vocals?
MILLE – I was 14. When we started the band we had this Tormentor band, which was more a heavy metal. But only for a while, we changed names every week. I was a kid. I was 13-14-15 when I started doing extreme vocals, because I did not know any better.
ET – What made you start doing extreme vocals?
MILLE – It was either Venom or Bathory. I think maybe Venom. Yeah, I remember… When we heard Black Metal… Or Welcome to Hell, yeah, it was Welcome to Hell. We changed the style of the band completely. We were more like a heavy metal band, and when we heard this, that was it.
ET – Can you describe the technique or the techniques you are using?
MILLE – There's none. I have a technique nowadays, to do it without hurting my voice. I do not know how I do this, but I think it is just… I took vocal lessons over the years, for three years. And I developed a technique where I am not thinking about having a technique, if you know what I mean. You just have to become aware that your own body is your instrument. What is more important than developing a certain technique is to be aware of that and treat your body nicely, not do too much hot liqueur, smoke or whatever, it is not good for the voice and the body. If your body feels weak, you are weak as a performer and as an artist.
ET – When did you take those vocal lessons?
MILLE – Throughout the 90's I had three different teachers. Started in 94 and ended by the time of the Endorama record. I had some breaks in between, and took the last lessons during the Endorama sessions.
ET – Do you work a lot with the stomach?
MILLE – Yeah, breathing techniques, hitting the notes at the right time, hitting the right note without straining or closing the throat etc. Get used to this, do some exercises before you go on stage and before you record an album, which is more important. I think you have to focus on what you want to say. Vocal techniques are such a complex topic. What it really comes down to is to perform your own music, your own lyrics. That is very different from doing a cover song. Then I would have to adapt to that – another way of getting the melodies right. I would not like to play in a cover band; I do not think I would do very well singing stuff from many different kinds of genres. But I can definitely get away with what I do, what I have written myself. It is much easier to sound convincing with what I have written myself.
ET – Has your technique changed during your career?
MILLE – Yeah. When I was a kid I did not think about anything. It just happened, and it worked. And I think that is still the case. If I think about it now, I remember that my voice changed on the "Renewal" album. But, mostly, it is all in here (peker på hodet sitt). It is all how you feel, if you are in a good state of mind or not. If you are looking for something you cannot find, if you are not focused enough…. I guess that is what it comes down to. It is so funny, because the different periods of my career… If I listen to the renewal album I know exactly what I was at, what mind frame I was in at the time. Renewal was for me not such a good mind frame, I was quite lost at the time, and on Endorama it was the same thing. But nowadays I am normal. It is different periods of my life, I had to do records at the time and it is just what comes out.
ET – Have you ever hurt yourself using a "wrong" technique?
MILLE – Yes. One time I blew my voice due to monitor problems. That was bad. It was the beginning of the tour, and I had to do six shows without a proper voice. I had this high-end note all through the show, it was horrible.
ET – Is there anything you do on a regular basis to keep your voice in shape? Any routines?
MILLE – I do not smoke, I do not drink much, and I eat well. I think that is the most important. But it depends on what you do.
ET – Do you think it can be dangerous to do extreme vocals?
MILLE – No, it's only a myth. I do not believe it. People keep saying that, all kinds of things. There are so many extreme bands…So many people have this "I cannot do the concert, my voice is blocked", I think it is all in here (points to his head). Some people are so nervous, so insecure, then they think "Oh I cannot play the show tonight", and then they can't.
ET – What is most important for you; to make cool sounds and interesting rhythms or to have a clear diction/pronunciation?
MILLE – I will say both.
ET – Do you think extreme vocals can be made into a science, like "This is how it works for everyone, to make this sound you have to do like this etc"? …
MILLE – No. A lot of people think it is easy, and a lot of people think it is nothing, but there are so many extreme vocalists that have a certain style. I think that people from the outside who do not know this music so well, they will think "Death metal is only ROAAHHR, Thrash metal is a little more highpitch, and Black Metal is all highpitch." It is not true. There are some extreme vocalists, like the guy from Six Feet Under, he almost sounds like a blues singer, I think. He has soul in his voice. It is massive, it is not just… Put him in a different band, and I would recognize him. There are tons of others who sound alike, which you cannot recognize, but i.e. the guy from Obituary – he has got this tone in his voice, you know it is him. It is something you cannot just do; you have to feel it I guess.
ET – I think you are one of those vocalists (Mille says thank you). Do you have any advice for people who want to start doing extreme vocals?
MILLE – Just do it, really. There is no advice. Everything comes with time. If you start doing it and you really enjoy it, it is going to be great. You should not try to be extreme just for the sake of being extreme. If you do not feel extreme, do something else. Whatever you feel. That is my advice – you always have to follow your heart, not your (points to the head). You know what I mean? Some people say "this band is going to be a mix between black, death and thrash metal and we are going to sell this much". It's gonna fail.
ET – Can you mention three extreme vocalists whose style you admire, and explain why?
MILLE – I think the guy from Six Feet Under. The guy from Possessed, but he only recorded two albums. Who else… There are so many… Quorthon from Bathory, he was a great influence for me, but later Bathory was not the same quality.
ET – Can you also mention three vocalists, not necessarily extreme vocalists, which you have been influenced by, and explain in which way you have been influenced by them?
MILLE – I am very influenced by "Hart Mccoy" (Litt usikker på om dette er skrevet korrekt) I am definitely influenced by very old Bono. I like the way he expresses his vocals on the first three albums. And I am very influenced by the singer from Sisters of Mercy. Those three, but there are tons more like Bjørk and Kate Bush. It is not that I am trying to copy them, it is how they pronounce things, and it influences me subconsciously, not directly.
ET – Who do you want to "challenge" in this series – who should be the next to answer the questions?
MILLE – Tom from Celtic Frost.
ET – Yeah, we can try (begge ler).
MILLE – Or you can take… Barney from Napalm Death, he is very interesting, because he got a voice almost like a fucking bulldog.
ET – He has already answered the questions…
MILLE – Ok, take Tom from Celtic Frost.
Og der var Mille Petrozza med i vår Deepthroat serie. Siden Thomas G Fischer var i samme lokalet denne dagen, tok jeg, Rune, mot til meg og spurte Tom om han ville bidra til vokalist serien vår, noe han sa tvert ja til.