Interview with Krokus (Marc Storace y Chris Von Rohr)
Marc Storace: MS
Chris Von Rohr: CVR
First of all, thanks for the interview. I am a Krokus fan since 80´s and it´s a pleasure for me to do this.
MS: GOOD TO HEAR, WE ARE FANS OF SPAIN AND SOUNDS L N SOUNDS GOOD.
CVR: OH YEAH!!
I think Krokus is going to publish a new album "Big Rocks", based in great classic covers. Why did you decide to record covers at this time?
MS: IT WAS A BAND DREAM SINCE YEARS NOW THE TIME WAS RIGHT.
CVR: THERE IS NOTHING STONGER THAN A STRONG SONG
Which are the selection proccess for chosing the for the album?
MS: Chris, being the band`s producer since our Reunion Of The Originals back in 2008, asked us to each deliver a short-list of old faves, from other artists of course! From this vast collection he picked the common songs first and the rest was decided by trial and error over a space of time until all were satisfied. We worked in the band`s rehearsal room in the band`s birthplace of Solothurn. Once again Dennis Ward was chosen to engineer the whole thing because of his team-spirit and reliability shown during previous productions e.g. Hoodoo; Dirty Dynamite; Longstick Goes Boom!
CVR WE TOOK THE SONGS WITCH RE OUR DNA-NOT THE BONSAI SONGS BUT THE BIG ROCKS! WE CHECKED CREFULLY WITCH ONES WE CAN KROKOSIZE-IT WAS BIG FUN TOO
Where and who with was recorded the new album?
MS: See Above
The band is alive since 1974. What do you feel when you get on stage 42 years after your debut?
MS: First of all we feel very thankful for still being alive and for still being together with increased respect for one another after 4 decades. We also still deliver creatively as well as “live on stage”. We still have that legendary “live” punch same as we did back in the days when we toured as Special Guests with Def Leppard, Van Halen, Judas Priest or AC/DC! All is not to be taken for granted so we continue to enjoy as long as it lasts.
CVR WE FEEL THANFULLNESS THT WE SER STILL TOGETHER SO STRONG- SND WE RE NOT ONE OF THESE BANDS WITH ONLY 1 OR 2 ORIGINAL MEMBERS- THTS THE REAL SHIT HERE- WE WILL GO ON AS LONG AS THE DOCTOR ORDERS.
Marc, almost every singer I know with a long career has lost enough vocal abilities (except Glenn Hughes), you keep your voice to a great level. What's your secret?
MS: I never smoked and hate hanging around in smokey rooms. I eat and drink more consciously. I don`t eat big meals immediately before a perfomance. I take naps at the right moments. I try to excercise regularly. I keep my vocal chords busy as much as possible. I enjoy nature, fresh air and the simple things in life.
You all lived the 80's boom of heavy metal in the first person, what do you feel to have been part of the history of rock in those years?
MS: We feel lucky to have been at the right place at the right time, with the right product, and the right attitude...the rest is history. It feels good to have been a part of it all and survived. Temptation beckoned on every corner. We enjoyed ourselves but were resiliant! That feels good and one remembers more of the good times as we get older.
FOR ME AS MUSICSIN AND PRODUCER IT WAS MORE IMPORTANT TO BE AROUND IN THE 60TIES WERE THE REAL GENIUSES LIKE HENDRIX, WERE AROUND- THOSE PEOPE WHO MADE THE 80TIES EVEN POSSIBLE- THATS WHY ON BIG ROCKS ARE MAINLY 60 N 70 SONGS- ALL GOOD BANDS ARE INSPIRED FROM THST PHASE
My favorite Krokus record is Headhunter, what did you feel when this record was certified platinum in the United States?
MS: It was a sensational inner-glow, a happy feeling throughout the band. Two years before we had just landed there from Switzerland and started “doing the slog”, like every new band...an Opening-Act, playing 30 minutes in every Godforsaken Hell-Hole with front-row drunks screaming in our faces with smelly breath and working our sweaty way up, gig by hard gig, coast to coast, slowly to the top. Yes of course, it felt very good, and shortly afterwards we started Headlining our own tours! At that point I couldn`t believe the fact that we took guitar-god Gary Moore with drum-god Ian Paice on drums and bass-god Neil Murray on bass as our Special-Guests! The Stadiums and Arenas were jam-packed-full, and the fans went crazy and wanted more and more encores from KROKUS...
CVR: IT WAS WELL DESERVED AFTER 3 GREAT ALBUMS BEFORE- THE BAND FOUND ITS STYLE ND STRENGH- IT IS TILL TODAY OUR BEST LBUM I THINK.
In "Ready to burn" track put his voice Rob Halford, how the collaboration took place and what did you think Rob in person?
MS: Well, Tom Allom produced our Headhunter, and he was the main producer for Judas Priest. Rob was easy going and friendly as always. We also invited Jimi Jamieson to sing some Backing Vocals on our epic ballad “Screaming In The Night”, God Rest His Soul.
CVR: ROB IS A GREAT HUMEROUS, SMART GUY- I LIKE HIM ON STAGE AND IN PRIVATE- GREAT DUDE!
In the 80s you shared tours with big names such as AC / DC, Def Leppard, Motorhead, Rush or Rainbow. How do you remember those tours and what experiences did you have with these bands?
MS: Each tour and Headliner was slightly different than the other. We savoured each experience individually. Some Headliner band-members were more friendly and accessible than others. So our motto was, with all due respect, to blow away the main act, and most of the times that`s what we did! As I said before, KROKUS grew up burning rubber on the US Highways and Byways. We developed a good sense of what Songs to put on our Set-Lists according to the audiences we played for. Together with our merciless energy and collective punch it worked all the time!
CVR: I LOVED ALL THIS BANDS AND ITS PROTAGONIST- YOU ROCK YOU PARTY AND YOU LEARN- THATS LIFE ON THE ROAD.
Marc, a few months ago Brian Johnson left AC / DC, being replaced by Axl Rose. I think you offered to replace Brian. I think Axl has done well, but honestly, I think the ideal person for that task was you. Was there any contact with the AC / DC environment and what did you think of Rose's work with the group?
MS: I had no direct contact with Angus or the management. It was that simple, a statement from me saying I would fill the vacancy should they be interested. I knew KROKUS would understand so I threw it in there but nothing happened. Axel did a pretty good job but thanks for saying I would have done it better.
CVR: MARC SURE SOUNDS MORE LIKE BON SCOTT BUT THEY DID NOT WANNA GO BACK AND PRESENT RATHER A VERY BIG NAME FOR THOSE WHO PAYED 250 BUCKS FOR THE CONCERT TIX-FOR ME THE MORE INTERESTING QUESTION IS: WHAT IS AC DC DOING NOW? ANGUS IS ONE OF A KIND AND I HOPE HE GOES ON- HE ANYWAY CANNT ALLOW THAT THE STONES ARE STILL PLAYING AND AC DC NOT- I BET HE GOES ON-AND COMES WITH TOTAL NEW POWERFULL SINGER- HE CANNOT RETIRE AND PAINTING BIRDS AND NEIGHTER DO A UN GROUP- AC DC WILL LIVE ON AND THATS GOOD SO.
I would like to know which are your main influences like bass player and singer?
I´M COMING FROM THE DRUM SIDE- MY MAN WAS ALWAYS GINGER BAKER UND BONZO FROM ZEP- WHEN I CHANGED TO BASS THE BASSPLAYERS OF THESE 2 DRUMMERS WERE MY FAVS- BUT MY STYLE IS CLEAR CLOSER TO CLIFF WILLIAMS OR THE PRIEST BASSPLAYER- WE PLAY CLOSER TO THAT THAN CREAM OR ZEP- BUT THERE ARE MANY VERY TALENTED GUYS OURT THERE-IF YOU LISTEN TO THE STONES BASSPLAYER (FORMERLY MILES DAVIS) ITS JUST MINDBLOWING STUFF(JUST CHECK THE GIG IN KUBA ON HAVANNA MOON)
My fave bass-player singers are Jack Bruce and Glenn Hughes. Two totally different cups of tea but nonetheless very intense and precise musicians with tons of energy...I love that. Both were/are tops with both mediums and they perform the two at the same time...holy moly!
I TOTLY AGREE
I suppose you are preparing a presentation tour of "Big Rocks". Is it possible that you come to Spain?
MS: Where there is life and a telephone book there is hope LOL!
CVR WE WANNA COME BAD TO THE TORRO LOCOS YOU BET!!
Chris, you are the only component that has been throughout the history of the band. Did you think when you started that you would be making a living with music 42 years later?
CHRIS: SURE NOT-ITS A WONDER AND I’M VERY THANKFULL
Are you from Switzerland, a country that is not very known for rock and roll, there is a good metal scene in your country? Any group that can advise us?
CHRIS: Well, there used to be more Hard Rock in the Swiss Music Scene than there exists today, but Shakra, Gotthard, Coroner seem to be the last survivors.
Many people always associate with heavy metal, but I find more similarities in your music with classic blues and rock, what do you think of it?
CHRIS: When I founded KROKUS we started out as a Prog Rock Band and slowly drifted into Rock`n`Roll. Then I handed over the mic to marc and our music our musik turned clear into straight hardrock with bluesroots – but these are all labels- everybody can decide for himself- just call it krock n roll!
¿Do you want to comment anything more?
Cvr: i love the spanish language, the fans, the energy and the girls- so damn tell the promoters krokus wants to play your country and not just the rest of europe and amerika- we are ready- let that long stick goes boom over spain!