1976 - Krokus (First)
1974 / 1975 / 1976
Peter Richards - Vocals
Tommy Kiefer - Lead Guitar & Vocals
Hansi Droz - Guitar
Remo Spadino - Bass
Chris Von Rohr - Drums & Vocals
Daniel Debritt - Vocals ("live" only)
Chris Von Rohr, along with Tommy Kiefer founded KROKUS in 1974 in their native town of Solothurn.
The genus Crocus is placed botanically in the iris family. In Switzerland “Crocus” is spelled Krokus and can be found also in the Swiss Alps. On the other hand Krokus stands for the two words "krok" (English slang for "strangle") and "us". The most attractive part to the ears lies in the middle of the word : ROK!! The flower crocus are the first to break through ice and snow after a harsh and heavy winter.
Early in the spring of 1975, band founder Chris von Rohr observed a field of these flowers while traveling by train. He was returning from "L'Ecole des Chefs", located in France, after an aborted career in the culinary arts, and it was around this time the idea for a rock band was formed.
The original line-up consists of drummer and pianist Chris von Rohr, guitarist Tommy Kiefer, bass player Remo Spadino and Peter Richard on vocals. The band’s first performance is as the opening act for Nella Martinetti in the Saalbau venue in Gerlafingen. After this concert singer Richard decides to only be available on a temporary basis, while the band welcomes another guitar player in the person of Hansi Droz. The band did actually add vocalist Daniel Debritt for a brief period, but he soon departed. The vocal parts are eventually done by all members.
The first, self-titled album is recorded in November and December 1975 and released in 1976 through the Phonogram affiliated Schnoutz label and has few similarities with the riff-focused hard rock style which would later make the band so famous. Instead, this album features epic and playful music. Peter Richard appears as a guest singer on some of the songs. The release is followed by two opening acts for the then still unknown Scorpions, who had just released their "In Trance" album, as well as a festival performance in Kloten, in support of then #1 band "Rumpelstilz". The band sells 560 copies of their debut album and decides to implement drastic changes for the second album.
Rumpelstilz vocalist Polo Hofer creates the painting that will become the cover for this self-titled release, also referred to by some as "Ice-Breaker" (because of the Krokus [Swiss for crocus] flower breaks through the ice on the painted cover. The album has become a collectors item since it was limited pressed and has never been reissued and is only available on the original vinyl.