ROCK SCENE magazine - USA
"Krokus Is Screaming Mad"
FACES ROCKS magazine - USA
By Elianne Halbersberg
It’s not surprising to find Fernando Von Arb in a good mood; in fact, it’s impossible to imagine Krokus’ lead guitarist being anything but happy. Von Arb seems to be an eternal optimist and every encounter with him over the years has found him always happy, smiling and enthusiastic. On this occasion, however, Von Arb has a double case of excitement, all due to what he calls “a very special project” – more specifically, the new Krokus album, Change Of Address, that, interestingly enough, introduces itself to the public via “School’s Out”, a Krokus-ized cover of the Alice Cooper Anthem.
“We never took so much time to work on an album,” Von Arb announces, obviously bursting with pride. “We played Switzerland in May of 1985 and I had my nose in my home studio a week later! I cannot take a vacation – I’m too energetic – so I went into the studio to work on some ideas. I was home all summer for the first time in five years and I spent the whole time in the studio. It felt great – heaven in 24 tracks!” Those months were spent with the entire band exchanging ideas, writing and recording new material much like an album in itself. “We recorded 17 songs,” he says, “and took the ten best to the U.S. in September to begin work on them.”
Although Von Arb says the band is “in great spirits right now,” Krokus’ history has not been problem free. The group’s line-up was literally a revolving door and Von Arb remains the sole original member. The addition of vocalist Marc Storace in 1979 brought what Von Arb calls “one of the best voices in rock’n’roll,” but by 1983, internal conflicts had pushed the group to a near-breaking point. Their 1984 album, The Blitz, was recorded under “tremendous pressure in real rough times,” says Von Arb, “but we did it, we survived, and we’re healthier than ever. We have taken a big step forward and the new album is really Krokus at its best.”
The new album is also Krokus with a new member, the latest change in personnel, with Tommy Keiser replacing bassist Andy Tanas. “Andy was there for the (Blitz) tour, “ Von Arb explains. “After that he wanted to do a solo project and on both sides, we agreed. He wanted to stay in Los Angeles. We got Tommy, who had played with Jeff Klaven (drums) in Cobra for two years. It’s very difficult to find new members, “ he theorizes. “As we (Storace, Von Arb, Klaven and Mark Kohler – rhythm guitarist) get older, the longer we have been in the group, the better we know the business and how it works, so to bring in someone with not the same experience and make it work, that new person must be strong, healthy, willing to work hard and able to kick ass!”
Spending all those months within the confines of a studio – writing, recording, pre-producing and so forth – is bound to take its toll on anyone, but Von Arb is even the one to look on the bright side. “I must say,” he reasons, “I try to make the best out of every situation in life. Much like on stage, where I try to play differently every night to avoid repetition, in the studio I love to create and try things. For me, it is a challenge and that is what keeps me alive. The whole band is writing now; it is a completely open house and every idea gets picked up.”
“This album is mind-blowing,” he asserts. “We really went in a new direction. We have some typical headbanging songs, but half of them are in a totally new style. It is our best album ever. I admit, I always want things to be perfect and I tend to be overly critical, but we have learned not to focus too much on little things. What is important is to write good songs and record them the right way. We have made mistakes before; we recorded perfectly but the songs were not that good. For the fans, what is important? The quality of the songs, not the technical perfection in the studio. We have learned that the song itself must work, and if not, we say goodbye to it. Also on this album, I used almost no effects. I like a very fat, natural guitar sound. I play simpler this time, very blues-oriented, a style I’ve always loved. I was fed up with doing the typical thing. I got bored and said, ‘I’m not joining the herd. I will play what I like’ “
Krokus also recruited veteran producer Tom Werman (Cheap Trick, Motley Crue) to control the boards. Von Arb observes, “Tom is a really fun guy to work with and he brought a lot out of us. But I confess, “ he laughs, “we Europeans, we cannot sit and hold our mouths shut, so we put our fingers in it as well to a big degree!”
With 130 U.S. dates anticipated to begin in June, Von Arb emphasizes, “We have rid ourselves of the things we did not like. We went through hard times, but we feel great, and are so proud of this new album. It truly represents Krokus as we are: powerful, earthy, dirty rock’n’roll!”
CIRCUS magazine - USA
July 31st, 1986
"Von Arb & Storace Tell The True Tale Behind CHANGE OF ADDRESS"
KERRANG magazine - UK
May 29th - June 11th, 1986
"The Never - Ending Storace"