Biography

K R O K U S  IS:

MARC STORACE

Lead Vocals

Marc Storace

CHRIS VON ROHR

Bass, Vocals

Chris Von Rohr

FERNANDO VON ARB

Guitar, Vocals

Fernando Von Arb

MARK KOHLER

Guitar

Mark Kohler

MANDY MEYER

Guitar

Mandy Meyer

FLAVIO MEZZODI

Drums

Flavio Mezzodi

ENGLISH

Sonntags Blick
SONNTAGS BLICK - Switzerland

March 8th, 2009


"KROKUS MELT THE ICE"

By Claudia Schlup
Great news for KROKUS fans: Written by “the long noses” Chris Von Rohr and Fernando Von Arb, along with Marc Storace, the rockers from Solothurn, Switzerland recorded the official song of the “Hockey World Championship 2009.

After 20 years hiatus, the originals are back to rock the world. The anticipated comeback CD of the biggest Rock band to gain International status worldwide will be released towards the end of the year.

However, you can get a taste of the straight-forward, rock hard sound of the “real thing” right now! Click on the link on top of our HOME page or the link below (courtesy of “BLICK” magazine) and you get to hear a sample of the new song:

http://www.blick.ch/people/schweiz/krokus-rocken-auf-dem-eis-113873

The band wrote this song especially for the Ice Hockey World Championship, which will take place in Switzerland starting April 24th until May 10th, 2009. The name of the new tune, specifically written for this event, is called “Live For The Action” and the stomping, pulsating rock anthem is so hot, it will melt the ice!

Heinz Mazenauer, speaker of the Hockey Championship Committee prophesizes enthusiastically: “The song is destined to become a smash hit. KROKUS are rocking hard, straight forward, uncompromising and therefore are the perfect fit to the sport of ice hockey and what it stands for.”

One thing is clear: This is a huge first step to feature the comeback of the originals. This song will not only be played during breaks in the hockey stadiums, but everywhere. And the catchy chorus is addictive. The more often you hear it, the more it gets into your heart and soul. It’s addictive in a good way!

The band will perform the song “live” in Bern at the ice hockey opener of Switzerland against France. In front of a packed stadium and broadcasted via TV to 800 million viewers in over 100 countries. Now that’s some news…

Stay tuned, the best is yet to come!
Marc Chris & Freddy
POWERPLAY: Marc Storace, Chris Von Rohr and Freddy Steady score a huge goal!
KROKUS Stade De Suisse 2008
SWISS INFO.CH

August 4th, 2008



"Metal Rendez-Vous pulls in rock fans to Bern"


By Susan Vogel-Misicka

 

Swiss rockers Krokus delivered the concert they'd owed fans for 25 years when they played a packed Stade de Suisse in Bern

"It was super – it didn't seem like it had been over 20 years," enthused concert-goer Daniela Glauser of Bern. Ernst Ramseyer, also of Bern, agreed: "Fantastic! Still the same guys – only the faces are a bit older."
The line-up featured the same musicians who made the band famous back in the early 1980s. Then and now, Krokus are: Chris Von Rohr (bass), Fernando Von Arb (lead guitar), Freddy Steady (drums), Marc Storace (vocals) and Mark Kohler (rhythm guitar).

It's also the line-up that recorded “One Vice at a Time”, which contained hits like “Long Stick Goes Boom” and “Playin' the Outlaw”. Between 1980 and 1984 alone,

Krokus released five albums, including top sellers “Metal Rendez-Vous” (triple-platinum in Switzerland) and “Headhunter” (platinum in US, gold in Switzerland and Canada).

They also toured nearly non-stop in the United States and Canada, which eventually led to burnout and tension among the band members. Over the past two decades, there've been several (re-) incarnations of Krokus.
A joint TV appearance of the old brigade in late 2007 was the impetus for the big reunion concert in Bern. Von Rohr, Von Arb, Storace and Steady played a three-song medley on “The Greatest Swiss Hits of All Time” – their first performance together in over 20 years.

The viewers went wild. During the program, Krokus received a special honor – the "Diamond Record Award" for overall sales exceeding 1 million in Switzerland during their tenure with the BMG label. Krokus are the world's most successful Swiss rock band.

Die-hard fans

Long-time fan Holly Craven was ecstatic when she heard about the reunion. In fact, she and her husband Duncan traveled all the way from New York to attend the big show. "My first thought was: How many vacation days do I have left and are the dog sitters available?" laughed Craven, who has been to about 20 Krokus concerts over the years.

Fans Dieter and Fabienne Hadorn-Hitz of Los Angeles were surprised to learn about the concert, but not surprised by the band's enduring success. As Dieter Hadorn put it, "A great record and a gripping live gig will leave a scar on any rock fan – one that never quite heals. When you get a chance to pick at the scab – you go for it ... if you know what I mean."

Both the Hadorn-Hitzs and the Cravens took advantage of a special offer from Krokus. Fans travelling to the show from the US were offered free tickets for the concert and the VIP party.

Before the band launched into “American Woman”, Storace thanked those who had made the journey "across the pond". Krokus also entertained its fans with old favorites like “Rock City”, “Tokyo Nights” and “Fire”. In addition, they played “Hellraiser” from the 2006 album of the same name.

Like a difficult marriage

Before their TV appearance in 2007, some members of Krokus hadn't spoken in years. In Chris Von Rohr's words, the relationship can be described "like a marriage that had fallen apart. But after a long time, the partners found each other and realized that it was the real thing."

Von Rohr, who helped found the band in 1975, served as drummer, pianist, lead singer and bassist before dropping out in 1989. Fernando Von Arb, who like Von Rohr is from Solothurn, has logged the most years with the band, having stayed on board almost continuously from 1976 to 2004, when wrist problems forced him to drop out for a while.

He and singer Marc Storace, who is originally from Malta, joined forces with three new members in 2002. After this comeback, Krokus recorded two studio albums, “Rock the Block”, which hit number one on the Swiss charts, and “Hellraiser”, which hit number two.

By 2007, Storace was the last "original" member performing with Krokus. Though he enjoyed the collaboration with that line-up, he was also happy to reunite with his old comrades. "We played a few of our old classic songs and it felt as if we had only just returned from a long holiday," said Storace of the band's first jam sessions of 2008. "Bands are like puzzles; you lose a couple of pieces and it ruins the picture." Ex-drummer Patrick Aeby was in Bern to support the reunion. "I think it's good that they got back together," said Aeby, who played with Krokus from 2002-2005. Meanwhile, drummer Freddy Steady's American wife flew in from Chicago to cheer the band on. "They're having a blast!" she said, "I'm so happy for them."

Future

The majority of concert-goers were in their 40s and 50s; however, there were a significant number of people in their 20s and 30s as well.
Asked how Krokus have managed to maintain and even build their fan base despite the numerous line-ups and break-ups, fan Martin Wetten of Washington, DC, commented: "Krokus stay true to their roots and don't pretend to be a band they're not."

It seems to be a formula that works – most concert-goers were up and dancing by the second half of the show.

Although there has been speculation regarding a tour and a new album, there are no firm plans for the future. Von Arb has said that he's not willing to put up with "endless tours and bad managers".
In addition, "It just has to be fun," insists the silver-haired guitarist. In Bern he appeared to be having the time of his life, smiling almost non-stop throughout the concert. It looks like Krokus still have some serious rocking to do.

swissinfo, Susan Vogel-Misicka
Brave Words
BW & BK magazine - Canada
(Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles)

Volume 111

July 2008



KROKUS

"The Ultimate Metal Rendez-Vous"


Interview With Lead Guitarist Fernando Von Arb

Looks like the full-on Krokus reunion is in good shape with this somewhat combative bunch of "metal geezas" looking at… well, oddly, they are sticking to the plan of the initial reports, namely one Swiss show, followed by a Krokus record.

 

We asked lead guitarist Fernando Von Arb (the band is rounded out by vocalist Marc Storace, bassist Chris Von Rohr, rhythm guitarist Mark "Koki" Kohler and drummer Freddy Steady) how this unlikely re-meeting of boogie rock minds came about…

 

Brave Words

Looks like the full-on Krokus reunion is in good shape with this somewhat combative bunch of "metal geezas" looking at…

Well, oddly, they are sticking to the plan of the initial reports, namely one Swiss show, followed by a Krokus record.

We asked lead guitarist Fernando Von Arb (the band is rounded out by vocalist Marc Storace, bassist Chris Von Rohr, rhythm guitarist Mark "Koki" Kohler and drummer Freddy Steady) how this unlikely re-meeting of boogie rock minds came about…

"The fact that we play now again together as a band these days is the result of an appearance last November on a Swiss TV show called "The Greatest Swiss Hits Of All Times". The producers of that TV show wanted to have the original Krokus, meaning the original line-up, or no Krokus at all. We actually met the first time for the rehearsals in the TV studio – Marc, Freddy, Chris and me. The response of the audience was so overwhelming and the offers for concerts with the original band came in already the next day. That’s why we decided to give it a shot and we agreed to have a rehearsal together. And that was when everyone in the band really realized that only this line-up is the real thing; the chemistry that Krokus is made of – nothing else can compare to this!"

Brave Words
"The fact that we play now again together as a band these days is the result of an appearance last November on a Swiss TV show called "The Greatest Swiss Hits Of All Times". The producers of that TV show wanted to have the original Krokus, meaning the original line-up, or no Krokus at all. We actually met the first time for the rehearsals in the TV studio – Marc, Freddy, Chris and me. The response of the audience was so overwhelming and the offers for concerts with the original band came in already the next day. That’s why we decided to give it a shot and we agreed to have a rehearsal together. And that was when everyone in the band really realized that only this line-up is the real thing; the chemistry that Krokus is made of – nothing else can compare to this!"

"Everybody is more or less the same person with the same personality as before", continues Von Arb, asked about any changes he’s noticed in his old mates. "But everybody is these days a bit more humble. You know, every one of us has made his life experience up to now; in fact we grew up and matured and we are now able to leave each other alone – we just don’t have to pick on each other as we did years back. The major step is that everybody realized that it needs the right guys to have the right chemistry."

Brave Words
"Everybody is more or less the same person with the same personality as before", continues Von Arb, asked about any changes he’s noticed in his old mates. "But everybody is these days a bit more humble. You know, every one of us has made his life experience up to now; in fact we grew up and matured and we are now able to leave each other alone – we just don’t have to pick on each other as we did years back. The major step is that everybody realized that it needs the right guys to have the right chemistry."

With respect to the album the guys plan to write, Fernando figures that "the direction of Krokus is ‘back to the roots’. For Europe and Switzerland that means back to ‘Metal Rendez-Vous’; in the US we were known more with ‘Headhunter’. But basically it’s single riff rock – we just try to make good songs that are not too complicated. The sound will be again two guitars and we will not get too fancy – we try to keep it simple. So, yes, the Krokus sound is guitar… guitar and an incredible voice above that. Song wise, like I say, it’s mainly riff rock, but we always write one that goes a little bit away from this bluesy riff rock, like maybe a ballad."

Asked about classics he personally likes to play live (songs that presumably would make the set list coming up), he goes with " ‘Heatstrokes’, ‘Bedside Radio’, both from our album ‘Metal Rendez-Vous’, then there is ‘Screaming In The Night’ and ‘Rock’n’Roll Tonight’. What else? Of course, if the song is in the set, ‘Eat The Rich’. And the reason I like to play them is because I can express myself the best in these songs. I really can put my personality and my heart in it."

Brave Words
With respect to the album the guys plan to write, Fernando figures that "the direction of Krokus is ‘back to the roots’. For Europe and Switzerland that means back to ‘Metal Rendez-Vous’; in the US we were known more with ‘Headhunter’. But basically it’s single riff rock – we just try to make good songs that are not too complicated. The sound will be again two guitars and we will not get too fancy – we try to keep it simple. So, yes, the Krokus sound is guitar… guitar and an incredible voice above that. Song wise, like I say, it’s mainly riff rock, but we always write one that goes a little bit away from this bluesy riff rock, like maybe a ballad."

Asked about classics he personally likes to play live (songs that presumably would make the set list coming up), he goes with " ‘Heatstrokes’, ‘Bedside Radio’, both from our album ‘Metal Rendez-Vous’, then there is ‘Screaming In The Night’ and ‘Rock’n’Roll Tonight’. What else? Of course, if the song is in the set, ‘Eat The Rich’. And the reason I like to play them is because I can express myself the best in these songs. I really can put my personality and my heart in it."

Back to 2008, what is the timeline for the new album?

"Now we are preparing for the first big show that will take place in Switzerland beginning of August. My focus is solely on that at the moment, so I have no timeline concerning the new album before that show. After this concert in Switzerland we’ll start to write songs and do some recordings. So I think that we will not do any American dates in 2008."

Prompted to reflect on the band’s legacy, Fernando says that, "Even if Krokus never made it to the very, very top, I think, on one side, the hard rock fans are going to keep in their hearts a few great songs that we wrote during the years and for those who have seen us, it’s the very energetic live performances. And on the other side, people within the closer circle of the band will say, ‘Well that’s the band that had control over their destiny. They almost made it, and then they fucked it up themselves, all because of their ego battles!’. In general, over the years, the only thing that will be remembered from any band are their greatest songs, and for the ones that have seen these bands live, it’s the memory of a great show."

Brave Words
Back to 2008, what is the timeline for the new album?

"Now we are preparing for the first big show that will take place in Switzerland beginning of August. My focus is solely on that at the moment, so I have no timeline concerning the new album before that show. After this concert in Switzerland we’ll start to write songs and do some recordings. So I think that we will not do any American dates in 2008."

Prompted to reflect on the band’s legacy, Fernando says that, "Even if Krokus never made it to the very, very top, I think, on one side, the hard rock fans are going to keep in their hearts a few great songs that we wrote during the years and for those who have seen us, it’s the very energetic live performances. And on the other side, people within the closer circle of the band will say, ‘Well that’s the band that had control over their destiny. They almost made it, and then they fucked it up themselves, all because of their ego battles!’. In general, over the years, the only thing that will be remembered from any band are their greatest songs, and for the ones that have seen these bands live, it’s the memory of a great show."

In closing I had to give Fernando the gears around this concept that French bands – and I was knowingly lumping his Swiss band in here – seemed to really latch onto a form of AC/DC derived boogie rock, back in the low 80’s, sorta post –NWOBHM. For those of us who remember, it was considered a bit pathetic, and frankly it really tarnished the reputation of the French with respect to the forging of metal…

"Well, ok, you mention French bands (laughs), but French bands come from France – we are a Swiss band, from Switzerland and not from Sweden (laughs). And Celtic Frost are from Zurich in the Swiss German part. Anyway, I think the AC/DC-ish sound fits very good to the mentality we have here. We’re not people that play funk music very good, even if a lot of Swiss people try to. I think earthy riff rock fits best to the mentality. We’re mountain people – a lot of rocks around us (laughs)."

Brace Words
In closing I had to give Fernando the gears around this concept that French bands – and I was knowingly lumping his Swiss band in here – seemed to really latch onto a form of AC/DC derived boogie rock, back in the low 80’s, sorta post –NWOBHM. For those of us who remember, it was considered a bit pathetic, and frankly it really tarnished the reputation of the French with respect to the forging of metal…

"Well, ok, you mention French bands (laughs), but French bands come from France – we are a Swiss band, from Switzerland and not from Sweden (laughs). And Celtic Frost are from Zurich in the Swiss German part. Anyway, I think the AC/DC-ish sound fits very good to the mentality we have here. We’re not people that play funk music very good, even if a lot of Swiss people try to. I think earthy riff rock fits best to the mentality. We’re mountain people – a lot of rocks around us (laughs)."

MUSIC NIGHT – Swiss Music Scene (Originally aired June 28th, 2008)

KROKUS: Swiss TV Show
Dani Beck Interview – www.sf.tv


[log on to our MySpace web site (www.myspace.com/krokusonline) and watch the TV interview (in Swiss). As part of the interview you can view the video clip “Backseat Rock’n’Roll” of the 1980 release “Metal Rendez-Vous”. On guitar original guitarist Tommy Kiefer (RIP)]

DANI BECK: The most successful Swiss rock band of all times reunited again, who would have thought that? How does it feel for the three of you to be back on promo tour again after all these years?

CHRIS VON ROHR: It’s not bad at all. We set a time at the train station and Marc was never as punctual as today. In fact he was there 20 minutes ahead of schedule. Unlike in the 80’s where he was always late.

DANI BECK: At which point did you believe for sure that this reunion would take place? At one time in the past it was a subject matter during or after the release of the film/DVD “KROKUS: As Long As We Live”.

FERNANDO VON ARB: Chris and I always stayed in touch with each other since that time. Not musically, just as friends. Last summer, however, musically things started to happen when Chris approached me last year with the idea of an August 1st concert (the equivalent of “4th Of July” in the USA). That’s when Chris, Freddy Steady (drums) and I played together for the first time. Afterwards, on our way home, we collectively were in shock how well it all sounded. It was like we gave our last concert the day before. At that time it was only the three of us. It almost irritated me to think that we played with all sort of talented musicians and then, 25 years later, one gets together and after 10 seconds playing together we all concluded: That's it! And I always knew that Koki Kohler perfectly fit the comeback as our rhythm guitarist. He did not play with us at that time, it was just the three of us. That’s when it was clear, however at that point in time we had no clue that very soon we would write a new chapter in the musical history of KROKUS.

CHRIS VON ROHR: Every time after rehearsals we concluded that a singer was missing to complete the picture. One cannot do a comeback without vocals. However, at that time there was no communication at all between Marc ad the rest of us. We had to break the ice slowly. There were wounds from the past still lingering on, people playing one side against the other, partly on the account of the press, sadly there was never a dialogue between us. So we set out to find a singer and planned auditions. Max Vox, Gölä, and… and… and…! I still remember as if it were today that when I called Gölä to set up an audition he told me: “Look, I’d love to join the band, but I’m not Storace. I can’t hit that last (high) octave, even if I drank three shots of Ballantine’s whiskey, it just won’t happen”. And when she showed up for the audition he brought along a bottle of Ballantine’s and told me again: “Listen to me, Chris. Just call Storace. I even promise to buy the first album after the release, as long as you promise me to call him”. About the same time, Marc’s personal manager called to inform me that Swiss TV was planning a 6 series show called “The Greatest Swiss Hits Of All Times”. They wanted to book KROKUS in its original line-up and he wanted to know whether we’re interested. We considered it, weight it out and concluded: Meeting Marc for the first time after all these years they would be welcomed with either a handshake or a slap in the face. When we arrived at the TV studios, we were more nervous about the personal meeting after all these years than the performance itself.

[In the interview you can enjoy the playback clip of Swiss TV’s show “The Greatest Hits Of All Time” with a medley of “Tokyo Nights”, Bedside Radio” and “Heatstrokes”]

DANI BECK: Did you meet prior to that TV event or was this really the first time where you all met at the TV studio and practically were forced to speak with each other?

MARC STORACE: Yes, it was really the first time we all saw each other again after a very long time. I discussed the details of this meeting months in advance with my personal manager, since it was a sensitive subject matter with the “Hellraiser” line-up. The concept of the show was attractive, and so was the offer. And still it took some selftalk to convince myself that I should do this. I requested separate dressing rooms mainly to keep the then current line-up at ease and to keep things leveled out. Because I even did not know how that first meeting would go. After the show we all joined together in one dressing room. It was fun and most importantly, it is always good to bury the hatchet and being able to look into the future with a positive outlook in life. Arguments happen in every family and we’re not different, it’s just silly to hold grudges after all these years…..

DANI BECK: But you all did not speak to each other for such along time, that could be considered by some as borderline “hate”. When did you first realize that there is really still a connection between you all?

CHRIS VON ROHR: When you spend thousands and hundred thousands of miles in a tour bus together, when you shared so many up’s and down’s with each other through thick and thin, starting from ground zero and persistently make it to the top and you meet each other again after 25 years time, the human factor definitely prevails and is the most important thing. You look at your former band mate and partner in crime and instantly you visualize how you stood on stage together in San Antonio for instance, like a movie, and you can’t pause or stop it. It’s like we had an artificial distance from each other, it’s absurd. When we came to the realization finally: Hey friends, let’s be real and let’s just “be”. And then, while enjoying a glass of wine let’s just meet socially and start talking with each other again. The floodgates opened and the rest is history. What did you think, Fernando?

FERNANDO VON ARB: The common ground that we shared, in spite of past unfortunate situations, was the TV performance for me. First “Tokyo Nights”, then “Bedside Radio” followed by “Heatstrokes”. The glue that always held us together in the old days was always the music. All we had to do was to let the music do the talking. From that moment I felt that we came closer and closer to the old feeling one step at a time, from the rehearsal and the actual ShowTime. As Chris pointed out earlier, in the USA we spent large amounts of time with each other. Stress to the limit. And in America, by the time you hit the stage, it’s ShowTime and you tell yourself “let’s go for it – unconditionally” and you have to give it your all. Less is just not good enough. Discipline, being the best and doing a command performance was instilled in us in those early years. And we had not forgotten it either when we showed up for that TV show. We were used to it. Like a football team or an opera orchestra. You just play your hearts out, all the problems are left behind during ShowTime. I found it almost amusing that after only 3 minutes of a playback show in the TV studio we were able to create an aura, sort of putting a wand over the audience. It carried over to them. We created such a special energy field and not even in my wildest dreams would I have imagined such an enthusiastic reception from that studio audience. Such a feedback, a standing ovation, and we just did what we always have done.

DANI BECK: How was it when Marc joined you in the rehearsal room and it all went smoothly?

CHRIS VON ROHR: I thought it was really great that Marc, with all the commotion going on around us, suggested to just come and visit at first, taking in the vibes as the three of us play “live” in our rehearsal room, since the TV show was playback. He wanted to get a feel, whether the “vibes” of yesteryears still were there, before singing one note with us. For us it was equally important to see whether we really can bring the entire “groove” live on stage. Fernando, Freddy and I had a head start in as much as we already had played with each other for about six months, two to three times a week.

[In the interview you can watch a “live” video clip of “Rock City”, filmed in 1981 at the legendary Hammersmith Odeon in London]

DANI BECK: Back then at the Hammersmith Odeon a young Mandy Meyer played guitar with KROKUS. And he was also part of the immediate past line-up. Was he an option to join KROKUS with the current line up on guitar?

FERNANDO VON ARB: There was a possibility Mandy even auditioned, however it is a fact that Koki and I….. we just play….. we are in total sync. Mandy is a super guitar player, but his playing style compliments less the current line-up’s style, which are our simple riffs. I have watched Mandy play with KROKUS on occasion on video and concluded that the past line-up did not get the timing of the riffs down in a way they were intended. It is a matter of milli-seconds for that imprint and it was not played the way it was intended to be an the way I played it for years and years. It shows that one cannot simply take a KROKUS song and someone else than the original plays it. It’s the duo of Fernando and Koki that can deliver that tandem, note for note, riff for riff. We even checked this out one evening at our rehearsal room with Mandy and after the audition it was clear to all parties that the two of us come “from two different worlds”. And I shared with Mandy personally, that I admire his guitar work the best in a keyboard “Deep Purple” oriented classic rock band where he can showcase his talent. But not in a “riff band” like KROKUS.

CHRIS VON ROHR: After all he is a lead guitarist and not a rhythm guitar player.

MARC STORACE: Lead guitar is his calling, anything else would be wasting his talent.

DANI BECK: So, then you resurrected Mark “Koki” Kohler. What did he do up that moment?

CHRIS VON ROHR: He played guitar at home for his family, I guess we can call it “house music”.

FERNANDO VON ARB: He worked as a “production man” for a company that organizes all the real big concert events here in Switzerland and therefore always was connected with the music industry.

CHRIS VON ROHR: Whenever a guitar player of a booked band could not do a sound check due to an aircraft delay, Koki did it for him in his absence. When he joined us, he just took his guitar out of his case and after about thee rehearsals he was back in his old form.

FERNANDO VON ARB: I even knew after just one or two songs that our playing together would be perfect. Maybe there were a few glitches here and there in the beginning, however, the bottom line is this: Either you feel the groove for this style of music or you do not. Or you choose to play a different style. With him I can communicate nonverbal, just letting it rip. Together we’re in total sync and it shows at gigs.

MARC STORACE: And that feeling for the perfect groove deepens…..

DANI BECK: Marc, did you have to give the news to your old band mates personally, that you would rejoin musically Chris and Fernando?

MARC STORACE: Of course was it the right thing to do just out of respect to them and inform them of my decision, after all they were by band mates. It just was a logical next step that had to be taken. I witnessed over time how KROKUS veered more and more into the direction of “metal”. And I’m not really a “metal” singer like Rob Halford of Judas Priest fame. I’m more of a “hard rock” singer with a blues touch and soul. And it’s not a matter of octaves, but with the groove. Slowly, little by little, we distanced ourselves from the original groove. Stefan Schwarzmann came to us from one of those hard “metal” German bands that “push” merciless forward, staccato like. All the sudden the swing and groove were missing, a main ingredient in the success of the early KROKUS. I missed it and at times it bothered me a lot. And when the TV thing materialized and I saw what had been missing, I started to contemplate my future and where KROKUS was heading. That made my decision to disband the “Hellraiser” line-up easier. And I called Chris and Fernando, telling them of my intentions to come to Solothurn to talk and form a plan of action for the future. Naturally was I curious to hear how they sounded so far. And it sounded like it was 1983. Needless to say, we had to work on some minor details and as we speak we are putting together our final set list for the concert in Bern.

And therefore it was my duty to inform the old line-up the morning after our Gozo (Malta) gig that this is the end. It was extremely difficult to say this, the night before they played their hearts out, one of the best concerts we ever did together. Very laid back and with lots of groove. However, the tracks for the next stage were already in place and I had to move forward. Thank God they all were very supportive and at the airport in Zurich we parted peacefully. All good vibes and energy.

DANI BECK: Whenever there is a “reunion” there is always talk about money that played a role in the decision. What about you, do you have any lucrative offers on the table as we speak?

CHRIS VON ROHR: No, not at all. It was never a strategy on our part, just because reunions are “in” right now. We have not received million dollar offers and at the time we do not even have a record contract. Of course do we earn a nice income from the Bern gig, however that was not the driving force. There was no concept behind this reunion at all, no one in the band said: We have to do this now. It came about exactly the way Fernando explained it earlier. We got together initially because Fernando, Freddy and I live in the same city and we cannot walk by each other for the rest of our lives. So we started by meeting at Jürg Nägeli’s Pink Studios to play a round or two of billiard [NOTE: Jürg Nägeli played bass on the 1977 release “To You All” and 1978’s “Painkiller” and later contributed as sound engineer to the success of KROKUS]. Frankly, reflecting on life and the fact that after producing other musicians and helping them to become successful for over 15 years, I simply wanted to play once more with my old band mates on one stage. Over the years I played guitar and piano, returning to the bass will be a thrill for me. People think of course: Now that he does not do TV anymore (NOTE: Amongst many activities, Chris was the counterpart of Simon Cowell in the Swiss version of “American Idol), now he wants jump on stage with KROKUS to stay in the spotlight.

DANI BECK: When one asks the people on the street and critics alike, they all want to know if Chris still can deliver after all the years away from the stage.

CHRIS VON ROHR: Of course, and the answer is simple. Similar to Fernando and Koki, either you got the rhythm or you don’t. When you played so many concerts together in the past, like a football pro all it takes you is one or two months of practice until you are full force back in form. Just to make it clear, I did not spend time at the jazz school to learn a series of complicated accords. Instead I had to go back to basics and deliver the simple accords that build, together with Freddy, the foundation of a solid sound and groove. And Fernando encouraged me: Simply practice, repetition after repetition until it’s perfect. Keep in mind I had only played bass for about half a year when we recorded “Metal Rendez-Vous” in 1979/1980. Prior to taking on the bass I was the singer of the band. I was the one that convinced the band to find a vocalist that can handle a wider range of octaves than I could offer. And I volunteered to switch to bass. And when you practice two to three times a week, it all comes back and it sounds like it sounded in the early years. After all, we’re not here to re-invent rock.

DANI BECK: Now you want to resurrect the most successful Swiss rock band of all times. In your opinion, why has no one followed your footsteps and continued International success where you left off after all these years?

FERNANDO VON ARB: For me personally it was a frustrating disappointment in hindsight. We had opened the door to the International music world to the rest of Swiss musicians. Now that we paved the way, all other Swiss bands can follow our lead, go to America and become successful. Today I realize that it takes a little more than just that. That’s because I found out over the years, that “good” is not good enough, it has to be “magic”. When this “magic” is created, something special, when that energy comes across while playing on cruise control, blind trust in each other without having to look at one another even once, then and only then is “magic” created. And I for myself am a little disappointed that no other Swiss band has made it successfully across the Atlantic. I attribute our success to the beginning of our career, when we as a little band from Solothurn were belittled over and over. That made us tuff. Persistent. Focused and determined to win. There were bands from Zurich that had budgets of Swiss Francs 100,000 to record an album. We pledged to each other that we will never give up and that pigheadedness has helped us over the years. And it’s still there, after all these years. In Switzerland bands can get a record deal way to easy and they think then the next step is them conquering America. This has been going on now for 25 years. And now, in a couple of weeks, we have the opportunity to give back something to our Swiss fans and people that will be travelling from all over Europe and even the USA to witness the rebirth of the original KROKUS. To resurrect the sound “live” that they listened to on our original recordings of the 80’s.

[As part of the interview you can watch the video clip “Screaming In The Night” (commercially the most successful KROKUS song in the USA) from 1983’s “Headhunter” release. Very surreal. Chris mentions in the interview with Dani, that Marc stepped on Chris’s hamburger towards the end of the clip]

DANI BECK: August 2nd is the day all KROKUS fans are looking forward to. Some say one should go see the show to witness the raw power of the originals and whether they still bring it. Others think that this will be a single event and after that each member goes their own way. That’s not the idea, right?

CHRIS VON ROHR: One should allow people to speculate as they please. I have to say though…..

MARC STORACE: It’s always the way the dice roll. “Being at the right place at the right time with the right product”. That’s the secret, isn’t it? We practice our set list, perform “magic” at the show in Bern and then we vacation a couple of weeks. After that we will write some hot songs and the end result will be a new album.

CHRIS VON ROHR: Even there we have no strategy. We say: Small steps, like Mao Tse Tung once said. Nicely one thing after another. Right now our main focus is to deliver a super concert for our fans, the vibes will be great and we carry those good vibes into song writing and everything else will fall in place naturally.

DANI BECK: The idea is therefore to record a new album. Have you worked already on some new material?

CHRIS VON ROHR: No, we did not. The focus is really to concentrate on this show. We worked on new arrangements for some old songs. To play live songs like “Tokyo Nights”, which had not been played in ages for a live audience. “Down The Drain” for example as well. To prepare well and to catch the spirit. Ideas are naturally always there, but nothing concrete. First and foremost let’s get this show on the road and then we will see what the future brings.

DANI BECK: KROKUS live in Bern on August 2nd. Are you all a little nervous already?

CHRIS VON ROHR: Well, it is an honor of course after a milestone like playing the Hallenstadium (largest concert hall in Zurich/Switzerland) in the 80’s. Stade De Suisse football stadium in Bern represents “magic grass”. Many incredible moments have happened here for the sport fans. We want to create “magic” at such a prestigious place. Nervous? No, nervous we are definitely not.

DANI BECK: What about your anticipation how the fans will react?

FERNANDO VON ARB: Everything will be great. In fact it will be “magic”. The only factor we have no control over is the weather. It could be as hot as hell or it can rain as if the end of the world is coming. That’s the only thing that’s out of our control. A great sound system is in place, our fans making it “magic” along with us, the original KROKUS that wrote and recorded the hits. And we will deliver them with newfound energy!

CHRIS VON ROHR: Marc will do a special ceremony to persuade the Weather Gods in our favor.

DANI BECK: Chris, for years you were on the other side of the spectrum as a journalist and you criticized others at times harshly. The critics will have a field day with you.

CHRIS VON ROHR: No problem. The proof of the pudding will be on stage, like football games are played on the grass. And the critics can all count along with me. The 13 accords I play and always have played are still the same after all these years. A typical AC/DC type bass playing, straight forward, no compromises. That’s what is needed for the original KROKUS songs. I look forward to the critics’ comments.

DANI BECK: And we look forward to your concert at the “Stade De Suisse” football stadium in Bern on August 2nd.

[As part of the interview “Heatstrokes” of the 1980 Album “Metal Rendez-Vous” is played. It’s a taped TV show with live audience]

NOTE:
The afore mentioned video clips can be seen at www.myspace.com/krokusonline (second video clip, takes slightly longer to upload than the YOU TUBE ones)
We would like to thank Dani Beck (www.myspace.com/beckinblack) for his dynamic interview (copyright www.sf.tv 2008)


Fan Club

TOUR INFO
[order tickets by clicking on concert poster]

NEXT CONCERTS

July 13th, 2014
"Masters Of Rock"
Vizovice, Czech Republic

July 25th, 2014

Honberb Sommer Festival

Tuttlingen, Germany

www.honbergsommer.de

July 26th, 2014

Open-Air

Etziken, Switzerland

www.openair-etziken.ch/2014

For ALL concert listings please visit our TOUR page!</spanverdana','sans-serif';>

krokus logo globe club

Quick Links Facebook + YouTube

Dirty DöG
Join Us At Facebook
Got A Lighter?
Join Us On YouTube
If In Doubt, Hug The Dog!!!

Copyright

© Krokus and krokusonline.com. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is strictly forbidden.
Copyright © 2009 seven49.net GmbH
Quelle: http://krokusonline.seven49.net/en/Fan_Club/MULTIMEDIA/KROKUS_Press/2008_REUNION4/ENGLISH.htm