'Nothing is "powerfuler" than a powerful song'. So say Krokus in the booklet for their new CD, BIG ROCKS – The roots of Krokus.
The hard rock band from Solothurn realized the truth of this statement very early on in their career, creating hard rock classics like 'Bedside Radio', 'Tokyo Nights', 'Long Stick Goes Boom', 'Winning Man', 'Easy Rocker', 'Headhunter', and 'Screaming In The Night'.
From their third album onwards, the Swiss flagship of power rock began recording material by other artists, including songs like 'Stay Awake All Night' or the ultimate rock song 'American Woman' and later 'Help'. They always made sure they never just churned out a boring copy of the original. Instead, they made the songs their own, showed the original songs in a completely new light, and in some cases even improved on them.
So it is not surprising that the band decided a year ago to record their very own, personal hard rock song book, a collection of old smash hits and absolute gems that changed their lives as musicians.
'It is a homage, a nod to all those artists who paved the way for us, making it possible for us to do what we do,' says bass player Chris von Rohr. Singer Marc Storace chips in: 'We all have a personal, deeply rooted connection to these songs.'
'We have been toying with the idea of recording an album like this for a very long time,' says Fernando von Arb, 'and now, at last, we have done it.'
In the early years, Chris and Fernando jammed songs by Free and above all Cream, the band consisting of Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, and Ginger Baker. 'That had a massive influence on us,' the two agree. For his part, Marc was in Malta and England, singing a wide variety of songs by the Beatles, the Kinks, The Who, and Queen. Anyone who grew up listening to these songs was very lucky. Just compare the charts in the 60s with the charts now. The Sixties win hands down with singles by Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, or The Who in the Top 10!
Krokus grew up in the golden age of rock'n'roll. They were surrounded by unique, legendary songs that are as good today as they were then and cannot be topped. This had a strong influence on Krokus's output. The band is sure of one thing: 'Just like us, many younger rock fans will discover what these giants of the Sixties and Seventies had to offer. This album will take them on a musical journey of discovery.'
Krokus jammed around 50 songs to find out which ones really fitted the bill and were best suited to getting the full Krokus treatment. 'You only find that out when you play the songs over and over again and compare them with your own best songs,' says von Rohr, who also produced the album. Before they set foot in the studio, they spent several months laying the groundwork in this way.
Twelve songs by other artists and one of their own passed the test and made it onto the album. The great thing about BIG ROCKS is that the sound is full-on vintage power rock with a touch of blues and without any of the usual studio trickery. On hearing it, you believe the guys when they say that they have never worked and played together as well as they do today. You believe it because you can hear it. After all, they do have 40 year's experience under their belts.
But what is it that makes this album so powerful? The answer is easy: there really is nothing 'powerfuler' than a powerful song. And a powerful song performed like it is on this new Krokus album is like Christmas and birthday rolled into one for every hard rock fan.
Since 1975, Krokus has stood for high-quality, honest-to-goodness, hand-made power rock. No other Swiss rock band sells albums and its back catalogue worldwide like Krokus. The band has already sold over 15 million records, toured the world, and received gold and platinum discs in the USA and Canada. The milestones in their rock career are dotted around the world: from Australia and the USA to Mexico, Russia, Japan, and China. Krokus was the first Swiss band to sell out the legendary Hallenstadion in Zurich and has received a Diamond Disc for selling one million albums in Switzerland alone.
1980 saw the band set out to conquer America, Canada, and England, quickly consolidating its reputation as a strong, no-nonsense live band. Soon they were part of unforgettable headline tours and on the same bill as incredible bands such as AC/DC, Van Halen, Rush, Ted Nugent, Judas Priest, Motörhead and many, many more. These were wild times, full of big adventures, which saw the band not only going gold and platinum in the US and Canada, but also being made honorary citizens of Memphis, Tennessee.
But it hasn't all been one long high: death, sickness, and internal strife pushed the band to the brink of collapse. The story of Krokus is like no other. It is full of highs and lows, sell-out stadium concerts and sweaty club gigs. These five musketeers of rock have outlasted trends and survived treacherous US managers, tough splits, bad deals, shady lawyers, drugs, awful fast food, endless bus trips, disco, grunge, grotesque record companies, and double-dealing advisors.
In the course of their legendary career, Krokus has rocked over 2,000 shows on five continents, countless cities, unique locations, crazy gigs, and loyal fans. They will be back on the road again in 2017, criss-crossing Europe and the USA.
The legendary English journalist Malcolm Dome quite rightly said: 'If you look at the long-term output of this band, Krokus is clearly one of the best hard rock bands of the last 40 years.' For anyone wanting to test this theory, BIG ROCKS is the best proof there is.