EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH MARC STORACE AND CHRIS VON ROHR OF KROKUS
'Long Sticks Goes Boom - Live From Da House Of Rust' is the band's third live album of their career, but how important was it to capture the reformed classic line up live and what were your memories of the night?
CVR: "Very, very important, coz we were never happy with the American live albums. They don't show what Krokus is all about. What we got here is the magic show and you feel like standing on the best seat in the venue-on stage! MS and of course the best line-up ever with three guitar players and a powerful new drummer."
Amazingly Krokus will soon be approaching their 40th anniversary. You joined the band for their breakthrough album 'Metal Rendez-Vous' in 1980, which saw the band go in a much heavier and raunchier direction. How did the boy from Malta end up in being in what was to become the most successful rock band ever from Switzerland?
MS: "That's a long story. To cut it short: I left the Island for London to look for a band and then this phone call came from Switzerland. We teamed up, worked intensively on the ‘Metal Rendez-Vous' album and the rest is rock history."
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CVR: "We had the whole album ready when the old singer left us. He was the ultimate nightmare. Luckily we found Marc. This album took off like a rocket for us. Finally we could live from the music."
'Metal Rendez-Vous' has an iconic album cover of two cars crashing into each other. Ideal for a Heavy Metal album cover. Who came up with that idea?
CVR: "I came up with the title of the album. Then I brainstormed as always with the record company and their graphic people. Later we took the front shot at an old car-cemetery."
In 1982 Krokus released 'Once Vice At A Time' which had Chris von Rohr infamously quoted as saying: "The best album AC/DC never made." Did that comment ever make you enemies with AC/DC? Rumour has it that they refused to have you on the Monsters Of Rock bill one year.
CVR: "It was a British journalist who made that quote, and yes AC/DC did not want us on that bill. I guess because Marc sounds so close to the late n great Bon Scott and the whole sound was maybe too close to their own dynamite."
Talking of bands that sound similar to AC/DC, fellow Aussie rockers Airbourne have a very similar looking logo to that of Krokus. Is that something you've noticed yourself?
MS: "First Metallica, then Airbourne and many others. They all took a piece of our logo which was created 1977!"
My childhood memory of Krokus was watching the band perform 'Bad Boys Rag Dolls' on the British children's Saturday morning TV 'Tiswas'. My television almost exploded after watching that Andi immediately went out and bought the single. What were your memories of doing that show and do you know why there is any reason why the clip has been removed from YouTube on a couple of occasions? Are you saving it for any future DVD release?
CVR: "We have good memories of that great "children-show". No idea why they remove that. If you still have a link, please send it to us. We're not involved in such business moves. We wanna rock-as far as DVD. We have a great live album out and are not a band that goes for the filming way too much. There's enough on the net already. We prefer to play live and hopefully soon again in your country."
MetalTalk have since tracked down a clip of this legendary performance from a Russian source and you can see it by by clicking here.
In 1983 you released 'Headhunter' and toured the USA with Def Leppard who were riding high with 'Pyromania'. That must have been a really exciting tour to have been on?
MS: "It was great. Gary Moore played before us and every night there were about 20,000 screaming kids rocking their butts off. It was one highlight!"
CVR: "We had a platinum album in the US and kicked ass every night in another stadium. What more could you want?"
After that Krokus focussed their career on the lucrative North American market with 'The Blitz' and 'Change of Address' albums which both featured cover versions, Sweet's 'Ballroom Blitz' and Alice Cooper's 'Schools Out'. Do you feel that this period alienated your European fans?
CVR: "I was fired from the band and management and band took very strange decisions. Today we know it was all one big mistake. Too many covers, too much glam we don't need and don't play anymore. Shit happens! You live and you learn. These days we just smile about that and hammer these nightmares away. It's important how something begins and how something ends. In between you have some hangers. Lemme tell ya: We will go out with a bigger bang."
Fast forward a couple of decades, in 2007 the classic line up of Chris von Rohr, Fernado von Arb, Freddy Steady and yourself got together to perform on the Swiss TV programme 'Die Grössten Schweizer Hits' to perform a medley of your earlier classics. Is this what made the band reform full time or had you already decided this beforehand?
MS: "It was an initial signal. But then we jammed a lot and found out that that's the real shit. There's only one original that sounds like Krokus 1000%."
CVR: "It was like the second coming of Christ when we plugged in the first time. After all the troubled years behind it felt so good, like when you meet the best girl you ever had again..."
It was a fantastic return to form with the album 'Hoodoo' in 2010. I even traveled over to Germany especially to see Krokus on this tour. I loved the song and video for 'Hoodoo Woman'. Was it fun making that video?
CVR: "We hate doing videos. It's a pain in the a. Especially that one. It was shot in Berlin below zero degree in an old run down club with no heating, but the chick in it was great. The dark geezer too... Let's talk about something else..."
You're finally going to return to the UK when you play the fabulous indoor Hard Rock Hell festival in Pwllheli, Wales in November along with such golden veterans as Blue Oyster Cult and Michael Schenker amongst many others. I know many fans are looking forward to seeing Krokus on this bill. What does Great Britain and performing here again mean to Krokus?
CVR: "It means more that we can explain here. It's like coming back home, because for us GB was always like home. Marc lived there for years and I've been visiting my uncle in London since my childhoo. The whole music influence was huge on us. So believe me, we are very excited to play there again."
You did slip under the radar and came to London to record your last album 'Dirty Dynamite' art the legendary Abbey Road Studios. How did that decision come about and did you get your photo taken on the zebra crossing where the Beatles had walked across?
MS: "We're 60ies children. We just wanted to do it and it was a great walk down memory lane. Music is about emotions and we are 60s kids. We crew up with all that sounds. So in this studio you find a Keith Richards amp, a microphone John Lennon sang through and even the water pipe of Yoko Ono! Shit these rooms are burning man! Time stood still there."
CVR: "We just wanted to spend the money for the studio not for the golf course or a car. That's where we belong. I don't know today if we gonna do another album, so this was the perfect way to end up the Krokus recording story back in GB."