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Sunday
May302010

Krokus - Marc Storace - audio interview - 05-27-2010

Monday
May242010

Interview - Marc Storace - Krokus -May 24, 2010

By Deb Rao

One of the top metal bands to emerge out of the 80's genre KROKUS is getting ready to unleash their latest release in North AmericaHOODOO on May 25. The CD is already certified Platinum in Switzerland.

 It has been over 30 years since the band debut, and the original line-up Krokus has re-united and gearing up for much success once again in the U.S and abroad. Lead singer Marc Storace has checked in with RockMusicStar  to discuss the unveiling of Hoodoo, the making of the video Hoodoo Woman, and what prompted the band to re-unite and record the anticipated North America release of Hoodoo.  
 
RMS: Marc, Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to discuss the latest Krokus release, Hoodoo. First of all what prompted the original re-union of the band in 2008?  
MARC:  Glad to talk !  I was out on the Hellraiser tour when my personal manager Roland Eggli called to tell me that Swiss TV wanted Krokus for a show called "The Greatest Swiss Hits". He also added that they strictly were after the original formation of Krokus : Freddie Steady on drums, Chris Von Rohr on bass and Fernando von Arb on guitar. Of course Tommy Kiefer had sadly died in between. Realising the Nationwide promotional potential behind it I accepted. I was hoping it would boost cd-sales and in the end it did even more than that ! 
The Media went beserk with the great news and more so after we performed our 3 minute medley to over a million "live" viewers. The atmosphere in the tv studio-theatre that night was one of pure hysteria....we didn`t know what hit us !!! 
So a short time later the original band members agreed to play an official reunion concert. This took place on the 2nd August 2008 at the Stade de Suisse football stadium in Bern. It turned out to be a truly unforgettable magic night !
 
RMS: What was the vibe like in the studio when recording Hoodoo?  
MARC:  Absolutely creative and harmonious ! I sang with that same passionate feeling I had when I put down the vocals on our demos. As producer, Chris Von Rohr was great throughout, inspiring me with good comments and words that kept me  focused  in the right direction. We listened  back to the demos for inspiration and Dennis Ward was, as always, the fastest whizz-kid engineer with a mixture of analog and digital machines. He rigged me up with a standard Shure SM 58 that had the cable running through an old valve, for warmth, before going into the huge analog desk and ending up in Pro-tools. Chris recorded his bass parts in the early afternoons and I started singing around 3.00 pm. By 7 or 8 o`clock  we were usually done and we rounded the day up over a delicious chinese, indian or italian take-away served with a fine red wine. Finally we chilled out in front of the telly.  
 
 RMS: Tell us about the writing process of the new album Hoodoo? Were you looking to re-capture the  secret formula that launched the band onto the Charts back in the 80's?
MARC:  There really wasn`t that much of a strategy or plan when we started out. Fern and Chris worked on some riffs in Solothurn and Chris and I wrote the lyrics and vocal parts to the rough music tracks . We finished 12 demo-songs in 3 seperate batches. We even recorded in 3 seperate stages. It gave us time to listen and contemplate in between ...to see the songs objectively.
Fern and I, from the start, wisely allowed Chris to do the producing. All went much easier with Chris`s talent of sifting the chaff from the corn !
Basically when Chris, Fern and I write together we tend to automatically favour the early 80`s style that made the band famous. When the band plays together we automatically sound the way we sounded back in the early 80`s. After all we still use more or less the same equipment and instruments we did back then. Our motto is still "less is more" !
 
RMS: How did being apart play a major factor in writing of the new album? Did everything seem to fall into place right away in the studio?
MARC: When people realise that the quarrels that once set them apart were not caused by hate for each other, then their spirits are rekindled by the initial fire that set them aflame in the first place. All eventually fell back into place during the recordings.   
 
RMS:. How has Krokus evolved as musicians over the years?
MARC: Whereas Fern and myself remained active as musicians, Chris became more of a producer and later on a tv personality in Switzerland. Mark and Fred had stopped playing professionally. When we got back together the band needed to rehearse like crazy before they could bring the required energy into the live" set. By the time we played the reunion concert in 2008 we were finally there ! In the meantime, the band rehearses regularly and each concert has improved by leaps and bounds. Krokus music is not that complicated to play but requires the right energy and right attitude in order to make it sound powerful and good.
 
RMS:There is one cover on the new album,"Born To Be Wild" by Steppenwolf. What prompted the band to re-record this song?
MARC: We actually recorded this song just for the fun of it, because we grew up with it and it reminds us of our wild youth ! We didn`t need to record a cover at all because we still have a couple of songs on hold from the last pre-production, but we allowed ourselves the pleasure with the compliments of Steppenwolf. We also Krokusized the song to our taste. One hears altered riffs and vocal melodies, a tailored arrangement and an additional crowning finale. We enjoy doing that to cover songs. Look what we did with American Woman; Ballroom Blitz; Stayed Awake Allnight; School's Out and,You Ain`t Seen Nothin`Yet !!!
 
RMS: Are you happy with the outcome of the album? I have read that it reached #1 in Switzerland the first week of release and is now certified platinum. Congratulations, that is a great accomplishment.
MARC: I`m more than happy with what Hoodoo achieved for us so far. Now I only hope it will also re-awaken the good old rock`n`roll spirits in the USA when it is released there on Tuesday,25th.May. It would be great if Canada and the rest of the world embraced it too. The band would love to tour outside of Europe again, but this is strictly a matter of "supply on demand".  
 
RMS: How did you come up with the title Hoodoo?  
MARC: Jan Bayati, our new manager, came up with this song for us which had been delivered to him by these two austrian Krokus-fan guys. Honestly speaking we thought their song sounded pretty cheesy but we dug the chorus so much that we simply re-wrote a new song around it. It was called "Hoodoo Woman" !
By the end of the studio recordings it became obvious to all that this was a hit single.
So later, after many attempts at searching for the fitting album title, we finally decided that "Hoodoo" fit the new song-collection best, et voilà !
 
RMS: Tell us about the making of the first single/ and video "Hoodoo Woman."  I read it was shot in Berlin, Germany. How did the making of the video compare to the heyday of video era and MTV?
MARC:  The video "Hoodoo Woman" was shot in a semi-derilict train shed that used to belong to the Third Reich, in what once used to be East Berlin. It was nighttime and the temperature was at it`s lowest since 17 years or so ! There was no in-house heating but the film-company had these industrial heaters spaced out at strategic points. One had to stand right in front of them to feel the warmth. The actors had an even harder time because they were filmed outside without heaters !!!  The pretty young blonde girl was drenched and frozen by the time they finished...holy moly !!! However, the end result is pretty amazing, and in the end that`s what really counts as long as none got sick or hurt during the procedure.  
In comparison, our early MTV videos were like a sunny holiday ! By the time we had finished shooting "Screaming in the Night" and "Eat the Rich" in San Francisco, we all had suntans and some sunburn. The cast contained beautiful dancers and we were fed regular meals. A piece of cake really...excuse the pun !!! 
 
RMS: In 2009, Krokus performed in Switzerland at the Ice Hockey World Championship the official anthem,"Live For The Action." How great an honor was this for the band? 
MARC:  Pretty awesome ! It also increased the awareness all over the world that Krokus was back ! Hard Rock Music and Ice Hockey go pretty much hand in hand because they are both tough to play and demand a strong determined attitude.
 
RMS:: Krokus has been on os many great tours including Motorhead, AC/DC and Sammy Hagar. What was your favorite tour? Any highlights that you would like to share with us?  
MARC:  Although the band is forever grateful to Sammy Hagar for having taken us on his tours when we were just beginning to make a name for ourselves in the USA, and I admire Motörhead for their endless determination and longevity, I still preferred being with AC/DC out of the three.
The best tour ever for Krokus to date was the "Pyromania" Tour with Def Leppard in 1983. Not only was it the biggest tour out for that year, but, our "Headhunter" album shot to number 24 in the Billboard Charts. We were experiencing the zenith of our commercial career with standing ovations and repeated calls for encores everynight. Def Leppard with, in my opinion, the best album in their career, were sitting up at number 2, just below Michael Jackson`s "Thriller", and it was mayhem every night !!! An amazing era and pretty unbelievable when I think back, that we were lucky enough to have been a big part of it...so cool ! Thanx fanz ! 
 
RMS: What are Krokus future touring plans? Are there any European or U.S. dates planned to promote the album?
MARC:  The Swiss dates went down really great and we`re now looking forward to the coming european dates !
As for the good old USA, we`re still looking. We would love to come over and tour as part of a package. It`s a matter of how much local promoters`interest we can arouse. They are the ones that will or will not pick up the phone and call our US Booking Agent. 
A lot depends on how many "Hoodoo" cd`s our US fans will actually buy, as opposed to download, of course. The business has changed and to get an album sold in the big box stores is almost impossible. If our US fans can't get our new album "Hoodoo" at their local record store, they should go to web sites like amazon.com as the artwork and enclosed booklet is pretty sensational as well. Our dream is to get back in the Billboard Charts like we did with a handful of our albums back in the 80`s, and only our loyal fans can put us back there.  
  
RMS: Marc, any closing thoughts on your new album Hoodoo and the state of metal today?
MARC:  One needs to listen to "Hoodoo" in order to believe the good reviews we`ve had from everyone so far.
If you like Metal Rendezvous; Hardware; One Vice At A Time; and Headhunter then you`re gonna love "Hoodoo" too, and that`s a simple fact. 
I believe that the metal scene today is full of talented musicians and bands, but, there aren`t that many great songs being written as were during the 80`s and 90`s right now. It would help the metal scene dramatically if the hammering became more balanced with good songwriting too. That`s what makes the rockin` world go round !
 
...and on the last note boys and girls, pleez don`t forget :
 
If you want to be one of the first to find out when we will be touring the US, visit our  WWW.KROKUSONLINE.COM  web page and sign up for our FREE "Globe Club" NEWSLETTER. We also have links to befriend us via mySpace and facebook.

And foremost, we would like to thank all our US fans for their loyalty and support over the years. We do not take it for granted and look forward seeing you all "live" again as soon as we can.
 
Luv ya
Rock On
Marc