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Shakra: „Yesterday´s gone – fortunately!“

Shakra are back, after they parted ways with Mark Fox, with a new singer and the album  “Back On Track”. They convince with powerful songs and catchy choruses and prove that those difficult days have passed. Guitar player Thomas Muster and „the new guy“ John Prakesh have good reasons to be optimistic...

Hallo there, how do you feel now that the album is out?
Thomas We are totally happy with „Back On Track“! So naturally we feel excellent!
John I am simply glad… and I cannot wait to perform those songs live. We are pretty hungry…
Soon you will get on Swiss stages again, are you looking forward to it?
Thomas Sure, we cannot wait! Finally performing those songs live that were written for John´s voice. Before that he had to sing just the old stuff, and despite the fact he did a fantastic job, it will be so much more delightful to play the news songs. I think we have a couple of great tracks on this new album that will also work nicely live on stage!
How was the situation for you after Mark Fox left, and how do you deal with it now?
Thomas A lot of people probably don´t know that we intended to part ways with Fox after the Everest-Tour. We had fallen out with him completely, there was no way to continue with him any more. His views are totally different from ours. Discussions became pointless, there was no more common ground. He just beat us to it when he quit, and we were not surprised at all. On the contrary, we felt relieved. And how we deal with it now? A sont on the new album is titled „Yesterday’s Gone“. Fortunately!

Was the search for a new singer difficult for you? And how did you find John Prakesh?
Thomas We were in contact with hundreds of singers all over the world. But if somebody is from Australia or Brazil, it´s not really practical. On the other hand, it´s not working if someone lives right round the corner but the voice does not fit. We were a bit frustrated after searching a couple of month without result , the right one was not to be found. Until suddenly John contacted us. We did not know him at all, although he lives in Switzerland and has this great voice! It was like a gift from heaven, the god of rock´n´roll must have blessed us J
John For me it was a coincidence (I did not know that Shakra were looking for a singer). My boss told me that, and I am very grateful to him for doing it. I sent a few Demos to Shakra and Thom answered right away. We met at a Shakra concert, and after that it worked out pretty quickly – 3 weeks later I was the new front man and had my first show on TV.
What did John have what the others didn´t have?
Thomas The voice of course, and what´s also important: John is a great guy. I mean after all that trouble in the past it was important for us to have a cool guy in the band you can have a reasonable conversation with. John is very „down to earth“ although he is also very self confident. After he had seen one of the last shows with our old singer, he said: guys, it can get so much better than that... which we liked!
John, it is definitely not easy to follow the footsteps of a singer who has been the front man of a band for 7 years. How was the recent time for you?
John Naturally I tried to give my best from the very start. The guys stood behind me and supported me where they could. I was well integrated from the very beginning, therefore it was a bit easier and I could fully concentrate on the music.

Your album „Back on Track“ just came out. How was it for you to make this album, did you have to grow as a team or was it „business as usual“?
Thomas No we got along very well right from the beginning. This is one of the reasons why he became our singer. Before that we have not been a unit any more. This team spirit was no longer there. With John, however, it felt right again, it was like a coming home !
John It was a challenge, in a positive sense. For me it was a new experience, because I was not used to such detailed work (this is perhaps the reason why Shakra is so successful) and even when it took a bit more time, the guys motivated me, and then it worked out nicely.
What can we expect of Shakra this year? Do you plan a EU tour?
John I am convinced that the „Back on Track“ album will be a smash hit! Therefore everything is possible, we look optimistically into the future! In April we will be touring though Switzerland. For autumn we are planning an extensive EU tour, and we are looking forward to it! Stay tuned!
Many thanks for your time and good luck for the new album!

Author: Sandy Mahrer, photos: Shakra
Date: 2011-03-28

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