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The concert of the Swiss band Krokus in Z7 in Pratteln was a special evening for me, because I should do my first real interview. Singer Marc Storace is ready to answer my questions, and with such pleasure and passion that we forget about time and have to quit before all of my questions are through.
Marc Storace proves to be a nice and pleasant interview partner, so my anxiety vanishes after five minutes. First some news for Nordic fans: Keep your eyes open, the guys will be visiting Finland and Sweden in summer again!
Marc, since you have resurrected Krokus in this line up you had some nice successes already. Did that change your thinking, or did everything develop into a direction you have not expected?
I think we are still the same we were before. And I had been through huge success with Krokus before, back then I was younger and bolder and more likely to have my temper explode. But it didn´t happen back then so why should it happen now.
Now I have kids myself I am less childish, and somehow my role in the band feels like being a father. I am also the oldest, doing it for the longest time and gained therefore a bit more experience, but I rather keep quiet about it, I rather try to give advice and help out with calm manners.
I think the band is very down to earth. We are no longer 20 and everybody knows how important harmony is for getting further. Very important now as bigger things are coming for us. But I think we will go through that, too.
Your new album Hellraiser is available for a while now. Are you still happy with it or would you like to change or improve some things now?
No, it is good as it is. I think creativity is always coming up with something, new ideas. Also during the recordings. But there comes a point you decide “now it´s good, we achieved what we wanted with those songs”. And they are recorded quite well, too, mixed nicely to the point. I would like to perform the whole sound also live, and this is the first Krokus album you can play live from A to Z. It´s well coordinated.
You have a personal favourite on the album?
That´s difficult, they are all nice kids. (laughs)
You wrote the songs yourself?
I wrote “Hellraiser” all alone and “Midnight Fantasy”, and the special edition features a track named “Backseat Rock´n´Roll”. There I tell my opinion about True Rock´n´Roll. At the moment you are on tour and spend a long time together, squeezed into a bus. Are there problems because you bugger each other or something?
Yes there are those times, but this is normal. I mean, not everybody is in the same mood with the others, there are times people want to be alone. And it happens that not everybody is with the band, even when we have time to go sightseeing we are not together all the time. There are different groups, and, hey, it´s normal. Everybody has different needs, one wants to go to a restaurant, another into a museum. (laughs)
But basically you get along very well.
Yes, it is working well, those power games from the past are over and don´t occur any more. We always vote on particular decisions, we discuss everything openly, nothing is hidden. Not like back then went to a corner and talked about another guy and things like that. Everything is open for us, everybody says his opinion, and you don´t have to be afraid of that. And this is a good thing.
You played in your home Malta at Old Power Station. What was it like?
Well, we played there and I did a charity concert with the opener, a band I know for quite a while. First we played “Alexandra”, and old song and perhaps the hardest for the Maltese. A sad melancholic song but with a chorus that everybody can sing along. After a break we appeared with Krokus on stage. Some people had tears in their eyes, really, it was incredible, and this reception. It was beautiful.
I did not talk Maltese on purpose until the middle of the show and then (laughs) I said the first word. That was like an explosion in the air. I think next time you should come, too, it was an incredible feeling. You could also get an extra fan pack for the trip to Malta. There were buses from Switzerland, from Germany and Belgium. You could also fly in the same air plane with us, we did interviews with some of those fans. This will be on a DVD, if everything works out right. We are not sure about the live sound yet, there were several scaffolds in the hall because it was not quite finished yet. And this didn´t go well with the concert resonance.
And which goals you have now?
There is still a tour in Switzerland, we play there every week. Then a visit to Greece, for the first time in Krokus history. We play in two smaller halls and bigger clubs. Whenever something new is starting, it is like planting seeds, and promoters and businesspeople come to listen, and journalists write about us. This is how it starts to spread like a fire, if we play good real fiery shows. Then we tour with Hammerfall through Europe, the biggest in Krokus history.
I am glad that we came so far, because I still feel a bit guilty towards European fans. Because back then we had an American Management, and they were not interested in concerts in Europe, it was too complicated for them, they didn´t want to invest anything. They just wanted to make a lot of money from every show. We have planted seeds now and soon we will be able to reap the fruits. But you have to work real hard for that, being chained to the oar.
Well, sometimes you have to be careful, everything costs money and it´s difficult in the beginning, not much is coming in. So you have to accept being in the red, but now everything is OK, we see a rosy future, and everyone has the same goal. I´ve been into that for such a long time, we have achieved so much and did something new. I hope it will continue like that, the world is big, there are a lot of Metal and Hardrock fans wherever we want to fly to. And if we could afford that we would do it.
Ah, and now with “Hellraiser” in Asia, this is a goal as well. I´ve always wanted to go there, but, as I said, the American Management was not interested. They just sent us where big money was to be made.
An example from back then is Chile. We played there in front of 60.000 people. Nazareth was besides us the only rock band. They played one day before us, and otherwise it was a Spanish festival. Carreras was there and Jose Feliciano, different guests but only two rock bands. After the second day people could vote for the best guest band. For this purpose people had a little torch, something with a little flame coming out at the front, and when the name of their faves came up they should light it up. We were guests but not on the choice list. But still people shouted “Krokus, Krokus” and lit the torches, everything was on light, it was a feeling... and we had the biggest flame.
That was so beautiful, I want to go back there. Or Brazil or South America, that´s really hot. And also Malta, but we played in front of 2.500 people instead of 60.000. Hey, but it´s growing, I am sure of that.
Many fans waited in the almost sold out Z7 for the probably most successful Swiss rock band, their new album “Hellraiser” is for me one of the best. I cannot hear enough of my favourites “Angel Of My Dream” and “Hellraiser”.The band - Toni Castell (b), Mandy Maier (git), Dominique Flavez (git), Stephan Schwarzmann (d) and singer Marc - plays good old Rock combined with hot riffs, booming bass, rough drums and a voice that causes goose flesh. Every one of them presents his years of experience and skill. And their stage show expresses their fun, their pleasure and passion for their job. A great concert that ends far too soon.
Author: Sandy Mahrer, photos hfr., transl. K. Weber Date: 2007-02-24