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STALKERs Fresh Act – March 2008
The band name sounds sooo British, however, those guys are from Switzerland. So let´s have Charing Cross themselves tell the whole story...
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Who are you? Please introduce the band.
We are Charing Cross, a Hard Rock / Metalband from Switzerland. We have been active in this line up since 2005
Peter Hochuli (PH): Lead Vocals
Pascal Zwyssig (PZ): Lead Guitars, Backing Vocals
Andy Dormann (AD): Lead Guitars, Backing Vocals
Markus Fluri (MF): Bass, Backing Vocals
Tommy Pfiffner (TP): Drums
If each bandmember was a comic character, who would you be and why?
PH: Roadrunner, because of his sexy voice
AD: Pépé le Piou, the skunk …. No Comment!!!
MF: Werner: If you don´t believe it, you should see him on a Saturday night at downtown Lucern
TP: Bart Simpson: Because of his rebellious acting
PZ: Troubadix, the master of song writing
What kind of music do you play?
It depends always on the song, but we are somewhere between Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. It is hard to categorize the whole thing, because both styles are very close. We don´t care that much what style we are, as long the songs are with powerful guitars, melodies and have a good mood…
You are looking for a label that reales your new Record , please tell us a little bit about the new record and what you still miss for realease it?
The new record´s name is We are …. Charing Cross and it is our first long player, containing 12 songs. Before that we just had a demo (Back for Attack, two other Demos and also one tape …. Yes, these are the ones that don´t fit into the CD-player
Very special about We are… Charing Cross is that we did the record ourselves. We recorded and mixed everything during 18 months by ourselves. Only the mastering was done by someone else. The big gain in this work process for us was that there was no time pressure. That was the chance to experiment a bit and to get as close as possible to our vision of the perfect Charing Cross sound.
Who or what do you want to reach with your sound?
Who? All the people who like loud hair and long music…. Or something. And if they wear short skirts, even better. No, honestly. Our target audience are those people who could throw up when they listen to the radio.
How did it begin with Charing Cross, is there a special story behind the band name?
The creation of Charing Cross goes back to the 80´s, yet no one of the actual members have been in the band at this time. Also the band name dates back from that time. One of the past musicians een to England, saw the name and brought it to Switzerland. No one asked us back then …. But still the sound of the name somehow fits to us. Not in a religious way, but they like to say that Hard Rock is dead, but it will remains, as well as the cross as a symbol.
Who are your musical idols, what are your most important musical influences?
PH: Bruce Dickinson, Michael Kiske
PZ: Zakk Wylde, Slash, Al Pitrelli, Chris Caffery
TP: Tommy Lee
MF: Steve Harris, Billy Sheehan
AD: Steve Vai, Eddie Van Halen, Matthias “IA” Eklundh
Your individual Top 10 records that you would take with you to a lonely island?
Here a little choice of the tops of every band member, if also a CD Player would be delivered to them. But nowadays it would make more sense to take an IPod full, with 6000 Songs,with you on a island,
PZ: Maiden: Live after Death, Kiss; Greatest Kiss
TP: Bad Company: Dangerous Age, Krokus: Metal Rendezvous
MF: Guns n’ Roses: Appetite for Destruction, Alice Cooper: Trash
PH: Metallica: And Justice for All, Maiden: 7.son
AD: Mötley Crüe: Decade of Decadence, Savatage: Best of
Other Stuff that you would like to have with you on a lonely island?
Instruments, gasoline and a power set for the CD Player, a bottomless barrel of Jägermeister and a brewery, girls and a Motorboat or a Pedalo to get fresh supplies
Who writes all the music/lyrics, or is the whole band included in the song writing?
The major part is done by our Troubadix. He brings the songs to the rehearsal place. But no matter what, the input of every single band member have the songs sound as typical Charing Cross songs. The lyrics are mostly done by Andy.
What are you guys doing when you are not in the band? (Job, Studies)?
TP: Globe trotter
MF: Guitar teacher
AD: Gremlin trainer (this is a new way to describe „primary school teacher“, the ed.)
PZ: CAD designer
Would you sell your souls to the devil, to become famous? Or worse, would you perform at Eurovison/ Musicstar/ Big Brother?
The souls have been sold a long time ago to the devil, but that bastard keeps us waiting...
What would you pick if you had to choose between sex, drugs or Rock´n´Roll?
Definitely Rock n’´Roll. That entail the rest of it anyway
What is your dream, where does your motivation come from?
The dream is to have one day the possibility to live from the music, of course. Or to go on tour, sign a label contract and of course to inspire the crowd. The motivation is naturally the stage performance and the included adrenaline rush.
What was the most exciting/the most disappointing moment in your band history?
Most exciting are naturally the bigger gigs (Z7, Festivals), to meet different idols and of course to hold finally the first record in your hands. There where enough disappointing moments as well. Mainly they were caused by line up changes, which always blocked the band in its growing process.
What was the most absurd thing that happened to you?
We had once the pleasure to play at a wedding apèro. We had a weird feeling before that and felt somehow out of place. But as people turned up and were happy when we started to rock, it was a lot of fun. Even more was the rest, like the cheese and meat platter, so delicious. Thanks again for that…..
Or if you can watch during the headliner´s drumsolo how the one of the biggest Hard Rock singers washes his clothes backstage…. strange
What happened during your best/ worst gig?
Its hard to say which was the best or the worst gig during our career. Gigs are usual great fun. Full house and a big crowd, having a great party is always awesome. It starts to get cumbersome if there are technical problems, or someone tries to cheat us. Musically bad gigs get displaced and deleted from memory.. no honestly, we learn if we make errors and we still try to work on our stage presence.
Do you think it is harder for band in Switzerland to become famous than for bands, for example, from Germany?
Yes, we think that it is harder for a band in Switzerland. Only to get a gig outside the country is not very easy. Moreover, you can overload the audience with to much live presence.
Which song are you most proud of and why?
PH: Kick Ass Rock ´n ´Roll: Cause the song chop into the face
AD: Voices: Cause the song crackles, great
TP: Burn the Sun: Because – full stop. Over and out….
MF: Palace of Fate: Because you can hear the bass, so beautiful.
PZ: Ain´t got no time: Groove, Groove, Groove
What do you think is the coolest / shittiest thing about being a musician?
Lacking the time to concentrate more on the music. Because we all need our jobs and the rehearsals a side project. So is the music, only a second side job because of the time, but a very expensive hobby in financial terms. Furthermore, the shops are closing at half past six and that changing strings all the time and the stuff-dragging ….. where are the Roadies????? harghhargh
Of course it is cool to be on stage and just rock. Also the creative work to create new songs is great fun. It is also nice to get a good response for songs, records or live gigs from the audience. This compensates all the negative aspects.
With which band would you like to go on tour?
What are your plans for the future?
The important thing for us is now to search for a label, to release We are …Charing Cross and to get the promotion and place the record in the shops. Also to get a few gigs, to be as often as possible on stage.. We also started to write new songs, which will be hopefully placed on the next record. The most important is that our line up now is complete and there are no further changes.
Author: Sandy Mahrer, photos: Charing Cross
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