By Jeb Wright
Classic Rock Revisited has a long, friendly relationship with Krokus’ vocalist Marc Storace. He is not only a great front-man and vocalist, but he is also a huge fan of rock and roll. His passion for his performance and music in general, is awe-inspiring.
Marc and Krokus are thrilled be back in America for a proper tour. Tickets are going fast as fans of Krokus are excited to see the band crank it up one more time.
Krokus will feature the lineup of, Marc Storace, Chris von Rohr, Mandy Meyer, Dominique Favez and Flavio Mezzodi. Storace is very excited to perform these gigs and his excitement comes out loud and clear in this interview. The band members have never forgotten their US fans, and they are thrilled to be able to play before them once again.
Krokus will play a set of classic tunes mixed in with fan favorite album cuts and a few key songs from their latest studio efforts Hoodoo and Dirty Dynamite. In the interview that follows, Marc discusses the upcoming tour, as well as taking us through the history of his time in the band.
Jeb: Krokus has an amazing worldwide presence, but it has been so hard to get you over to the USA. It pisses me off… however, I have good news! Krokus is coming to America!
Marc: It has taken so long, but at least we are coming back, so let’s see what happens. That should get the ball rolling for us to come back when we do a new album. We’re still talking whether to do a new album or not, as budgets are so low these days, and you have to use less studio time and all of that. We are going on the Monsters of Rock cruise and then tour the States. We will come back refreshed and energized and we will have another talk with the record company and hopefully go for it.
Jeb: I can’t wait to get you over here man. It is so exciting.
Marc: We board on the 18th of April for the Monsters of Rock cruise and we do two shows of 75 minutes each, and we will do Meet and Greets, and we will do Question and Answer with Eddie Trunk, and so on and so forth. We return the 22nd and do some USA interviews and then we start the tour in Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Tulsa and then Kansas City, that’s where we will meet up for dinner. Then we keep going through Chicago, then to Maryland and then to Las Vegas and Los Angeles and then everyone does what they want. I will stay a while longer in Denver with our manager Peter Waelti. I will enjoy the freedom of Colorado and the freedom of the green-ness (laughter).
Peter and I started collecting bits and pieces some time ago of my memoirs, so that will probably come into one of our conversations, or two, while I am there. Eventually, when I am ready for that, I will write a book. Right now, I am too active to go off and write a book, that is not as important to me as the music. Right now, it is more important to me to plan a new album and a tour than a book. A book is boring compared to music. A lot of people enjoy reading a book, so I will do it for them. This would be more like more towards the end of my career, or the end of Krokus.
Jeb: You’ve had a worldwide audience and a lot of people would love to hear the story of Krokus, both the massive albums and tours, but also how you personally have kept the band alive.
Marc: I believe it is true. I enjoy reading a few paragraphs about this guy and that guy and life stories and some are amazing. It is the unexpected things that are interesting about artists, I think. You don’t write a book just about tours and albums, but you write it about who died, who got married, who got divorced and you have all the gossip. It’s the sex and drugs and rock and roll and the private lives that are interesting.
Jeb: The stories like when you got left behind off the tour bus and getting stranded, and the bus wreck you had…
Marc: It was freezing cold, twenty degrees below zero. The bus skidded out and we were lucky to get stuck in there. That was the bus accident. Another time, only a few weeks after that, they left me standing-I went out to take a quick pee—I came out and the bus was driving off. I was like, “Oh shit, here I am caught here with no passport and my pants down!” I had hardly any cash left on my phone to call. The battery was low. Luckily, the people there helped me out in Denmark. It was the last gas station before Germany. I made it there, eventually, on that day.
Twelve or fifteen hours later, they came back and picked me up. I sat through the whole thing. The restaurant was closed and it was really boring. They kept giving me coffee. When it opened up I had a breakfast and I felt more like a human being. The guys came back around mid-day. We drove to Germany and I did sound check and we got onstage and did the show, I didn’t even eat dinner. It was a kick ass show that night because I was determined to make it a kick ass show.
Jeb: Krokus and Marc Storace are determined to succeed.
Marc: Determination is just a word, but what makes me like this, what puts the fire under my ass, is that I love doing the music with a passion. I love to sing. I am more a live performer than a studio guy. I like being out there on stage doing it and sweating and being with the band and the camaraderie. It keeps me away from television and things that keep me sitting on my ass, you know.
I go out and do my thing and come back feeling like I’ve been on holiday, even if it has been a tiring tour and my bones ache, or I have a sore throat. I still feel this satisfaction of having lived for what I live for. I feel I’ll get rusty if I stop, or if I take a long break. My instrument is inside of my body and I have to use it. It takes a while to warm up. It takes a while before you say, “Okay, let’s do it.” I have to go through the paces and get warmed up until I can reach the level where I can scream and shout and nothing hurts.
Thank God that through my long career I’ve been able to do so many concerts without ever taking time off because of vocal cord problems, or stuff like that. The only two gigs I missed were in the ‘80s and we had to cancel them because of me and I felt so bad. I had the flu and my voice got infected and there was no way out. It is only things like that where I can be kept off stage. I’ve had flu jabs and stuff like that, and I’ve been onstage with fever. As long as I could still sing, then I could do it.
Jeb: Tell me why it is so important for Krokus to come back to the USA do a proper tour?
Marc: First of all, the USA was always, for me, the land of rock and roll. It is where it all came from. It came from the Blacks and was taken over by the Whites, if you like. I am talking about people like Elvis and then Mick Jagger.
The history of rock and roll is in the USA. It is like going to visit Mecca for an Arab. For me, this is where it was all born. Then there is the whole loyalty stuff. It is the loyalty to our fans. We were welcomed with open arms and you accepted our music. We were a band from Switzerland and many people may not have even known where Switzerland was. I come from Malta and they had no clue about that. There is actually a Malta close to Detroit!
There is an adrenaline rush we get as soon as we land on USA soil. The whole sentimental bit comes rushing through your head. It has already started, as I am going to have to visit the USA Consulate to get my passport and stuff. I am going to be on tour doing these days with Rock Meets Classic when the Visa arrives, so I am going to have to really get organized with my management and get the Visa done while I’m on the road, which is never easy. It is never easy to synchronize things. I have my fingers crossed that it all goes well and that I can come over. I am really looking forward to seeing all of the old fans and all of the new fans. I am sure some will look older, just like I do, but we can all party together and show we are still alive.
Jeb: Did you ever think this would be going on in 2015?
Marc: No, I just never thought of anything [laughter]. I didn’t think I’d be flying back to the States to do a tour and that I will be rocking again with our original USA fans. Never in my life did I think this was going to last so long. We had many ups and downs, but we managed to get things back on their feet and we compromised in order to keep the ship afloat and without rocking the boat too much. I can’t say how much I am looking forward to it enough.
Jeb: There is a rumor this will be the last USA Krokus tour.
Marc: Well, I, personally, can only speak for myself. I can say I feel healthy and energetic and willing and ready to go as soon as we hit USA soil. I am so excited. I don’t put a limit to it, personally. Maybe one or two members might find it different for health issues, or whatever. That’s up to them, you know.
If Krokus ever packed up before we came around for the second time then I am going to try to get something together so I can come on my own. Maybe there will be less fans turning up because it’s only the singer, but we will cross these bridges when we get to them. This is just a rough speculation to answer your question. Basically, we have no plans of stopping, and as long as it’s fun, we will carry on. If the Lord above is willing and he does not need us up there---he has enough musicians up there to make more than a Woodstock festival… Jimi is up there and Pete Townsend…
Jeb: Pete is still here!
Marc: Oh my! I meant Keith Moon. Sorry Pete! There are so many great musicians that are up there, Freddie Mercury, Gary Moore, Janis Joplin… there is more up there than down here and more are joining every week! Some of us are over 60, so we watch our words when we talk nowadays. We also watch our step on tour and when we are on stage, as we don’t want to burn out before the gig finishes! We still play to the end with full force and energy.
It still sounds pretty good. Our last album was a live album of what we sounded like last year. We will be going through the paces again in rehearsals. We have one big festival here before we fly over. It is up on a mountain and it called SnowpenAir. The kids will be standing in snow while we are onstage hoping not to catch cold. We play the gig at Noon as the temperature is the best at that time. It is all over by five. There are a couple of big hotels where the people stay and party all night long. It is really great and nice. The mountain atmosphere is great. It is an affordable gig. It is not expensive like the Monster of Rock cruise. I think there are a lot of maniacs who have saved up money for that cruise and I am willing and looking forward to meeting them on the cruise too.
Jeb: Have you done the cruise thing yet?
Marc: I have not done the cruise thing yet. I will let you know what it is like. The only cruise I ever did in my life was way in the beginning when I was still living on the Mediterranean island of Malta where I was born.
I was with my third band which was called Cinnamon Hades. We went on this cruise for what was supposed to be three months, but we couldn’t stick it. We left after one month. It was not a rock and roll cruise, as it was just for tourists. They decided to make a hard rock band open up a hard rock venue in one of their halls that had a bar and a tiny stage. It was an adventure for us and we got to see many lands in the area. We would finish the gig and then go up by the pool and have a swim under the moonlight and light something up, or have a bottle or two, or twenty. We would sometimes miss breakfast and we didn’t give a shit. That was the kind of free-flowing life it used to be. I was still living with my parents in those days.
Jeb: How did American hard rock filter over to you in Malta?
Marc: The first hard rock band I discovered from the USA was Vanilla Fudge, with Carmine Appice. I know him really well and we are great friends. We hug for five minutes when we see each other. I have a lot of respect for Carmine. He sat on the edge of my bed after I fell off the stage on a tour. Everyone else was in the room partying, getting drunk and lighting things up, and he sat at the side of my bed, which is when we toured with Ted Nugent in 1981. The backdrop was at the very back of the stage and I thought the stage carried on but it didn’t and I fell off and I really busted the side of my hip. I didn’t break any bones. I was there packed with ice. They all came to my room to cheer me up, which was really great. I saw the human side of Ted Nugent and the whole band. Carmine is a very special person.
How did I discover American rock? We would hear things on the charts from the USA. It started when I was very young. The first screaming I heard was a soul singer called Little Richard. I thought, “Wow, he is screaming his ass off and he’s in the Top 20.” I knew I wanted to learn how to do that. Elvis came along and was singing these beautiful ballads like “Love Me Tender.” I learned how to use my tremolo because of Elvis. He did “Jailhouse Rock” and I thought, “This sure beats Pat Boone.” Bill Haley and the Comets were great. I played with his band once in Zurich at this big country and western festival. I was invited and we did a really up-tempo number with Bill.
I started out being a hippie. I fell into the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Vanilla Fudge were out then and also Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. I burnt the album Four Way Street out. I loved the vocal harmonies. Later on, Van Halen because that was the biggest thing to hit me and impress me. I loved David Lee Roth’s scream and the way he performed. Dave isn’t known to be as an extraordinary special kind of singer, but sometimes you don’t need that. Dave was a performer both on and off stage and he also had a recognizable voice. Listen to Van Halen do “Jump.” You recognize who it is in an instant. That is sometimes more important.
My focus was on becoming a singer that could sing in three octaves. I reached that after I learned “Child in Time” by Deep Purple. Now, I know Ian Gillan. He is my idol and I sit with him and we buy each other drinks and we talk about God and the world and the universe. He never stops cracking jokes. It is so nice to be, so to speak, under his wing. He respects me for the respect I show him. He is one of my masters, like Robert Plant.
Jeb: What about Dan McCafferty?
Marc: Dan had a lot to do with me trying to get the gritty sound in my voice. Before him, it was actually Paul McCartney. You may say, “What? When does Paul McCartney sing gritty?” He does in a few Beatles songs and he is good at it. There is one song that I tried over and over and I cried and I was probably bleeding down in my throat when I was learning the song, word for word, tone for tone and the song is called “Oh Darling.” When that song goes higher it is all grit. I was like, “If the Beatles can do this then I can do it too.”
I liked doing stuff that was popular. I was stuck out in a little island in the Mediterranean, so I needed some guidance to know which way to go. I wanted to hit the big city of London and that is what I did. The road then took me to the band Tea. Tea was my first step into the real professional world of show business and into the rock world of Switzerland. We did things in a very organized way, which is typical of the Swiss. I respected that.
We were organized in our little way in Malta, but this was another level. This producer Dieter Dirks from Cologne discovered us. He was famous with the production of the Scorpions. He really liked us and he was not a nobody. He had his own studio. We sent demos to him. We had a guitar player who could record everything, as he was very technically proficient. In fact, later on he became a producer in Germany. His name was Armand Volker.
Tea was together for six years and we released six albums and toured all over Europe. We were the first Swiss rock act to tour Europe. We went out with Nazareth and Queen at that time. Queen had just released their first album, or was it their second? They had “Tie Your Mother Down.” They had long hair, including Freddie, and they had the capes. He was there like a prima donna. For me, it was like “Wow, is this arrogance or what?” I soon realized it was not arrogance; it was just a guy doing his own thing. The way he projected his voice came from the classical way of singing. There was no grit. There was no Dan McCafferty in Freddie Mercury! It was really amazing. We learned a lot. They kicked our ass and we learned a lot. We were opening, so we were not supposed to kick anybody’s ass. Years later on, I got to briefly know Brian May.
I later did a trio with Steve Lee, the signer of Gotthard, God rest his soul, and this woman called Gigi Moto. She was a good singer. She was pregnant when we went into the studio to learn the stuff. Her husband is a top guitar player. He took care of the entire production and he organized everything. We went on a Prime Time show in Switzerland. We went on with live microphones. We pulled it through by hook and crook. We did this Queen medley. I uploaded it on my computer. It is on my website on Facebook. You have to check it out. I hadn’t seen this, or listened to this since ages ago. Peter put it up on there and I watched it twice. It gave me goose bumps because in the meantime we lost dear old Steve in a motorcycle accident on the way to Las Vegas. It is a story on its own.
There were forty guys… as in 4-0. They stopped on a curve somewhere on this big parking place. They were in a bunch talking and smoking a cigarette. They took off their helmets and their jacket and they were getting some fresh air. They were just getting ready to get back on their bikes to Las Vegas. I think there was some kind of dew; it was slightly wet on the ground. This truck trailer comes around the bend and it jackknifed, hit a motor bike and the bike flew into the air and landed right on Steve, alone. Can you figure that out? Holy shit. Switzerland was in mourning because Steve achieved a lot for Gotthard, through his incredible voice. I am sure there is no other rock singer in Switzerland who had a voice like Steve. He could hit the high notes with an attitude. He was amazing.
A newspaper called me in the morning and I didn’t know shit about this. I didn’t know it happened. They wanted my opinion. He didn’t say, “Did you hear?” He took it for granted that I already knew what had happened. He said, “Can you give us a comment about Steve’s accidental death in Las Vegas?” I said, “What? Excuse me? Can you please repeat that?” He said, “Oh I am sorry. Didn’t you know?” I said, “No.” He let me go.
When I see the video I remember, first of all, how good it was and all of the fun we had working on the project. You have a lot of coffees and you go on a lot of walks together. It was something very special. It was very sad what happened to him. How did we get to that?
Jeb: I am not sure! Tell me how you joined Krokus?
Marc: During the last Tea tour, Krokus released their first album. We were on the way out and they were on the way in. Chris was singing and Tommy, god rest his soul, was playing guitar. He was the best lead guitarist Krokus ever had. He was an irreplaceable guy. Tragedy happens.
I was still singing with Tea, this was 1976, and we took Krokus on the road with us promoting their first album. I got to know the guys backstage. We all kind of got on. After the tour, we all went our own ways. I ended up in London and I started my band Eazy Money and I was trying to get the band on their feet. I was talking to Chrysalis Records and trying to get the band a deal and we were talking about the band supporting Genesis on their US tour.
The phone rang and Chris asked me if I would like to join Krokus. I said, “I’ve got things happening here.” He said, “Let’s just give it a try.” I flew in for the weekend and we did this incredible jam and our mind and souls were like soul brothers, if you like. We jammed stuff by the Stones, Zeppelin, and Deep Purple. I didn’t know any Krokus songs at that time. The band had evolved. In the meantime, they had released three albums by the time I got the phone call from Chris… this was about two and a half years after the last Tea tour. During that break I also auditioned for Rainbow. I got to know Ritchie [Blackmore] and Roger [Glover].
Jeb: Since you’re coming to the USA, tell me who is in Krokus today…
Marc: When we played in Japan, Fernando stayed home and we played with Mandy. Later on, we decided to ask Mandy to join the band and to record Dirty Dynamite because we thought this might happen again, as Fernando is not getting younger. He has had cancer and luckily he survived that, which was back in 1995. Later, he had open heart surgery. He is being wise and watching his step and it is all okay with us. He will tour in Europe, but he can’t fly long distances anymore. He wants to be close to his doctor and all of that.
We have Mandy Meyer onboard, so we are ready to go as a five-piece instead of six-piece. Mark Kohler had also some health problems, so he is staying behind. He is better now, but we already changed arrangements. He will be replaced by Dominique Favez. He was in my Hellraiser band, which was when I was the only original guy from my era of Krokus. We will be playing that song. Dom is a very good guitar player. Him and Mandy and myself toured on the biggest tour ever in Europe with Krokus, this is when it was, so to speak, my Krokus.
Chris Von Rohr will be on bass, he is the founder who started the whole ball rolling way back in 1973, I guess it was. Maybe it was 1974, that was not my era. My era started with Metal Rendezvous. That was in 1979. We got together and we learned a set and went off to tour Germany. We played the Star Club where the Beatles played. We played a lot of places Tea never played. For me it was great. The guys were kind of younger and more hard rock oriented than Tea, which was a progressive band. Metal Rendezvous hit the charts and started everything.
Jeb: That has “Tokyo Nights” on it.
Marc: “Tokyo Nights” is a special song. It has almost a reggae theme to it. We are all Bob Marley fans, as well. When you listen to Bob you can’t help but chill out. It is good music to listen to on the tour bus after you’ve been rocking your ass off and you want to chill out.
Jeb: Talk to me about the cover to that album.
Marc: Those are real cars. It was an idea of a guy who worked for a guy, who worked for the Swiss record company. The idea was to take two American cars and tie them up together so they don’t fall on anybody and get fires going, get special lighting and all that. They took cranes and they lifted the cars up and they tied them together with steel cables. Everything had to be hidden so it looked like a car crash. It was foggy the night they did the photography. It was foggy and wet and uncomfortable, but that is why it came out so good. It looks like a horror picture. At the same time two nice USA cars were destroyed.
Jeb: They ruined nicer cars doing your album cover shoot than what you were driving at that time…
Marc: [laughter] Yeah, exactly!
Jeb: The next album, Hardware, came out less than a year later. You were busy.
Marc: We were like a hamster on a wheel, or we were like electric chickens laying eggs [laughter]. In the beginning we had time. The most time we had was for Metal Rendezvous. The songs had time to mature and we played half of the album when we toured when I joined the band in 1979. We did the album in two weeks. It was produced by Tim Pearson and Martin Pearson. I had a great time because he was English. I couldn’t talk German then, so I was happy that the guy behind the glass was communicating in a language I understood.
I flew in from London and did my parts in a week and a half. It came out really good and it was a big success. It was the big ice breaker. It opened the gate to the world for Krokus. From one day to the other, Krokus became an internationally known band. The phone was ringing all day at our manager’s office. We were willing to work. The only guy that suffered was Tommy Keifer, who by the end of the recordings for Hardware -the next album- and after a huge festival in Scotland, we had to tell Tommy to stay home. He was so full of drugs the whole time, and he couldn’t tune his guitar, and he fell over on stage. We wanted to go places and there was no way we could have a weak link in the chain. For me, he was a new friend, who was a really sweet guy, who I really only knew for a short time. He grew up with the rest of the band. It was even harder for them to do that. Later on, he died… about five years later. It wasn’t because of us.
We did two weeks in the studio and we started touring the USA after Hardware. Hardware established us in the USA. It got us over there, and we met our US manager for the first time, Butch Stone together with John Kalodner. He was not at Geffen yet… or was he? It could be. John Lennon did his last album on Geffen. I am not sure. Anyway, there was this special guy at Arista Records named Mike Bone and he was A&R. They signed us up. It was Clive Davis’ record company. Clive didn’t know much about hard rock, so we were happy that Mike was there and knew what it meant for a band to write a song like ‘Heatstrokes” which got a lot of airplay in the USA. “Bedside Radio,” which is in opposite style, was the hit in Europe. The USA liked “Heatstrokes” which was more metal. We still play that song today, as we still play “Bedside Radio.”
It went on from album to album. The longer the tours got, the shorter time we spent on an album. The recording times got longer. Songwriting time, let’s put it this way, got shorter from the day I joined. After we went into the studio, which lasted a month, which was better than two weeks, we hooked on tours opening for bands in the USA, that way we stayed longer in the USA. Our manager was against sending us to Europe. We used the entire touring budget in one European tour that we used to do two tours of the USA. Financially, economically speaking, he was right… but we were a European band and we wanted to play at home. We didn’t like not playing to our first loyal fans and we felt we were letting them down. This became a running argument through our whole time. The tours got as long as nine months.
The very first tour was with Sammy Hagar. We played California and Reno and places like that, all the West Coast. He was so good to us and we felt so welcomed. He would always pop his head in before he went on stage and ask us if we had enough drinks or this or that. We carried on this way. We opened for bands like Van Halen, Judas Priest, Ted Nugent, AC/DC and others. AC/DC didn’t want us on the tour longer than a week, you know. This was on Back in Black. What the hell were they afraid of? It was one of the best albums ever.
We were so into what we were doing, and we were so focused, and we were feeling like a little fish in an aquarium full of piranhas. We didn’t know the aggressiveness of show business at that time. We were greenhorns. From then, we became the toughest act to open for someone. Bands that were playing after Krokus were starting to say, “Krokus is too tough to follow” so Butch managed to get us a step higher and we started being Special Guests. You are in the middle of the sandwich. The headliner is paying for the entire production and you have to pay the headliner something so you can use the stage; that’s how it worked. The tour budgets, in those days, from the record companies, were huge. We were doing good and getting better and kicking more bands off the stage. We were earning a hard-ass reputation.
When the time came to tour with Def Leppard we had Headhunter behind our ass. It made us stand on stage with open shirts and, how can I say it… we stood proud and we kicked ass and we showed no mercy. To us, Def Leppard sounded like a pop band. We had the meanest album Krokus ever wrote to date and it was also the most metal album we ever wrote. We composed that with the producer of Judas Priest, Tom Allom. He made sure we kept the edge. It was heaven, for me, working with him. It is a pity he stopped producing. He doesn’t even produce the Priest anymore; he may do that for them live. He does produce videos in Germany with his partner. You linked Tom and me up again. That was you, of course. That was really great, Jeb. After we talked, Tom sent me a DVD of Judas Priest.
Jeb: I want to back up a bit. We skipped a great album. One Vice at a Time.
Marc: That is a special one.
Jeb: You worked with Tony Platt on that one.
Marc: Tony worked with AC/DC and it gave him the credibility to work with us. From my point of view he was really great. We worked together again on Alive and Screamin’.
With Tom, again, it was great working with him as a singer. The other guys, I don’t know, they always find the hair in the soup. I am an easy-going guy to work with. For me, just open the microphone and let me do it and then we can go over corrections. I am like, “Let’s warm up. You do the levels. Then we can go for some takes. Once we do a few takes then we start jumping tracks.” We just go for the best one and then let the other guys in and see what they think, then do repair work.
I don’t like to be nitty-gritty around the main performance. I like to do it like I do it on stage. I just want to be left to warm up and do a few takes and then the ball is in their court. I have to have the freedom to do this. I feel I know what I want to do. Whether it is good, or not, we can talk about after I’ve done it. That always worked.
It was great with Tom and with Tony, too. The thing is we worked at Battery Studio doing One Vice at a Time with Tony Platt. AC/DC was in the same studio mixing For Those About to Rock, the one with the cannon. [Sings] “For those about to rock [BOOM] we salute you!” Mysterious things were happening. We already had a design with a cannon to be on our album cover on One Vice at a Time. What we ended up doing for our album cover I find nicer today. We put the gates there, which we later had built to use live.
AC/DC was mixing there and they were there with Robert John “Mutt” Lange. Malcolm Young was there, he liked keeping an over sight on things. Most of the time, he was in the Green Room smoking. He was friendly. Then Robert “Mutt” Lange popped his head in while I was doing a take. The take was “Playing the Outlaw.” He hung around for a while. They were talking and stuff and it was amazing. I popped my head in and listened to something by Brian Johnson. The music was going in and out so I could hear him raw. I was like, “Wow, what a special voice this guy has. If I try to sing like him I will destroy my voice.” It is all scratchy. Oh boy, too much for me. I would ruin my voice! I love singing “Thunderstruck.” It is a great song and “TNT” and “Highway to Hell” I like to sing, as well. Whenever I get the chance to sing those songs, I do. I use those songs to warm up with, as well. [Sings] “See my ride out of the sunset…”
Jeb: You and Bon Scott have some similarities. I think you are a more natural singer than he was, but you can certainly sound like Bon when you want to sound like Bon.
Marc: Yes, it is the gritty part. I guess we have the same influences. We have the same likes. When you go back into his history and see some of the old stuff that Bon sang in his videos and stuff before AC/DC, and you see that he was also into that fashion thing, which I was with Tea.
In the very beginning of Krokus, we dropped that and became more like rock and roll animals. Now we are into the leather and denim again. Leather and denim was a big thing in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. The hard rock fans had patches on the jackets of their favorite bands. It was a great sight to see when you saw a sea of jackets. Everybody had their patches and they would walk by and you would watch everyone that walked by to see what band was on the jackets. Everyone had a collector’s item and he was wearing it and he never washed it!
Jeb: Let’s jump back to the USA shows. Will you play any of the stuff off of Dirty Dynamite and Hoodoo?
Marc: We will be playing the top songs off of each of those albums. I will give away the first song… Every venue needs a strong starter and we start off with “Long Stick Goes Boom.” If there is anyone doubting anything about what Krokus is all about, when we step on stage and go into “Long Stick” they know what we are all about. Then we go into a song that is still in our hearts, “American Woman,” which we see as a tribute because we are indebted to America for putting us on that pedestal. We reached Platinum in USA for Headhunter, which was a million records sold. Nowadays, you don’t need as much to go Platinum in Europe, as record sales are down the drain, just like they are here. The way to survive and pay your bills today is to go out on the road and play live. That is why concert tickets are more expensive nowadays because it has to come in from somewhere.
Jeb: Last one: I want to hear you guys remake “Miss Misery” or “Hair of the Dog” by Nazareth.
Marc: Yeah, Dan was, I say was, great. It is a heavy feeling in my heart when I say ‘was.’ We were playing in Arbon, in Switzerland, and Nazareth played before us. I was watching on the screen backstage. Suddenly, Dan stopped and didn’t’ look happy. He said he had to stop. They came walking in and they were all silent. I said, “Dan, what’s happened, man?” He said, “My lungs, I have a sickness in my lungs.” He mentioned what he has, but I don’t remember what it was. I give him a big hug and I kissed the man and gave him some space. We never heard anything else.
I love the song “Hair of the Dog.” Maybe later on I’ll just put a cover band together because I love so many other songs apart from Krokus. Of course, I would play some Krokus jewels to crown it. I see these things happening around me and I have a wooden table here and I touch wood every day.
Jeb: Thanks for the time and I will see you in a month…
Marc: [Sound of liquid in a cup being drank] I just drank to that! I’m looking forward to seeing you in Kansas City. We’ll just drive in and wash up and do sound check and then we can go have a meal. I am looking forward to the tour.
The views of the comments below are not necessarily those of Classic Rock Revisited