When most people think of Switzerland they picture the Alps, fine chocolate, watches, and anonymous numbered bank accounts. For those who came of age in the hair metal 80’s the hottest Swiss import was not a lanky supermodel, but five scruffy rockers known as Krokus.
Formed in 1974, the band found its identity and chemistry with the addition of Malta-born vocalist Marc Storaci in 1979. The fuse was lit with the 1980 release of Metal Rendez-vous, which spawned the classic songs, “Heatstrokes,” and “Bedside Radio.” Still staples of the band’s legendary live shows. They followed this with Hardware (1981) and One Vice at a Time (1982). The latter included the band’s signature song “Long Stick Goes Boom,” and the first in a long line of hit cover songs with the Guess Who‘s “American Woman.”
The following year, 1983, was massive for melodic hard rock and metal. Many band’s released iconic albums, including Krokus and their masterpiece, Headhunter. Tracks like “Eat The Rich,” “Stayed Awake All Night,” and “Ready To Burn,” cemented the Krokus name. The latter featuring vocal work by Judas Priest‘s, Rob Halford. But it was “Screaming In The Night” which would be the album’s monster anthem, and still perhaps their most requested radio hit.
Band founder, Chris von Rohr would leave the band temporarily for the band’s follow up, The Blitz, but there was no slowing the Krokus juggernaut. The hits just kept pouring forth, with “Midnite Maniac,” “Our Love” and a cover of The Sweet‘s “Ballroom Blitz.”
But Rohr’s absence was felt, and Change of Address (1986) started to show the wear and tear on the group from constant touring and recording combined with the record label’s pushing and pulling. The band would continue on into the 90’s, but grunge and constant line-up changes kept the band from regaining their 80’s stature.
Fast forward two decades, and a request for a reunion medley for European television show reignites the spark between members of band’s most productive line-up. Guitarist Fernando von Arb, Marc, Chris, drummer Freddie Steady, and rhythm guitarist Mark Kohler realized they still had something to say, and songs to play. A few well received Krokus concerts let the boys know that the fans were still out there for them, screaming in the night.
This spring the band released their best album since 83’s Headhunter. The classic line-up has returned with the classic 80’s Krokus sound, but with a modern edge. Hoodoo slips right into the heart of the Krokus catalog. Songs like “Drive It In,” “Ride Into The Sun,” “Too Hot,” and the single “Hoodoo Woman,” are all instant hits for the collection. The band even throws Krokusizes Steppenwolf‘s “Born To Be Wild.”
Last, week, with a glass of wine in hand, Marc sat down and spent an hour talking with me about the past, present and future of Switzerland’s number one rock band. You can listen to our conversation below in five parts: