“This is the definitive proof that, in a ridiculously digital, cold and anti-septic world, there is still a place for honest, dirty, handmade music – for the eternal flame of Rock n’ Roll – our medicine of life.” – from the liner notes of Long Stick Goes Boom.
Ready for some Krok n roll? The boys in Krokus are back with a monster live album defining the current era of the band as well as touching on their lengthy career as die hard devotees of gritty, blue collar hard rock. In the last four decades, Krokus have played over 2,000 shows across 5 continents
and Long Stick Goes Boom: Live from da House Of Rust reflects the miles under their feet and the many friends made along the way. Recorded August 30th, 2013 the show featured on this killer live record was a full circle moment for the band, coming home to where it all started in 1975 – Rockcity Solothurn.
Pre order the album HERE.
It was a pleasure to discuss the past and future of hard rock with respected vocalist Marc Storace, who also answered some questions about my fave classic Krokus video “Screaming In The Night”. The new live album is killer Krokus in true top form and you can read the interview HERE to get the scoop!
This is a great live record. All these years in you are still owning it.
Marc Storace: Thank you. The whole band feels great. we really worked hard at coming up with a good set list and trying it out on the whole tour. We were lucky we had such a good ending tour concert. Now we are looking forward to the touring that is ahead of us. It’s not usually common that a live
album sells well but ours just went to number three in the Swiss charts. That’s a great start. We’re happy about it.
To have this late career resurgence where people are realizing you have kept this great working class hard rock alive…it must feel great.
Absolutely. It’s the biggest pat on the back we can get for the behind the scenes hard work nobody sees. Just putting a set list together can be nerve wracking! You don’t want to disappoint anybody or yourself. I think we did quite well. It’s a juggle. We didn’t justr play old stuff and showcased some of the new numbers like “Hoodoo” and “Live For The Action”, which was never ever on a record. It was a compilation that was for World Hockey Championships in 2009. We wrote the song for that and now it is on the live album. I’m very pleased and honored that the band wanted to do “Hellraiser” from an album that none of them were on except Mandy (Meyer -Guitar). That was from the hellraiser album released in 2006. The whole thing happened and we got this show down for posterity with the first 6 piece Krokus formation that ever existed.
It fits. The sound is so big but it doesn’t become too cluttered like some prog rock. It is still good, solid hard rock.
Prog rock has good and bad bands. Krokus started out as a prog band before I joined. The first record. That’s when I was in a prog rock band called Tea. We took Krokus as an opening act on the road for us and when their singer was leaving the band three records later, I joined before the Metal Rendezvous album was released. That album made the band go international and come as far as the USA. The rest is history.
That record just went 4x Platinum! The first proper Krokus album to many fans.
Yeah. Quadruple. It’s crazy. It’s a very melodic and poprock at times and prog rock touch still in there. But it’s got everlasting, evergreen numbers on there like “Bedside Radio” and “Tokyo Nights”. They were performed by a genius guitar player Tommy Kiefer but unfortunately his demise later on from a drug overdose happened. Tommy was a sensitive guy. Then Mandy Meyer replaced him on second guitar and we had a world tour pushing the One Vice At A Time
album. Mandy returned later for Hellraiser and now for Dirty Dynamite. That’s why we’re a 6 piece formation now.
The fans are very excited. It’s funny, I just watched the documentary on Rush today finally. People think of Prog as pretentious but those guys were just friends who made this amazing career by not following the rules. You guys, your music is obviously different than that. But despite the different
things you have done, there developed the core Krokus sound and your fans appreciate you have kept the beliefs and energy of the band true. They trust you will put out good hard rock records.
We stayed true to ourselves even when we had musician changes. It is like changing a finger on your hand. You have to learn how to be a team again. It changes the sound and songwriting, but we stayed loyal to the core, as you said. We even had different influences from using various producers. Right
after we got back together for the 2008 reunion concert we decided Chris (Von Rohr – Bass) was gonna be our producer. He was a founding member and bass player and kind of the mentor of the band in the early days. Fernando and I am happy he is producing because Chris is a perfectionist. We throw our ideas into his bucket and he can sort it out. Long Stick Goes Boom – Live From The House Of Rust has made us happier than pigs in shit.
That’s awesome, man. Haha. How do you think your home country affected the sound of the band over the years?
Switzerland, well…we live off the music, so we obviously want to stay popular and go on tour. We stay loyal to our blues rock, bluesy Krokus sound and write lyrics which aren’t too poetic and far from the common street man. We try to stay street and that is what the Swiss love about the band Krokus. we didn’t jazz it up or go back to prog. We stayed as we were.
What was it about The House Of Rust that was so special?
Krokus was born in Solothurn and the House Of Rust is in Solothurn. It has become our second home since 2008. We love the sound in there. It’s a wooden stage with huge curtains that soak up the sound and when it is full of people they are basically all hard core Krokus fans, because they grew up with Krokus. Moms and dads come with their teenagers. It’s a nice mix of people. and they go nuts! That’s why we went for it in the end out of all the live recordings. Just a great crowd. We didnt have to do any touching up. Just a good mix and ship it out. We had lots of time to try things out and get the microphones right. We have this incredible guy we’ve worked with the last few records. Dennis Ward, he’s produced lots of bands. He plays in a band called Pink Cream 69.
Oh yeah! Of course! That band is cool.
Yeah.Dennis is fast and he’s very rock so he gets a great mix. He was the perfect guy. He really took care of us and was there for us. That’s the trick. The rest is push the record button.
Then it is up to you! (laughing)
Fine tuning is during mixing time. Chris sits with Dennis and here you have the result.
People say rock is dead or takes up less market share than it used to. I think rock n roll will always be alive in some form. You want rock bands to make more money like they used to or for new bands to care about talent as much as image, but in some form rock will probably survive. Do you think it matters as much if rock is popular as long as some people are out there playing with soul?
People can say what they want. The press can say what they want. But in the end it is the fans. They decide. If they want to listen to jazz tomorrow than rock is dead but I don’t see rock dying in a million years. Rock is the release valve of the working class, mostly. the people who like beer. Women. Harley Davidsons. They like to let their hair down and be themselves. T-shirts and jeans and go to the beach or rock concerts. The frustration from work and paying taxes…they need a release or human beings will be banging their heads against the wall. In the heavy metal scene you have some headbangers, some groovy people who dance. Bankers. Poor people dressed in rags. Rich guys with new cars outside. It unites people from different cultures. That’s why I dont think it’s ever gonna die.
I think you are right and it will always have a seat at the table. Maybe people like pop more for a minute, but even pop stars wear Ozzy shirts or punk rock shirts to look cool, haha.
Yeah, the Prince of Darkness. Rock may have a lull or dip down like everything else in life but it comes back with a vengeance. We’ve seen that happen a couple times so I don’t think it will ever dip down and never rise up again. Way back years ago the first Black Sabbath came out and it is great to see them back, for example and rearing up because it deserves it. There are other forms of music but nothing reaches the same adrenaline level as a good rock song can reach.
I remember dancing with a girl at a bar years ago to “Screaming In The Night” on the jukebox. What ever happened to the girls in that classic video?
Yeah, haha. That was all patched up together and was like Road Warrior after the death and destruction of atomic war. It was a crazy video but I never get bored looking at it once in awhile. I’m still in touch with some of the people, even the girl who was my beloved one in the video who was murdered by that nasty king!
She works for the government in Washington now!
Yeah. Unfortunately the one who was the big amazon woman…
With the long legs?
Yeah. Unfortunately she died. She was working for a helicopter reporting job doing a traffic report. Something happened and it got in trouble. They landed in the river. She left a daughter behind who was taken care of by the community. Sad story.
For sure. That is sad to hear.
I learned all this beacuse I stay in touch with people. Even the director Joe, he’s a painter now. he’s an artist. He sends me stuff. So it’s interesting.
Yeah, it is interesting all the different stuff people can do in their lives. Like one day you are in a crazy apocalyptic medieval future road warrior 80’s video and the next you work for the Government.
If it was possible it would be nice to reunite once before we die with all the people we worked with in our lives who gave heart’s blood to what we’re doing. unite over beers and a huge party. One huge motherfucking BBQ but here I will sing you another prog song “Dreaaaaamer…”. Supertramp.
(laughing) Thank you for keeping the rock alive over the years, man. What about the music keeps it exciting for you to keep singing?
Music is my elixir. I’m a dad now. My son is 21 tomorrow. My daugher is 19. I’ve been married 23 years. We’re happy. I do a little bit of gardening. But there’s nothing like going to a rehearsal and jamming out our songs. It is a unique feeling. The build up to the tour. I still reach those ecstasy moments during the concerts and can tell the other guys are going through the same emotions. These are things you can’t buy. I work to stay healthy diet-wise and stay healthy, but I like to let my hair down still. Let your hair down. Get some dirt on your hands. When it takes off and the music goes through you, you can deliver with power. I want to stay in shape and deliver for as long as possible. I’m definitely looking forward to the next tour and the other day got the very good news that we might be able to make it to the USA and Canada around the fourth quarter of 2014.