Krokus (band)

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Krokus
Krokus - Band 2008.jpg
Krokus in 2008
Background information
Origin Solothurn, Switzerland
Genres Hard rock
Years active 1975–present
Labels AFM, Arista, MCA
Website www.krokusonline.com
Members Chris von Rohr
Fernando Von Arb
Marc Storace
Mark Kohler
Mandy Meyer
Flavio Mezzodi
Past members See Member history section

Krokus is a hard rock band from Switzerland. They enjoyed moderate success in North America during the 1980s.

Krokus was founded in Solothurn in 1975 by bassist (and original lead vocalist) Chris von Rohr and guitarist Tommy Kiefer. Former Eazy Money vocalist Marc Storace joined the band as frontman in time for their Metal Rendez-vous album in 1980.

History[edit]

Early career (1975–1982)[edit]

Krokus was formed in 1975 as a primarily prog rock act. Chris von Rohr, originally the drummer, switched to lead vocals in the late 1970s and with that formation Krokus was successful in Switzerland, touring throughout the country. After seeing AC/DC in concert in the late 70s, they decided to change their musical direction and adopted a new sound which was heavily influenced by the band. Since von Rohr possessed limited vocal abilities and was not capable of hitting the third octave, the band decided to hire a new lead vocalist. Eventually, Marc Storace, formerly of TEA and Eazy Money, was hired. With the new lineup in place, the band recorded and released a new album entitled Metal Rendez-vous in 1980, the album was Krokus's first hit and brought much wider international recognition.

The 1981 follow-up album, Hardware, was recorded at the Roundhouse Studios in London and featured such songs as "Easy Rocker" and "Rock City", which are still a part of the band's live repertoire today. Lead guitarist Tommy Kiefer quit the band over musical differences early into the "Hardware" touring cycle and was replaced by then 19-year old newcomer Mandy Meyer (ex-BM Smith). Kiefer died on December 24, 1986.[1][2]

Rise to popularity (1982–1988)[edit]

In 1982, with new American management, Krokus recorded One Vice at a Time, which featured the hits, "Long Stick Goes Boom," and the Guess Who cover, "American Woman". Chris von Rohr described the album at the time as "the album AC/DC never made", as the influence of the Australian band is difficult to ignore. The comparisons actually cast doubt on the creativity of the band, as many listeners now began to regard Krokus merely as AC/DC imitators. Nevertheless, Krokus became increasingly popular in Europe and began to receive attention in the United States.

1983's Headhunter was awarded Platinum album status in the United States and hit number 25 in the 1983 album charts. The album was Krokus' most successful album to date, both commercially and critically. It boasted the hit power ballad "Screaming in the Night", which saw heavy rotation on MTV and would become one of the band's most recognizable songs. Judas Priest's Rob Halford contributed backing vocals on the song "Ready to Burn". Bassist Chris von Rohr was fired in late 1983, prior to the band's appearance at the RockPop Festival in Dortmund, Germany, with rhythm guitarist Mark Kohler switching over to bass and Patrick Mason, aka Patrick Mahassen, from the Swiss band Crown taking over rhythm guitar duties for the remainder of the Headhunter touring cycle.

1984 saw the band move in a more commercial direction with The Blitz, which featured a cover of Sweet's 1973 hit song The Ballroom Blitz. Though a commercial success, the album was panned critically. Capitalizing on the wave of success enjoyed by heavy metal in the mid-1980s, the band then released Change of Address in 1986, which featured a cover of the Alice Cooper standard "School's Out". The album was a commercial and critical failure. Krokus then released a live album entitled Alive and Screamin' as the band transitioned from Arista Records to MCA for the release of their Heart Attack album in 1988 in a desperate attempt to keep the band together which saw the return of bassist Chris von Rohr. After an intense period of recording and touring for much of the 1980s the band went on hiatus at the end of 1988.

Later years (1989–2006)[edit]

Guitarist Fernando von Arb would remain the sole original member throughout most of the 1990s as Krokus carried on with ever changing line-ups. 1995 saw a brief reunion of the classic One Vice at a Time line-up, minus von Rohr, on the To Rock or Not to Be album. In 2003, the band released Rock the Block .

In 2005, longtime lead guitarist Fernando von Arb left the band after continuing wrist problems required surgery. Mandy Meyer, who had played with the band in the mid-1980s, replaced von Arb in the lineup. The new formation recorded the studio album Hellraiser in 2006, which went to gold in Switzerland on the first day of sales. It generally received very good reviews. In an interview in 2008, Marc Storace stated that Krokus was becoming more and more "metal".

Reunion with "classic lineup" (2007–2011)[edit]

On November 18, 2007, the line up featuring Chris von Rohr, Fernando von Arb, Freddy Steady and Marc Storace reunited to play a medley ("Tokyo Nights", "Bedside Radio" and "Heatstrokes") during the TV show, Die grössten Schweizer Hits, on Swiss television. This led to their reunion concert on August 2, 2008. Krokus's cover of Sweet's "The Ballroom Blitz" also appeared in the 2007 game Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s.

It was announced on April 20, 2008, that the classic lineup of Chris von Rohr, Fernando von Arb, Freddy Steady, Mark Kohler and Marc Storace had reunited, and would be releasing a new studio record in 2010 with a supporting world tour. On August 2, 2008, the band performed live in the Stade de Suisse in Bern. Krokus performed the official anthem of the 2009 Ice Hockey World Championships, hosted by Switzerland. The song was entitled "Live for the Action".

On March 3, 2010, their latest album, Hoodoo, including a cover version of Steppenwolf's "Born To Be Wild" and ten other songs, was released.[3] It came in a regular and limited edition, the latter containing a DVD featuring concert footage.[4]

In May 2011, drummer Fready Steady announced he was leaving the band.[5]

Reunion with Mandy Meyer and beyond (2012–present)[edit]

In December 2012, it was announced guitarist Mandy Meyer was once again rejoining the band after having filled in for an ailing Fernando von Arb at the Loud Park Festival in Japan in October 2011.[6][7] Krokus released their seventeenth studio album Dirty Dynamite on February 22, 2013.[8]

On April 21, 2013, it was reported that former drummer Dani Crivelli, who played on the band's 1988 Heart Attack, had died.[9] According to the German language Swiss daily Blick, Crivelli fell off a bridge in Trimbach, Canton of Solothurn, and did not survive the fall.[10]

Swiss drummer Flavio Mezzodi joined Krokus in May 2013.[11]

Origin of band name[edit]

The band name Krokus is German for crocus, a flower common throughout Europe. Early in the spring of 1975, band founder Chris von Rohr observed a field of these flowers while traveling by train. He was returning from L'Ecole des Chefs located in France after an aborted career in the culinary arts, and it was around this time the idea for the band was formed. The band members stated that it was the perfect name, since it featured "rok" in the middle.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Certifications Peak Chart Positions
1976 Krokus
1977 To You All
1978 Painkiller / Pay It in Metal
1980 Metal Rendez-vous Switzerland: 3×Platinum[12] US No. 201
1981 Hardware Switzerland: Gold[12] US No. 103, UK No. 44[13]
1982 One Vice at a Time US No. 53, UK No. 28[13]
1983 Headhunter US: Gold[14] US No. 25 UK No. 74[13]
1984 The Blitz US: Gold[14] US No. 31
1986 Change of Address US No. 45[15]
1988 Heart Attack US No. 87[15]
1990 Stampede
1995 To Rock or Not to Be
1999 Round 13
2003 Rock the Block Switzerland: Gold[12]
2006 Hellraiser Switzerland: Gold[12]
2010 Hoodoo Switzerland: Platinum[12]
2013 Dirty Dynamite Switzerland No. 1, Germany No. 17, Greece No. 29, Sweden No. 41, Austria No. 46, France #139

Live albums[edit]

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Early Days '75–'78 (1980)
  • Stayed Awake All Night – The Best (1989)
  • The Dirty Dozen (1993)
  • Definitive Collection (2000)
  • The Collection (2000)
  • Best Of (2000)
  • Headhunter Blitz (2002)
  • Long Stick Goes Boom: The Anthology (2003)

Singles and EPs[edit]

  • "Tokyo Nights" (1980)
  • "Heatstrokes" (1980)
  • "Bedside Radio" (1980)
  • "Winning Man" (1981) No. 26 US Rock
  • "Burning Bones" (1981) No. 46 US Rock
  • "Rock City" (1981)
  • "Long Stick Goes Boom" (1982) No. 22 US Rock
  • "American Woman" (1982) No. 53 US Rock
  • "Save Me" (1982)
  • "Bad Boys Rag Dolls" (1982)
  • "Stayed Awake All Night" (1983) No. 31 US Rock
  • "Screaming in the Night" (1983) No. 21 US Rock
  • "Eat The Rich" (1983) No. 33 US Rock
  • "Midnite Maniac" (1984) No. 71 Hot 100, No. 10 US Rock
  • "Ballroom Blitz" (1984)
  • "Our Love" (1984) No. 22 US Rock
  • "School's Out" (1986) No. 67 Hot 100
  • "Screaming in the Night (Live)" (1987)
  • "Let the Love Begin" (1987)
  • "Let It Go" (1988)
  • "Wild Love" (1988)
  • "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet" (1994)
  • "I Want It All" (2003)
  • "Angel of My Dreams" (2006)

Videos & DVDs[edit]

  • The Video Blitz (1985, VHS & LaserDisc)
  • Fire And Gasoline (2004, Bonus DVD)
  • As Long As We Live (2004, DVD)

Member history[edit]

Line-ups
Album Personnel
1976 Krokus
  • Chris von Rohr
  • Hansi Droz
  • Remo Spadino
  • Tommy Kiefer
1977 To You All
1978 Pain Killer
  • Chris von Rohr
  • Fernando von Arb
  • Freddy Frutig (Freddy Steady)
  • Jürg Naegeli
  • Tommy Kiefer
1979 Metal Rendez-Vous
1981 Hardware
  • Chris von Rohr
  • Fernando von Arb
  • Freddy Frutig (Freddy Steady)
  • Marc Storace
  • Tommy Kiefer
1982 One Vice At A Time
  • Chris von Rohr
  • Fernando von Arb
  • Freddy Frutig (Freddy Steady)
  • Marc Storace
  • Mark Kohler
1983 Headhunter
  • Chris von Rohr
  • Fernando von Arb
  • Marc Storace
  • Mark Kohler
  • Steve Pace
1984 The Blitz
  • Fernando von Arb
  • Jeff Klaven
  • Marc Storace
  • Mark Kohler
  • Andy Tanas
1986 Alive And Screamin'
1986 Change of Address
  • Fernando von Arb
  • Jeff Klaven
  • Marc Storace
  • Mark Kohler
  • Tommy Keiser
1988 Heart Attack
  • Chris von Rohr
  • Dani Crivelli
  • Fernando von Arb
  • Marc Storace
  • Mark Kohler
1991 Stampede
  • Fernando von Arb
  • Many Maurer
  • Peter Haas
  • Peter Tanner
  • Tony Castell
1995 To Rock Or Not To Be
  • Fernando von Arb
  • Freddy Frutig (Freddy Steady)
  • Many Maurer
  • Marc Storace
  • Mark Kohler
1999 Round 13
  • Carl Sentance
  • Chris Lauper
  • Fernando von Arb
  • Many Maurer
  • Peter Haas
2003 Rock The Block
2004 Fire And Gasoline Live!
  • Dominique Favez
  • Fernando von Arb
  • Marc Storace
  • Patrick Aeby
  • Tony Castell
2006 Hellraiser
  • Dominique Favez
  • Mandy Meyer
  • Marc Storace
  • Stefan Schwarzmann
  • Tony Castell
2010 Hoodoo
  • Chris Von Rohr
  • Fernando Von Arb
  • Freddy Steady
  • Marc Storace
  • Mark Kohler
2013 Dirty Dynamite
  • Chris Von Rohr
  • Fernando Von Arb
  • Marc Storace
  • Mark Kohler
  • Mandy Meyer
2014 Long Stick Goes Boom: Live from da House of Rust
  • Chris Von Rohr
  • Fernando Von Arb
  • Marc Storace
  • Mark Kohler
  • Mandy Meyer
  • Flavio Mezzodi

References[edit]

  1. ^ "KROKUS online – Tommy Kiefer biography page". 
  2. ^ The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars: Heroin, Handguns, and Ham Sandwiches. 
  3. ^ "Hoodoo" at exlibris.ch-online store
  4. ^ "Limited edition" CD/DVD
  5. ^ "Krokus official Homepage – News – DRUMMER FREDDY STEADY DECIDES TO LEAVE KROKUS". krokusonline.seven49.net. Retrieved January 22, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Mandy Meyer returns to Krokus". 
  7. ^ "Krokus official Homepage – News – MANDY MEYER REJOINS KROKUS". krokusonline.seven49.net. Retrieved January 22, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Krokus: New Album Track Listing, Artwork Unveiled". BlabberMouth. 
  9. ^ "Former KROKUS Drummer DANI CRIVELLI Dies". 
  10. ^ "Drama um Krokus: Schlagzeuger tot!". 
  11. ^ "Krokus Introduces New Drummer" on Blabbermouth May 6, 2013
  12. ^ a b c d e "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards ('Krokus')". Hung Medien. 
  13. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 308. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  14. ^ a b "American album certifications – Krokus". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  15. ^ a b c "Krokus Album & Song Chart History | Billboard.". Billboard. Retrieved April 24, 2011. 

External links[edit]