The first anniversary of the disastrous earthquake in Japan will be on March 11th, 2012. The aftermath of this catastrophe is still apparent, and to the present day the Japanese people are facing the impact of the events. The population of the affected area has not been able to completely return to their everyday live and the people are still grateful for our help.
Some of Europe’s leading Rock artists have united to join a campaign initiated by singer Tommy Heart (Soul Doctor, Fair Warning) and recorded a tremendous new version of the classic Beatles song “Help”. The EP “Help! For JAPAN” will be released in Europe on the German label Avenue Of Allies in early March 2012. All income from the sales of this project will be donated to the Japanese Red Cross.
This EP includes the following four songs:
2. HELP! (Tommy Heart Version)
3. HELP! (Guitar Version)
4. HELP! (Extended Version)
The musicians: Don Airey (Keyboards & Piano, Deep Purple), Leo Leoni (Guitar, Gotthard), Neil Murray (Bass, ex Whitesnake), Hena Habegger (Drums, Gotthard)
The singers: Tobias Sammet (Edguy, Avantasia), Bob Catley (Magnum), Andi Deris (Helloween), Torstein Flakne (Stage Dolls), Marc Storace (Krokus), David Readman (Pink Cream 69), Claus Lessmann (Bonfire), Oliver Hartmann (Hartmann), Bernhard Weiss (Axxis), Michael Kiske (Unisonic), Tony Mills (TNT), Carsten Lizard Schulz (Evidence One) and Tommy Heart (Soul Doctor, Fair Warning),
The solo guitar players: Cede Dupont (Downspirit), Kyoji Yamamoto (BowWow), Helge Engelke (Fair Warning), Roland Grapow (Masterplan), Leo Leoni (Gotthard), Henny Wolter (Nitrogods), Robert R. Rodrigo (Airless)
All “HELP!” versions produced and mixed by Tommy Heart, Tommy Remm & Rene Schostak (Valicon).
Vocal Arrangement by Tommy Heart.
Solo Guitar Arrangement for “Help” (Guitar Version) by Helge Engelke.
Audio mastering by TMM/Tom Müller Berlin/Germany.
Cover artwork “Help! For JAPAN” designed by Kai Swillus.
For more information, please visit:
KROKUS vocalist Marc Storace will perform some “classic KROKUS” with a “classical symphony orchestra” in four Swiss cities. Other vocalists featured on the “ROCK MEETS CLASSIC” bill include Ian Gillan (Deep Purple), Lou Gramm (Ex-Foreigner), Les Holroyd (Barclay James Harvest) and Dan McCafferty (Nazareth).
Marc is excited to showcase KROKUS songs with a symphony orchestra. If you’re in Switzerland, do not miss these shows!
Recently Marc was asked by a journalist whether he’s afraid to tackle the mix between rock and classic or whether it is more so a challenge for him:
MARC: Afraid? Not at all, to the contrary! I learned about classical renditions when I was just born. My mother played on the piano everything from Beethoven to Mozart when I still was in her womb. My oldest sister was a piano teacher and played to ballet. At that time I was more interested in Pop and Soul music and then came Rock’n’Roll!
When the Beatles, Rolling Stones and a couple of other bands started to integrate classical elements into their songs, I really liked that a lot. Deep Purple recorded an entire album with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and later on Jeff Lynne set a new standard for “Rock meets Classic” with his Electric Light Orchestra.
It is indeed a challenge but also a welcomed diversity and change of pace.
Another question to Marc:
In 2008 KROKUS celebrated a successful comeback with the original line-up and now you will be on the same bill with some old rock idols in “Rock meets Classic”. To which of the other performers are you looking forward to the most to share the stage with and why?
MARC: I like all of the vocalists on the bill, but as an old Deep Purple fan I still hold a great respect for Ian Gillan. I’m so excited to share the same stage with him along with all the other performers.
Today, “Hoodoo” will be officially released in the United States and the response from the press has been overwhelmingly positive.
Vocalist Marc Storace worked marathon hours for the last 2 weeks as well as this week to accommodate the US media. The phone lines are smoking across the Atlantic between Switzerland and America in order to respond to all the requests for phone interviews.
Marc was supposed to do an interview for the “Eddie Trunk Radio Show” in New York this coming Friday. Due to the untimely death of rock icon Ronnie James Dio and the planned public memorial service this coming Sunday, May 30th in Los Angeles and open to the public to celebrate the life and music of Ronnie James Dio, Eddie had to postpone said interview for the near future. When the news first broke that Ronnie had passed on May 16th, Marc had been asked by many to comment on his passing. In a conversation with Jason Coldiron for CWG Magazine / Metal Assault, Marc paid tribute to the rock icon in a touching way, extending his and the band’s condolences to Dio’s wife Wendy and their family. This interview has been picked up by various other magazines and can be seen/heard on YouTube as well.
To hear Marc’s tribute to Dio, listen to the clip below.
Marc actually auditioned at one time for Richie Blackmore’s Rainbow prior to joining Krokus and eventually Dio became Rainbow’s vocalist.
To our fans in the United States: Look for “Hoodoo” in your local record stores. And if you can’t find it there, log on to some of the web sites like amazon.com and get your copy directly sent to you within days. Produced by founder and bassist Chris Von Rohr, “Hoodoo” will not just rock your socks off but the enclosed cd booklet will be “eye candy” for every Krokus fan. Besides pictures and credits it also includes all the lyrics of the songs. And for our “old faithfull’s” we printed them even a little larger than usual! [weren’t we told that first thing that “goes” is the eyesight, as we get older] So, what are you waiting for?
To get the hard copy/jewel case delivered directly to your doorstep in no time, click on/copy in your browser:
Here is what some of the US critics had to say about “Hoodoo”:
“Balls out Rock-n-Roll the way it should be played. “– Loud Reviews
“Hoodoo has, in fact, achieved the difficult task of preserving the true Krokus vibe while sounding fresh and vibrant against the present-day hard-rock landscape – in short, it has brought the past into the present” –Heavy Metal Hog
“Solid, straight up, in your face rock n roll” – Metal Pub
“Do not resist the “hoodoo spell”, let it get under your skin and enjoy the magic ride!” – Hard Rock Hideout
“Hoodoo is yet another excellent album from a classic hard rock/metal band pumping blood back into what has become a stagnant genre over the last 20 years” – Mojo Radio
“Krokus has taken that shot and created an album that is on par with some of their best work. I would rank HOODOO right up there with the classic albums of the 1980-1984 era and I am positive that this record will be one of my top albums of 2010” – Heavy Metal Addiction
“Hoodoo is chock full of well worn, rockers that at once, rehash the past and refresh the legacy” – Hails & Horns
“The new album fits right in with Krokus masterpieces like Metal Rendez-Vous, One Vice At A Time and Headhunter right from the opening guitar of the CD opener”—The Examiner
“Krokus Bring An All Out Rock Assault With “Hoodoo” – Revolver Blips
“This is easily one of the best albums I’ve heard so far this year. It rocks from beginning to end. The sounds are full of energy and the band is fired up” – Metal Excess
“Hoodoo is proof that Krokus is simply one of the best Hard Rock bands ever, and, that they aren’t stopping any time soon” – Hard Rock Haven
“Krokus has chosen the perfect time to get back into the game. Hoodoo fits nicely next to their classic albums of yesteryear. While Swiss cheese may come with holes in it, Hoodoo has none; this is a complete album, start to finish” – Classic Rock Revisited
The band has reunited with their classic lineup of Chris von Rohr, Fernando von Arb, Freddy Steady, Mark Kohler and Marc Storace. The end result is a CD that shows the band firing on all cylinders.
Marc Storace doesn’t attempt to those high-pitched screams like he did in the eighties, but the music is so good, I doubt you will miss them. Fernando Von Arb and company seem to be playing with a renewed vigor, and Hoodoo shines as a result of it.
The opening song “Drive It In” feels a whole lot like an AC/DC tune. Nonetheless this song flat-out rocks and gets Hoodoo started on the right pace.
The first single from the album, “Hoodoo Woman” is a good tune with a ZZ Top like vibe to it. ( Check it out in the video below.) I like the song, but it is far from the best song on Hoodoo.
I am not sure why the band chose to cover the Steppenwolf classic, Born to Be Wild. Countless bands (i.e. The Cult, Hinder, Raven) have covered this one already. A minor guitar tweak on this song by Fernando Von Arb gives this song a fresh feel, and I like this cover version the best out of all of them.
I must admit that I thought the lyrics of “Rock’n Roll Handshake” were kind of silly at first, but the more I hear this song, the more I want to sing along with it. It is a very catchy tune.
When I first listened to the intro on “Too Hot”, the Foreigner song “Hot Blooded” immediately came to mind. It starts off in a similar fashion. Overall, I felt that song was fairly ordinary, but the guitar fills from Fernando Von Arb take it up a notch.
“In My Blood” is a hard rockin’, foot-tapper that helps kick Hoodoo back in gear. I absolutely love the bluesy rocker “Dirty Street”. “Keep Me Rollin” is one of the faster tunes on Hoodoo, and is another great one!
In my opinion, Krokus saved the best for last with their scorcher “Firestar”.
Every time I finish listening to Hoodoo, I want to hit repeat and play it again. Krokus has turned out their best album since the classic ’84 album, The Blitz. You gotta get this!
You can check out the band’s 9-minute video press kit for the new album here.
Rating: Out of 10
- Drive It In
- Hoodoo Woman
- Born To Be Wild
- Rock’n Roll Handshake
- Ride Into The Sun
- Too Hot
- In My Blood
- Dirty Street
- Keep Me Rollin
- Shot of Love
Marc Storace – Lead Vocals
Chris Von Rohr – Bass, Vocals
Fernando Von Arb – Guitar, vocals
Mark Kohler – Guitar
Freddy Steady – Drums
Metal Rendez-vous may have been Krokus’ fourth offereing, but it is easily one of their most important releases. This album marked the debut of singer Marc Storace with Krokus. It is the voice of Storace that helped change the sound of the band, and got them on the road to success.
The big hits from Krokus would come later in their career, but that is not to say that Metal Rendez-vous isn’t worth a look. This album boasts some pretty good rockers that deserve some plays today. “Heatstrokes”, “Come On” and “Back Seat Rock ‘N’ Roll” are probably the best of the rockers on this album. “Streamer” is one of the better slow tracks in the entire Krokus catalog.
Metal Rendez-vous has some very solid axe work by Tommy Kiefer (R.I.P.) and Fernando Von Arb. At times they offer up some bluesy bar room guitar, and on songs like “Come On” they absolutely shred.
One listen to Marc Storace, and is easy to tell how his voice had such an impact on this band. He kicks ass on this disc, as he does on so many other of Krokus’ albums.
Die hard Krokus fans probably already own this disc. New fans should certainly check this disc out. I enjoy this from time to time, and I think you will too.
- Bedside Radio
- Come On
- Shy Kid
- Tokyo Nights
- Lady Double Dealer
- No Way
- Back-Seat Rock’N’Roll
Marc Storace – Singer
Tommy Kiefer – Guitars
Fernando Von Arb – Guitars
Chris Von Rohr – Bass
Freddy Steady – Drums
Juerg Naegeli – Keyboards