Krokus is a hard rock/heavy metal band from Switzerland. They have sold over 13 million albums worldwide, including one Platinum Record and one Gold Record in the United States.
Krokus was founded in Solothurn in 1974 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.
Origin of band name
The band name "Krokus" evolved from the word for a flower common to the region of southern Europe, the crocus. 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 a Metal band was formed. The band members stated that it was the perfect name, since it features "Rock" right in the middle.
Krokus enjoyed popularity in the 1980s in parts of Europe and the USA. They toured with Nazareth in Europe and with AC/DC, Motörhead, Rainbow, Rush, Def Leppard, Judas Priest and Sammy Hagar in the United States.
Chris von Rohr, who used to be the drummer, switched to lead singer in the late 1970s. With that formation, they were successful in Switzerland and toured throughout the country. After they saw AC/DC in concert, they decided to change their musical direction and became a riff-rock band. Since von Rohr was not capable of hitting the third octave, the search for a new lead singer began. Eventually, Marc Storace from TEA and Eazy Money was hired, and the band recorded Metal Rendez-vous in 1980, which led to huge international recognition.
The follow-up album from 1981, Hardware, was recorded at the Hammersmith studios in London and features such songs as "Easy Rocker" and "Rock City", which are still a part of the band's live repertoire today.
In 1982, with new American management, Krokus recorded One Vice at a Time, which features hits such as "Long Stick Goes Boom", the Guess Who cover "American Woman" and a duet with Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson, "I'm on the Run". Chris von Rohr described it as "the album AC/DC never made", since the sound is extremely close to the Australian band. This fact caused doubt about the creativity of the band since many considered them to be copycats.
Headhunter was awarded platinum album status in the United States and hit number 25 in the 1983 album charts. It is the most successful album from Krokus to date and is also widely considered to be their biggest musical achievement. All Krokus albums to date have gone platinum in Switzerland. It boasted the power ballad "Screaming in the Night" which saw heavy rotation on MTV. Judas Priest's Rob Halford also guested on backing vocals.
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".
On 18 November 2007 the line up featuring Chris von Rohr, Fernando von Arb, Fready 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 event broke the ice between the members of the 1982 formation and led to their reunion concert on 2 August 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 20 April 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 2009 with a supporting world tour.
On 2 August 2008 the band performed live in the Stade de Suisse in Bern.
Krokus will perform the official anthem of the 2009 Ice Hockey World Championships, which are hosted by their home country of Switzerland. The song is entitled "Live for the Action".