MARC STORACE Explains Why KROKUS Won't Hit The Road Again Any Time Soon: 'Nobody Wants To Pay To Tour'
December 13, 2022
Two years ago, Swiss hard rock legends KROKUS postponed their last-ever concerts in USA and Canada due to the coronavirus pandemic that is sweeping the globe. The 13-date trek was originally scheduled to kick off at Canton Hall in Dallas, Texas on September 18, 2020 and conclude at Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, California on October 10, 2020. Asked in a new interview with the "Mike Nelson Show" if the North American dates will ever happen, KROKUS singer Marc Storace said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "If it was up to us, we'd be there in a shot. But look what happened in the meantime with COVID. I mean, COVID was a huge slap in the face. In 2019, in Europe, we were over. We played our last gig in Hallenstadion [in Zürich], which is like the holy ground of rock for Switzerland — for the German-speaking part anyway. [During] the COVID lockdown we stayed at home, and that's when I decided, 'I'm gonna start working on songs for my solo album.' 'Cause I don't like sitting on my ass doing nothing. So, in the meantime, time passed. People's tickets [for the U.S. tour] — I don't even know what happened to their tickets… In the meantime, the whole economy stuff, and now with [the economic fallout from Russia’s invasion of] Ukraine… Ukraine is a real big punch in the face to show business. Already with the lockdown, lots businesses [of] every kind went bankrupt and had to close. And it's the same with bus companies, production companies and stuff. And the ones left, they feel kind of free they can ask for more. Whereas the price of gasoline is up there, and that's only one thing. If you count everything together, it's, like, do we wanna pay to tour? [Laughs] Nobody wants to do that. And we're not LED ZEPPELIN."
Three months ago, KROKUS played a special concert on the steps of the St. Ursus Cathedral in Solothurn, Switzerland (see video below). In addition, Solothurn honored the band with a "Stone Of Honor" on its 2000th anniversary. KROKUS has also announced a return to the "holy ground of rock" in Switzerland, the Hallenstadion in Zürich, where the group will perform on May 6, 2023.
Speaking about KROKUS's future plans, Storace told the "Mike Nelson Show": "We suddenly decided, 'Well, are we done? We're still alive.' And after the break we had from 2019, which was the last gig in Europe and the whole lockdown thing and 'Adios Amigos', we were asked to [perform at a celebration of] 2000 years of Solothurn. This is the hometown of the band. And it's 2000 years ago; it's a hell of a long time. The Romans were living in Solothurn. So it was great. We accepted to do that. And then we were thinking, like, 'Let's do one more.' And we decided we're gonna do this. And I feel great about that. Even though I've got my own [solo] band and everything, but for me it's, like, 'Beam me up, Scotty.' I wanna get back to the mothership, spend some time with the boys again. I even enjoy the rehearsals. I drive to Solothurn and back — it's only an hour from here — and spend some time with the boys. 'Cause, hey, I joined [the band] in '79. That's a hell of a long time. What's that? 40 years ago? Holy moly. So that's it. It's like a human thing, and it's a musical thing, and it's a spiritual thing. 'Cause it's in your blood. And we're looking forward to it."
Earlier this year, Storace explained to Rock Show Critique why he and his bandmates toured America so infrequently over the course of the last 20 years. The 71-year-old musician said: "Well, it starts with the work permits. And they cost money. Then the tax. Then the booking fees, the percentages, the renting out of equipment, buses, hotels and everything. So if you've gotta do a club tour, you can't even pay for all that. We haven't been there for a long while, so we don't expect to come over and do a headliner tour in stadiums; we're far from that again. Because in the meantime, there's a lot of water under the bridge. And that's how it is. The status sinks because there's no longer promoters who believe that you're gonna bring in the money back for that. I guess that's the way it is. It's like a vicious circle. You have to come over one day and get the ball rolling again and then come back the next year and the next year to reach the status that you are used to. And you have to also release a new album to accompany that. And the new album isn't enough. Albums don't sell anymore. There's Spotify — all these parasites around — streaming, which don't give you your money's worth."
When KROKUS first announced its decision to embark on a farewell tour in September 2019, the band explained in a statement: "KROKUS shows have always been special and should stay that way. That's why we decided to stop when it's still really good. That's how the fans should remember us."
Formed in 1975, KROKUS has sold over 15 million records, toured the world, and received gold and platinum discs in the USA and Canada. KROKUS was also the first Swiss band to sell out Hallenstadion and has received a diamond disc for selling one million albums in Switzerland alone.
In the course of its career, KROKUS has rocked over 2,000 shows on five continents, countless cities, unique locations, crazy gigs, and loyal fans.
English rock journalist Malcolm Dome quite rightly said: "If you look at the long-term output of this band, KROKUS is clearly one of the best hard rock bands of the last 40 years."
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