Fireworks

Fireworks Magazine Online 74 - Interview with Shakra

SHAKRA

Interview by Wolf Gant

The career of Swiss band Shakra has not been one without incident. In twenty years they have been tested by the 'side-effects' of controversial videos, the loss of two singers at their peak; the second almost causing total collapse, and then a huge U-turn, which ultimately and thankfully came off thanks largely to the work of a close confidante. However new album, 'High Noon', is a scorcher and has given the band a No. 2 record at home and their highest chart position in Germany since their affiliation with AFM Records began. So, are they really back on track?


Shakra Interview Alt


The phrase that sums up 'High Noon' is; "The Fox Is Back", ex-singer Mark Fox dramatically returning to the fold. Talking to guitarist Thomas Muster and the aforementioned Fox, Fireworks explores the background to that statement. Just what was the situation after previous singer John Prakesh's departure? Was the talk of Muster actually hanging up his guitars for good and therefore that the band would fold, ever close to reality?

"Well, when John announced he wanted to leave, my first thought was: 'Okay, I'm done with it,' so yes, it was certainly a thought that crossed my mind," says the guitarist. "Thom (Blunier – Guitarist and Producer) immediately started the search for a new singer, but for me that was not an option. Shakra with a new singer every few years? Not for me. After a few months it seemed clear though, the only way to carry on was with Mark back in the band!"

Ah, yes. That of course is a 'clouded' reference to a now famous phone call from Krokus's Chris Von Rohr (who, let's be honest knows a thing or two about getting bands back together!). What was Chris' relationship to the band at that time?

"Chris is a close friend of Mark's and he finally brought us together to talk about everything. Chris just said: 'Bring together what belongs together!' I mean, we recorded four albums together. Mark definitely has a very distinctive voice. So Chris was saying, basically, he was the only real deal for us!
"Figuratively, for the five years before this Mark was on the north side of the Grand Canyon and I was on the south. Chris basically wanted to re-build the bridge. Not only did he succeed with that but he also then helped us a lot to choose the perfect twelve songs for the new album."

Without the hindsight that came later, just how difficult was it for you to let bygones be bygones with Mark?

"As I said before, a new singer was never a real option for me. Why should I look for a totally new singer when there is a guy – only about 20 km from us – with a voice that fits perfectly? Sure, we had some huge problems in the past but I believed in the words Chris said on the phone: 'We [Krokus] were able to solve the problems we'd had in the past. If we can, you also will!' I just thought: give it a try, you've nothing to lose. When I heard from Chris that Mark wanted to talk about a new beginning as well and hoped we could, I knew that this would turn out well. When we met, after like five years, it really was not difficult at all. As long as you really want something, it is possible!"

So talk comes round to a new record. Who had the first ideas?

"Well, we talked and talked, but Mark said: 'Let's try to record a song. Talking is okay but making music is what it's all about!' I had the idea of opener 'Hello' in mind already. I recorded it in my home studio then drove to Mark's to work on the vocal line. It sounded great! We both knew that there was something going on that we both had missed! That real Shakra spirit if you like! 'Hello' was then the initial ignition. It took us about one year to write the songs for 'High Noon' and we wrote over thirty, which is where Chris' advice was so useful, but it's never felt so good to work on new material as it was this time!"

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine for Melodic Rock Music

This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site


When we saw you here some years ago (2012), the guitar was really strong. It was almost like I was seeing the band around the time of 2007's 'Infected' album. This album has an element of 'Infected' to it for me. An earthiness in the sound; a real depth. How would you sum it up Thomas?

"Yeah, you're right! Before we decided to work on 'Hello', which was like the ultimate test, we talked a bit about our favourite albums. We both went (shouts); 'Infected'! 'Everest'! So that's why 'Hello' sounds a lot like maybe 'Ashes To Ashes' or 'Make Your Day' from 'Infected'. It was pretty clear that that musical direction was going to suit 'High Noon'. Thom had tried to make the guitars on the last two albums a bit more modern sounding, but this time he only used one amp: the good old Marshall!"

Sum up the best moments and why they mean so much. Mark, you were always known for your 'sharp, sometimes delicate' lyrical subjects? Is this still the case?

"This is always a difficult question because all of the songs are our babies and it's not easy to prefer one over another. The only thing I can say is, I really wanna play these songs live soon; we are all really hungry to get back on stage after all these years. All the lyrics I write are basically ambiguous. I never explain the real meaning to them; everybody can use their own imagination. Often they are socio-critical or describe things that happened to me, and I certainly did not change that on 'High Noon', but I think I wrapped some of the meanings up better this time."

I am interested to know how the band views the future and playing live now. John Prakesh was part of Shakra when two very strong albums were recorded. Mark, do you have strong views about reproducing that material live?

"Well, we are going to be doing like a "best of" set list, so I hope that answers that. We will play songs from every album, even if I was not singing on them originally. I'm really pleased about that. It's great fun to reinterpret things my way. That's the advantage of my voice; if I start singing, everybody knows it has to be me.
"The first rehearsal for the 'High Noon Tour' was a special moment for everyone. It had been six years of course; we really felt that specific chemistry coming back and the drive to go out there and rock was immediate."

And finally; any regrets Mark?

"I never regret anything. I think that everything that happened, happened for a reason. There's definitely 'the bigger plan'. It made us wiser, taught us to have respect and showed us a way that is so much different to what came before. Now I can really enjoy everything and I feel like I'm finally back home."

'High Noon' is out now through AFM Records.

Share this on the web.


Comments (0)add comment

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters


busy

Latest Reviews on Rocktopia

Dimmu Borgir - 'Eonian'
06/09/2018 | Central Electronic Brain
article thumbnail

Beautiful yet savage, this is a perfect musical reflection of the turbulent era we live in.


Latest News on Rocktopia

Fireworks Magazine #84 is out now!
11/09/2018 | Central Electronic Brain


MASSIVE 148 PAGE FIREWORKS #84, COMPLETE
WITH 20 [ ... ]


Member Login



Calendar

<<  September 2018  >>
 Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa  Su 
       1  2
  3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930

Search Here

Shout Here

Latest Message: 4 days, 22 hours ago
  • Berny : Hi biggywiggymusic: Sorted out, apologies for the delay.
  • biggywiggymu : Hi I just ordered download of 84 - took my PayPal and then it said I didn't pay. Have the transaction number. Can someone help?
  • Rocktopia Te : Fireworks #84 is out now!!
  • amcc1888 : Thanks Berny
  • Berny : @amcc1888: Please check your mail. Many thanks, B.
  • amcc1888 : Hi There i have ordered Fireworks Issue 83 and paid by PayPal but you have charged me twice but the download has not appeared in my account...also sent you a web contact message..anyone there to help me thanks Tony
  • Berny : We proudly present the new lyric video by AMERICAN TEARS, pls. check out our newsfeed!
  • Rocktopia Te : There are now 500 live reviews on Rocktopia! Check out the latest ones, incl. Iron Maiden, Steven Tyler and Steelhouse Festival 2018!
  • Berny : @Transmet1972: Purchases were added to your account. Sorry for the troubles, not sure why you are still having issues with the DL store. Pls. check your mail. Many thanks & best wishes, B.
  • Transmet1972 : Sent another email re new purchase. Same download issue. Thanks.
  • Berny : @Transmet1972: Support received your message, I already sent a reply.
  • Transmet1972 : Site wont allow me to send ticket to support.
  • Transmet1972 : I cant access the files for 2 downloadable mags i purchased. Site wint
  • Graham : Hi guys i wonder if anyone knows what happend to Greg Parker who formed the band Ozz that released 2 Lps in 1980,
  • Berny : HEAVEN'S TRAIL premiere their new lyric video on Rocktopia. Check out the news section ... «link»
  • Rocktopia Te : @Berny did another lyric video for ROYAL HUNT. Pls. check out our news aection and watch the video on YouTube ... «link»
  • Hysteria : @ Rocktopia Team: GREAT SONG & VIDEO!!! Thanks for sharing!
  • Rocktopia Te : EXCLUSIVE Guild Of Ages music video premiere! Check out «link» ! Did you like the video? Please send us your comments!
  • Berny : Check out the new live reviews: http;//livereviews.rocktopia.co.uk
  • Berny : Download Fireworks #82 for FREE, incl. all 88 songs and the bonus magazine. Just go to "Free Downloads" in the TOP menu. : - >
  • Berny : Fireworks #83 is out NOW!
  • Rocktopia Te : Exclusive MOONSPELL UK video premiere on Rocktopia: Check out the latest news!
  • Berny : Check out the new video by Mass: 'When 2 Worlds Collide' ... «link»
  • Rocktopia Te : We prouldy present the new music video by American Tears! Check out our News Section ... «link»
  • Berny : Interviews with SLEEPING ROMANCE & VISIONS OF ATLANTIS ... «link» Enloy! :)
  • Rocktopia Te : There are now 6000 album reviews on Rocktopia!
  • Berny : Saxon, Gizmodrome, Skid Row, Night Ranger, Magnum, Joe Bonamassa & many more! Check out the latest LIVE reviews on Rocktopia! «link»
  • Rocktopia Te : Two news interviews in the Rocktopia Interviews Section: LITTLE CAESAR & GEISHAS IN VITRO. Enjoy! :) «link»
  • Berny : Fireworks #82 is our now! Check out the free interviews with Royal Hunt, Stryper, Kamelot, James Christian, Signal Red & Animal Drive!
  • Berny : @Johns Band: Many thanks for your purchase! Your copy will be sent to your registered address this week.

Only registered users are allowed to post

Follow Us

FacebookTwitterYoutubeGoogle

This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site