|Genres||Hard rock, glam metal|
|Labels||Vertigo/Phonogram, EMI, Universal, Metal Heaven, Blue Martin/K-tel|
|Associated acts||Danger, Bloody Six, Stormbringer, Killer, Crown, Krokus, Fast Forward, Gotthard, Acoustical Mountain, Big Trouble, Criminal Minds, The Windfields, Asskick, Adrenaline 101|
|Members||Eric St. Michaels|
Billy La Pietra
|Past members||Brian Kofmehl|
China is a hard rock band from Winterthur, Switzerland, founded in 1985.In 1988 they got a contract with Phonogram, releasing their debut album the same year. The most successful song from China is "In the Middle of the Night", which peaked at No. 11 in Switzerland. All of the band's studio albums between 1988 and 2013 have entered the Top 40 album charts in Switzerland.
Formed in 1985, the original line-up consisted of vocalist Math Shiverow, guitarists Claudio Matteo (ex-Bloody Six, Danger) and Freddy Laurence, bassist Marc Lynn (ex-Stormbringer), and drummer John Dommen. By 1988, China had signed a record contract with the German branch of Phonogram Records resulting in the band's eponymous debut album which made No. 6 on the Swiss albums chart.
Their 1989 sophomore effort, Sign In The Sky, saw a couple of line-up changes as former Crown vocalist/guitarist Patrick Mason, also briefly with Krokus and Fast Forward, was brought in as the new lead vocalist and Brian Kofmehl (ex-Killer) took over bass duties for Lynn who would re-surface with Gotthard a couple of years later. The Stephan Galfas produced Sign In The Sky, recorded in New York, would become China's most successful album. It reached No. 2 on the Swiss albums chart, eventually achieving gold status, and cracked the Top 50 in Germany. The band supported the album with an extensive European tour as opening act for Yngwie Malmsteen.
However, Mason's tenure would be short lived due to health problems and the band's 1991 Live album, recorded at the Marlboro Music Rock on September 29, 1990 in Locarno, Switzerland, featured yet another vocalist, American Eric St. Michaels, formerly with New Yorkers Big Trouble. St. Michaels would make his studio debut on Go All The Way, released in 1991. It would mark China's swan song for the Vertigo label. Upon St. Michaels' exit and return to the U.S. in 1992, China teamed with legendary vocalist Marc Storace of Krokus fame for several shows in 1993, including a concert broadcast live on Swiss national radio DRS3, issued in 2000 as the Alive album.
Newly signed to the EMI label and featuring yet another new vocalist, Douglas McCowan, as well as Johnny Giorgi taking over on drums for John Dommen, 1995's Natural Groove saw the band explore markedly different musical territory. Seeing their fortunes wane in a changing musical climate and saddled with financial difficulties, China called it a day shortly thereafter. Matteo and Kofmehl would re-team with Storace for the Acoustical Mountain unplugged project doing cover songs and various China and Krokus cuts. The trio played all over Switzerland for several years.
Millennium fever brought about the 'China Revisited' tour in 2000 which saw a line-up of Claudio Matteo, Freddy Laurence, aka Freddy Scherer, Brian 'Beat' Kofmehl and Johnny 'Giovanni' Giorgi hit the road with three of their old singers, Math 'Struebi' Shiverow, Eric St. Michaels, and Marc Storace. Scherer would join former China bandmate Marc Lynn in Gotthard in May 2004 replacing the departing Mandy Meyer.
In the spring of 2007, mainman Claudio Matteo received a call from Swiss concert promoters Free & Virgin asking if China would be interested in reuniting for an appearance at the Spirit of Rock festival to play alongside Heaven & Hell, Mötley Crüe, Motörhead, U.D.O. and Saxon. It was the show that sparked a full-fledged reunion and the subsequent 'Rock Never Dies' tour in support of The Very Best of China album, which lasted through November 2009. China also made an appearance at Z Rock 07 in Wigan, Greater Manchester, England.
On 25 March 2010, the band release Light Up The Dark, their first new studio album in some 15 years, through Universal Music Switzerland and Germany's Metal Heaven label in the rest of Europe.The line-up featured long-time members Matteo, St. Michaels and Kofmehl alongside newcomers Billy La Pietra (drums) and Mack Schildknecht (guitar) who had been brought into the fold in 2008 and 2009, respectively. They would support Krokus on a number of dates on their 2010 Hoodoo tour.
In 2013, China entered the studio with producer Tommy Henriksen, guitarist for Alice Cooper and a friend of Eric St. Michaels from their New York days, to record their latest album, We Are The Stars, with Dan Grossenbacher taking over for Kofmehl on bass. Released via K-tel subsidiary Blue Martin in November 2013, it was accompanied by a video for the single "Everywhere You Are".
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|Sign in the Sky||45||2|
|Go All the Way||—||10|
|Light Up the Dark||—||39|
|We Are the Stars||—||31|
Krokus is a hard rock/heavy metal band from Switzerland. They enjoyed success in North America during the 1980s.
Rock and roll first entered Switzerland in the 1950s, as a series of American musicians popularized the style internationally.
Marc Storace (Sto-rah-che) is a Maltese born rock vocalist. His career in music started in the 1960s. He is most noted for his position as frontman, lead singer and songwriter of Swiss hard rock band Krokus from 1980. Before joining Krokus he sang with the Swiss Prog Rockers TEA. He has since also undertaken a solo project, duets, an acoustical project, and many guest slots. He also had some close encounters with the classical meets rock world and has worked with a few other rock acts as writer and a singer.
One Vice at a Time is the sixth studio album by the Swiss hard rock band Krokus, released in 1982 on Arista Records. It is notable for the strong influence of Australian hard rock band AC/DC on the songs and production, and was the first album to feature Mark Kohler on rhythm guitar. It includes a cover of the Guess Who's song "American Woman". The song "Long Stick Goes Boom" is used in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories on the fictional in-game radio station "V-Rock".
Metal Rendez-vous is the fourth studio album by the Swiss hard rock band Krokus, released in June 1980. It is the first Krokus release to feature vocalist Marc Storace; Chris von Rohr had formerly served as the band's lead vocalist but appears on Metal Rendez-vous as the band's bassist. The track "Heatstrokes" charted number one in the British Heavy Metal Charts, and arguably opened up markets for Krokus in Britain and the United States, along with "Bedside Radio" and "Tokyo Nights". Strangely, the song "Tokyo Nights" features a reggae beat halfway through. The album sold more than 150,000 copies in Switzerland and was certified Triple Platinum.
Hellraiser is the fifteenth studio album by the Swiss hard rock band Krokus. It marks 30 years since the release of their first album, Krokus of 1976. It is also their first album on the German record label AFM Records. Armand "Mandy" Meyer featured as lead guitarist, replacing Fernando von Arb. The album was also released in a DigiPack format with a bonus track, "Walking in the Spirit".
To Rock or Not to Be is the twelfth studio album by the Swiss hard rock band Krokus, released in 1995. The album stayed seven weeks in the top ten of the Swiss charts, peaking at number 5.
Rock the Block is the fourteenth studio album by the Swiss hard rock band Krokus, released in 2003. The album peaked at No. 1 in the Swiss Album Chart and was certified Gold in Switzerland.
Armand "Mandy" Meyer is a Swiss-Canadian guitarist best known for being a member of the hard rock band Gotthard, the progressive rock band Asia, and the heavy metal band Krokus. Meyer has also worked with Cobra, Stealin' Horses and Katmandu.
Steve Lee was a Swiss musician, best known as the vocalist of the band Gotthard.
TEA is a Swiss progressive heavy rock band perhaps best known for featuring lead vocalist Marc Storace before he went on to front Krokus, Switzerland's all-time best selling rock act.
Hoodoo is the sixteenth studio album by the Swiss hard rock/heavy metal band Krokus. It includes a cover of the Steppenwolf song "Born to be Wild". The album failed to reach the Billboard Top 200 in the U.S., unlike their last album (Hellraiser), but the release was successful overseas. The song "Hoodoo Woman" is featured on the soundtrack of the movie Saw 3D.
Fernando von Arb or simply FVA, is a Swiss guitarist, songwriter and producer. He is best known for being the lead guitarist of the Swiss hard rock band, Krokus.
Killer is a Swiss heavy metal group founded in 1979 by guitarist Edgar "Crown" Kocher after a 3-year stint with the band Kaktus. Kocher's trademark is wearing striped prison garb on stage.
Firebirth is the tenth studio album released by Swiss hard rock band Gotthard. It is the first album with singer Nic Maeder after Steve Lee's death.
Christoph "Chris" von Rohr is a Swiss rock musician, record producer, author, columnist, radio and television presenter. He is best known for being a member and founder of the hard rock band, Krokus.
Silver is the twelfth studio album released by Swiss hard rock band Gotthard. It was released on 13 January 2017 through G Records. The album was intended to celebrate the band's 25th anniversary, and its name is a reference to a silver wedding anniversary. The album produced one single, "Stay With Me", released on 18 November 2016.
Long Stick Goes Boom: Live From Da House of Rust is a live album by melodic hard rock band Krokus. Released on 24 March 2014 in Europe and 22 April 2014 in North America by the label Columbia, it was recorded on August 30, 2013 at the "House of Rust" venue in Solothurn, Switzerland. The album has received praise from publications such as Allmusic and Blabbermouth.net, and it peaked at the #3 position on the official Swiss album chart.
Cobra was a Swiss-American hard rock band from Memphis, Tennessee, United States, active in the early 1980s. First forming in 1982, the band released an album in 1983 that led to tours supporting acts like Quiet Riot and Nazareth. They are perhaps best-known for including several musicians who later joined more prominent bands, including future Survivor singer Jimi Jamison and Krokus - and later Asia - guitarist Mandy Meyer. Cobra went their separate ways in 1984.