In the Gotthard camp how does the writing process work?
It starts of course with an idea at home while playing your
instrument. And make the first little parts like a vers maybe or
maybe an idea for a chorus.
But you can't go ahead so you bring it into the band. When were
in the writing process we meet like two days a week. And the
rest of the time we work on our on trying to figure out new
Sometimes you have a song in 5 minutes and sometimes you have to
put it away and then take it out about two weeks later to work
more on it.
Or sometimes another song is coming and it's missing a certain
part and then you take a fitting part from an unfinished song
and it might fit perfectly.
So it's all a little bit spontaniously but the basic is like we
are not a band that writes on tours.
When we are on tour,we are on tour. When we search for new songs
we really need to calm down you know. We can not write during
the weeks we have shows and going back & forward to the studio.
We need to finish the live section and then focus on writing new
songs. Settle down and then try to write new songs.
How many songs are usually written and recorded for each album?
190 but they are all bad ;) . No usually there are around 20
songs. After all these years now we know what songs that are not
We try alot different ideas and sometimes the idea you had while
writing it and has become kind of dead or another band have done
something like that song.
Except sometimes a producer comes in and says Hey I really like
that song try to do it like this or that and it will sound much
different. And sometimes that works out very well.
How come you picked Need To Believe as the album title?
Need To Believe was for us a good statement. First of all for
what's happening in the world with the economy, the rich making
the game and the poor have to pay for it.
There are not only bad guys in the world so Need To Believe is
for like the working people to keep their jobs, feed their
families and so on.
And the second thing is that we after 20 years that we still
believe in making strong records, like right now touring and
that we still have alot to gain.
That we can go to many countries cause there are still many
people out there that still haven't discovered Gotthard yet.
And we still believe, Need To Believe that touring and all that
stuff there is still something for us to gain.
So this is a little bit of a double sense.
Ok...I have to ask about a song that for me is a favorite and
I'm sure would have been a live favorite as well-
Why didn't "Ain't Enough" make the standard version of Need To
This is funny because this is a song that we added as a bonus
track on the limited edition only.
When you write an album we have a certain standard.
Let's say you have your road in the middle and let's say it's 20
m long and a certain song is at the 21m line and then you're not
sure if you should put it in or not.
Because you have a certain style and you wanna keep a certain
shape of the album and this song was for us basically based on
the 2-3 first Gotthard albums even from the songwriting and we
And that is why it didn't make it. It's not one of the strongest
songs in our opinion. It was a band decision to leave it out. It
doesn't mean that we don't like the song, maybe we just didn't
work hard enough on it?
And we don't even play that song live, not even tonight ;). I'm
What is your favorite Gotthard album?
Every band member says the last album. At it's time every album
The first one (Gotthard-1992) for me is magic because it has
this special sound on it.
The third album (G.-1996) I like because it's the first time we
reached a point where we were really happy about an album. It
sounded great,it was powerful.
Then the acoustic live album DeFrosted (1997) this was a
fantastic playing album. Not only rock because we rearranged the
songs and there's alot of melodies on it.
Homerun (2001) was a special level because the people really
loved it. The "Heaven" song was huge song especially for the
Then comes my personal favorite Lipservice (2005) I like that
one really alot.You can crank it up loud and everytime it sounds
And the new one Need To Believe (2009) there's alot of melodies
and interesting arrangements on it which we never have done
before. Alot of that came from the producer.
I have to say we have a few good albums :)
What bands or/and
artists are/were the biggest influences on Gotthard?
When you grow up and you're around 10-11 years old then you
really start discover alot of music. You get a little bit more
money from your parents so you can buy your first records.
And in the time we were in that age it was the 70's and band
like Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Deep Purple and
then later on it started with the New Wave Of British Heavy
Metal-Iron Maiden, Motörhead & Judas Priest.
And then even later on with Bon Jovi and those other great
My old vinyl albums have those songs with like 10 minute solos
in the middle of a 12 minute track and today it's different you
It's 3 minute songs and a 10 seconds solo and this you have to
cut out for the radio stations.
But good times come back you can hear it on the radio and see it
on tv and that is great.
Because I like rock and rock is something positive.
Other bands I really like is The Sweet and Wishbone Ash. The
classical way of rock from like Rainbow to whatever :)
Any plans to make a "DeFrosted-Part II" album of various
recorded acoustic sets during the tour?
Steve & Leo have prepared about 20 songs to play in the acoustic
set and have people call out what they wanna hear. So that part
of the show changes every night.
We are planning something like Defrosted II because it was many
years ago we did the first one (1997) and now we have many more
songs to choice from for it.
Songs that we can rearrange and play differently. But we don't
know when this will be happening. We do want to do one for sure
but we don't know for sure in what way yet.
It should be different than the last one, maybe with a big
orchestra, I don't know?
Will there be a
live DVD recorded on this tour?
On this tour no. The big production is over and our last dvd
Made In Switzerland is still very active out there.
Such a dvd costs alot of money and you can not afford it these
days to spend that much money on a thing like that.
Made In Switzerland was made because after such a long time we
really wanted to make something very professional so we recorded
that in a very big hall with 14 cameras all moving around.
And then we gave it away almost for free to the people because
they got with the live album as a cd/dvd package for the price
For us it wasn't really big business for release it like that
but we wanted to give our fans something extra.
We will do another one for sure but it has to be special maybe
something like DeFrosted part II kind of dvd?
Any plans to play
a whole album live from start to finish?
Yes,no problems for us to do that but no plans to do that now at
We are recording some shows on this tour in Germany, Switzerland
and the last gig of the Scandinavian leg of the tour which is
To have some material for some bonus stuff in the future.
Any plans for a box setwith unreleased tracks and b-sides?
No not really. But right now you can buy through our website
a special edition of the Need To Believe album. An only 500
pieces limited LP box set with song book
and the bonus track "Speed Of Light", which was only released in
Japan until now. And it's hand-signed and hand-numbered. It's
been out for 3 weeks and the first 180 are gone.
It's a little big expensive cost the weight of it, but it's
something very special. I think we will do more special things
like this in the future too.
What is the
proudest moment so far in your music life?
Still to be here after 20 years with so many same band members
and still having success. And still have the world open because
there's still people to discover us.
Having great concerts still and having fun doing this. Still
touring, still discovering, still working and making plans for
How does the rest of 2010 look like for the band?
We're planning to play Russia, Switzerland and we hope to do
some open air shows in Europe this summer. We have been put on
every festival as available but we have no response yet.
The year is still young so the festivals look for the top bands
first so we are waiting and are looking forward & hope that we
will have a great summer season as well.
We might do some December/Christmas shows too. Steve & me will
go on a 3 week long bike trip in America. We need a little break
and it's gonna be fun riding our Harley's :)
We also might start writing new songs within this year too. I
think we still have many great records within us.
Thank you Marc & nothing but the best.
Thanks, See you at the shows.
Interview by Andy Flash 23/2-2010