Switzerland's top selling band, Gotthard, is bracing itself for its forthcoming European tour, after unleashing its new album "Homerun".
Gotthard' sixth album, available since the end of January, is expected to be another blockbuster. Its single "Heaven" has already gone gold.
Singer Steve Lee told swissinfo that Gotthard began life as a hard-rock band, but has since shifted its style to become more melodious. "Some people would like to see Gotthard as a hard rock band - a harder band than we are now - but we have turned to more melodic music, because melody is very important to me."
Gotthard has been playing together for the past 10 years. Its five members are respectively Steve Lee (vocals), Leo Leoni (guitars), Mandy Meier (guitars), Marc Lynn (Bass) and Hena Habenegger (drums).
The band came out with its first eponymous album in 1992. Two years later, "Dial Hard" reached platinum, and was a big success in Germany and Japan.
In an interview with swissinfo, Lee says one of the toughest things about being a musician is going on tour. "It's going to be hard this year because it's a long tour. We're going to play something like 100 concerts. But the time you spend at home is much more intensive because of that."
In 1996, Gotthard came out with "G", after Meier - a former member of the Swiss group, Krokus - joined the band. Then came "Defrosted" (1997), an acoustic album, followed by "Open" in 1999.
One of Lee's worst moments was when his trousers broke during a concert. "Once I gave a concert and my pants were broken. It's not nice to be in front of an audience with broken pants as a singer, so since then I always bring spare pants."
by Jeff Nottage