Swiss hard rockers Gotthard were on Bospop, The Netherlands for the first time. Most of the present audience had never seen or heard Gotthard before, so the response to the first two songs was rather weak. But after a while the crowd really enjoyed themselves and gave the band a warm applause at the end of the show. I went to the backstage area to have a talk with Marc Lynn (bass guitar) and Leo Leoni (guitar) and it would turn out to become a rather "silly" interview, but hey, check it out for yourself...

Good show guys, but why were you fifteen minutes late??

Marc: "Maybe it was a mistake of the organization? We did not play fifteen minutes shorter, we just started later but we had the whole show time, 1 hour and no encore."

Leo: "There were technical problems, one monitor went dead, I do not know exactly. Nobody is to blame, shit happens. We did our best, we gave the best. And as you probably heard there were some vocal problems in the beginning of the set."

Marc: "You never know what is going to happen live."

Leo: "The audience liked it. But it is a shame for us because the show was not 100%."

Is this show part of an European tour?

Leo: "Yesterday we were in Munich, mastering our the best of album, that is going to come out in August. We are doing festivals, writing new songs and working on the new material."

Marc: "We finished our 12 years working together with BMG. We are searching a new contract; we have had great offers from various labels. We do not play that much and we are building it up for the next year. In September we go into the studio, so in the spring of 2005 we can release a new studio album."

Any ideas or titles for new songs yet?

Marc: "Of course.."

Leo: "The first song of the new album will be Merry X-mas."

Marc: "And the next songs will be called b, c, d, ha ha ha..."

Leo: "That was a good one, right?"

Will there also be live songs on the best of album?

Leo: "There is gonna be studio songs and maybe some live acoustic songs on it. It is a double album with two new songs and a few extras."

Marc: "Everything Can Change" is a song that is special with piano."

Can we also expect a new DVD?

Leo: "We recorded a new one, but we hold it back for a while, it is mixed and it can be ready in about two months. We are working against download; if you want to see us live then you have to come to a gig. It is one way to fight downloading."

You cannot fight downloading, guys!!

Leo: "In one way yes, in one way no!"

Moving on and speaking about selling albums, etc, how is the metal market in Switzerland?

Marc: "Metal is not actually what we do..."

Sorry, of course I meant the rock business, since you play rock, hard rock.

Marc: "Rock, hard rock, classic rock is still actual in our country, because we always make good products, we have hits, we are doing fantastic tours, we bring quality, the people love us, so..."

Have you been to the USA already?

Leo: "we have been there two times already, a long time ago however, it is not our market over there, we will and must concentrate on Europe, everybody is dreaming about America, but it really is too big and too difficult there."

Marc: "We are still trying to conquer Europe and Asia. We are looking forward to work with the new record company. It will be a hard fight to go back to the clubs, etc., but we are ready for it, we want to play."

Leo: "Actually the market in Europe is bigger than in the USA, so when you will be no.1 in Europe, then they will also show interest in you in the USA, right?"

Speaking of doing well, how good did the last album Human Zoo sell?

Leo: "That is a very good question, because we cannot answer that, but in Switzerland it went platinum, so.."

Well, that's obvious, it is your home country, give me a break, here, guys...

Leo: "Well, of course it is, ha ha ha, what is your point?"

I really considered Human Zoo is a back to the basics album, am I right?

Marc: "It really is a classic rock album, but we really lost some fans with that album, the sales went down with Human Zoo, really."

Leo: "But we were no.1 on the download!!"

Marc: "Of course we still like the album."

Most of the reviews I read about Human Zoo were rather good, so...

Leo: "Really????"

Marc: "It was a fantastic album."

I think it was the best you made so far!

Leo: "Thank you, we are not worthy,"

Marc: "There was a nice balance in the songs."

However, there were not many songs of Human Zoo on the setlist today, why?

Marc: "Because we wanted to do another show. Last year we did the Human Zoo Tour, this year we go back to the old songs, a kind of best of Gotthard."

Why did you put Hush on the setlist?

Leo: "Because it is not a Deep Purple song. Well, we recorded that song on our first album and they, Deep Purple, said to us that we played it better then they did, so, we thought it was a good idea to play it here."

You have a better singer in your band than DP does!

Leo: "You said so, he (Ian) used to be a great singer, but..."

You all are full time musicians now, what did you do before you were a pro-musician?

Marc: "I was a half-time musician, ha ha ha.... Your dream is to be a musician and you take all sorts of jobs to pay your bills and to realize your dream. Actually I learned mechanics."

Are there never any doubts in your mind that you choose the wrong profession?

Marc: "No, never!"

Leo: "You can decide that you choose the wrong profession the day that you die. Tell yourself: what did I do and was it right. You have to believe in what you do, if you are lucky you will be happy; shoot for it!"

Marc: "We have been together for 15 years now, there should be something there, but we are not great press guys."

You let your music do the talking.

Leo: "It sounds as if you are a fan and not a reporter, ha ha ha. This is a compliment what you just said, I was just kidding. It is nice that we are appreciated, we do what we believe in and if that is going to be successful, well great, if not...."

What is your worst nightmare?

Leo: "Waking up, looking in the mirror and finding out I did the wrong thing."

Wish for the future?

Leo: "Wake up, look in the mirror and find out I am doing the right thing."

Marc: "For me the worst thing would be if I did not wake up in the morning, ha ha ha... My worst nightmare is that I am a normal worker (9 to 5), with an ugly wife, dreadful children, then it is time for the bullet, ha ha ha...."

Leo: "We have a dream and so far we have done very well, so"

Marc: "We still have dreams, ideas and ideals, so I am looking positive towards the future."

Leo: "Keep going, enjoy it."

Last question, what sort of music do you like to listen to at home?

Leo: "Melody is very important."

So, you like classical music as well?

Leo: "Yes, Deep Purple and so, ha ha ha....."

Marc: "I like classical symphonies."

Leo: "If Mozart would be alive he would play rock and roll, for sure."

Marc: "The bands that play here today on Bospop are also very good, the bands we grew up with, like for instance Cheap Trick, or the bands we toured with, like Deep Purple and Status Quo. Furthermore I have always been a huge Wishbone Ash fan, so"

Gentlemen, thanks for your precious time and your remarkable answers.

Leo & Marc: "Thank you, my friend."

Interview for by Martien Koolen, August 2004,
photos from