Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, whose death by fire is the end and also the beginning, the GOTTHARD musicians, in the depths of endless mourning, found peace, strength and courage to set back out for the way to the here and now.
The end of this road back to life and the start of a new GOTTHARD era is evident for the Swiss multiplatinum band with “Firebirth”, the new and moving album. “Firebirth” is arguably one of the most important and in its conception most emotional album in the band’s 20-year history. It is the first studio album since the tragic death of the legendary frontman Steve Lee in a traffic accident in the autumn of 2010 and the first step in a new and much anticipated chapter for the band, together with their new singer Nic Maeder.
In November 2011 Nic, born in Switzerland, who spent many years in Australia, accepted one of the most difficult and also one of the most exciting and emotional tasks in his life. His motivation, self-confidence and sympathy helped him to win out against many top-class applicants and impressed his new colleagues Leo Leoni (guitar), Marc Lynn (bass), Hena Habinger (drums) and Freddy Scherer (guitar) with his personality and also in his new task as singer and songwriter. The song “Remember it’s Me” already released as a free download and video clip proved that Gotthard, together with Nic, can conjure up a new and hitherto unknown magic, which draws on their shared passion for music. Without a doubt, the first album together, “Firebirth”, appearing soon, will be a tribute to rock and roll as an experience of life. Strong, earthy, real!
Together with the producers, Leo Leoni and Paul Lani – an American who had already worked very successfully with the band on the albums “G” and “Homerun” and who knows exactly what the Hard Rockers are about – GOTTHARD has produced in their own Yellow House studio in Lugano, Switzerland, a real jewel. As a result, an energetic and emotional GOTTHARD album, full of potential singles has come into existence in the past few months.
“Firebirth” shows clearly the essence of the rocker soul and you sense that it is completely honest. The obvious enjoyment of the band in playing cannot be ignored and this gives the new songs an unmistakeable character. Thus the band has succeeded once more to capture the live feeling and the enormous energy which GOTTHARD displays on the stage on tape.
“Firebirth” is 100% GOTTHARD” explains the band. “We have returned to our roots and deliberately given the album the pure direct GOTTHARD sound. Our goal was to concentrate on the most important thing – the songs.
Unbelievably “now” and catchy is the new single “Starlight”, which sets the first unmistakable sign of life in the musical “Firebirth”. One after the other follow energy-laden and surprising pieces, covering the spectrum of new and yet familiar-sounding songs like “Give me Real” to ballads like “Shine” up to the definitive rock song “the Story is Over”, which is in its structure unfussy but in its interpretation is just about magic. The whole picture is beautifully rounded out by laid-back and wonderfully “feel good” rock songs “Yippie Aye Yay” and “I Can” before “Where are You” at the end allows a deep and moving glimpse into the hearts of the five musicians. This unbelievably emotional song as a tribute to Steve Lee is for GOTTHARD not just a song but also pays homage to life itself with all its great and unanswerable questions.
The band says with one voice that working with Nic feels amazingly good. It is a rebirth of the zest for action with which they started twenty years ago to conquer the world.
In the past few months they have experienced an explosion of inspiration and new ideas, starting with a reversion to their roots and continuing with a new high-flying attitude. “Firebirth” is a comeback album with the predicate: Back to the roots.
With around 3 million records sold, the exceptional band has set high standards in the past years. Every one of their 13 albums held the pole position in the Swiss charts.
A diamond award, one quadruple platinum, two triple platinum, six double platinum, five platinum, one number 1 platinum single, an official hymn for the Swiss Olympic team, an official fan-song for the Swiss national football team at the EM 2008 as well as many world-wide tours and sold-out concerts, among those the Zürich Hallenstadion and acclaimed tours in Germany with over 100,000 spectators, mark the highlights up to now for the most successful Swiss rock band at present.
After a time out of a year and a half, the wave of success for the band up to now is about to continue to take them to new pastures. The band is booked up until well into the year with performances all round the world, which show that one thing is clear: GOTTHARD is back! After the release of the album in June, they will start their world tour in South America and will prove their reputation as an excellent live band in the summer in all the important European festivals.
Appearances like Bang Your Head in Germany, Sweden Rock, Graspop in Belgium, Gods of Metal in Italy or Masters of Rock in the Czech Republic are only some of the highlights, until late summer, when the band will give concerts in Asia and then in autumn a drawn-out Headliner hall tour throughout Europe.
“Firebirth” is presented as a first-press high-value High-End Digipak-Format. The CD will be released June 1st by Musikvertrieb (Switzerland) and Nuclear Blast/Warner Music (worldwide) and will write a new important chapter in the sensational career of the popular band, who had the strength and courage to withstand such an unbelievable tragedy, to keep looking forward and thereby to produce such real and honest music, and to let “Firebirth” come alive for them and the world.