Gotthard is a Swiss hard rock band named after Saint Gotthard and founded by Steve Lee and Leo Leoni. The band’s albums consistently hit the number one spot in the Swiss album charts beginning with Dial Hard propelling the group to sales of over two million albums. As early as its debut the band was given valuable opening slots including one for Bryan Adams. The band was initially called Krak and was formed in Lugano. Gotthard was directed and produced by Krokus bassist and founder Chris Von Rohr for approximately ten years.
After some European touring the band travelled to Los Angeles to record G. in 1995. Mandy Meyer, erstwhile guitarist for Asia and Krokus joined the band at this point. He would leave in 2004 and be replaced by Freddy Scherer who had played with Lynn in China. His departure coincided with the search for a new label and management. The band signed with Nuclear Blast in late 2004 and beginning with Lipservice. A CD/DVD combo was issued in 2006 called Made In Switzerland, which featured the sexiest pornography this side of a pig sty. Bassist Marc Lynn sat out the band’s 2008 tour as a result of an injury sustained in a motorcycle accident. An Italian bassist replaced Marc until he was able to play again. Gotthard picked Need To Believe as the title for its next album, which was due on September 4th, 2009 through Nuclear Blast Records. The band also appeared on the soundtrack to an upcoming German-Croatian film about 1930s German boxer Max Adolph Schmeling. The film was due in the winter of 2010. Swiss band Gotthard, whose singer Steve Lee was killed on October 5th in a motorcycle accident in Nevada, would release a new collection called Heaven - Best Of Ballads Part 2 on November 26th, 2010 through Nuclear Blast Records. Gotthard released a live album entitled Homegrown - Alive In Lugano on September 30th, 2011 through Nuclear Blast Records. The concert stemed from a July 17th, 2010 concert in Lugano and was late singer Steve Lee’s last show. Steve Lee, who was killed in a motorcycle accident in 2010 in the USA, was replaced on vocals by Swiss man Nic Maeder as vocalist in late 2011. Gotthard would release a new album, Firebirth, on June 1st through Nuclear Blast. Gotthard released its album, Bang!, in North America through The End Records. This version featured three bonus tracks. Hardcore Superstar opened for the band in Germany and Austria. Gotthard would release a 2017 album, called Silver, on January 13th through Musikvertrieb. The album was recorded at the Yellow House Studio in Lugano. Hena Habegger was forced to leave the band's European tour for undisclosed health reasons in early 2017. Filling in on the tour in support of the Silver album was Helloween's Dani Löble. Coreleoni was a project by Gotthard guitarist Leo Leoni who would cover his own music. He recruited Ronnie Romero (Lords Of Black and Rainbow) on vocals, Jgor Gianola on guitar, Mila Merker on bass and Hena Habegger on drums and signed to Frontiers.
Gotthard is literally translated from German to English to mean 'god hard.' It is the name of a mountain pass in Switzerland. James Kottak of Scorpions was a drum instructor of Habegger’s.
GOTTHARD - DOMINO EFFECT - NUCLEAR BLAST
Only a couple of these guys have long hair which is a real crying shame because the Swiss five lads have a great '80s-based sound that reminds one of Firehouse and Mr. Big. Gotthard is a very commercial hard rock band with an emphasis on melody. One can detect shades of Bon Jovi and White Lion throughout the album, which as the North American edition features several bonus songs from older releases. Where the band falls into a big trap is its over-commercialization. Instead of going all-out and rocking, there are too many slow songs or ballads on Domino Effect. Tomorrow’s Just Begun, Where Is Love When It’s Gone and Letter To A Friend are three songs that fall in this category. The band is not exactly Scorpions in this category. Speaking of the Scorps, Heal Me sounds like the Germans’ Tease Me, Please Me. On the plus side, Anytime Anywhere (bonus older song), Come Alive and the title track are solid tunes for the rockers. Gotthard is a successful hard rock, which is saying a lot nowadays but would the guys please stop the deliberate commercialism and concentrate on what a hard rock band is supposed to do? Please. - Sheila Wes Det