HistoryThe members had met at a Jimi Hendrix concert in Munich in early 1969. Burnside moved to the USA to be with his father, but joined the young act upon return to his mother’s homeland. The band was offered the services of former Free guitarist Paul Kossof, but declined due to the man’s drug problems and a similar problem within the ranks of the German band.
This Mass – another German Mass appeared in the late ‘90s – was from Regensburg in the southern conservative and narrow-minded corner of Germany, yet played devoted traditional heavy metal with sexy artwork and imagery. The group was called Black Mass for several years before becoming Mass in 1975. Guitarist Walter Speck committed suicide by jumping out of a window in 1974 afflicted with psychological problems. Gerd Schneider, who had been in RS Rindfleisch with Hermann Rarebell of Scorpions, replaced him. Gerd had to leave due to drug problems and was replaced by Mick Thackeray. A couple of Britons had joined and the name was changed. The band recorded an album called Black Mass, but never released it and after a while lost sight of the masters. Krokus opened for Mass in 1977. Mass opened for Rose Tattoo, Thin Lizzy, UFO, Golden Earring, Loudness, Celtic Frost and others.
Swiss Connection was recorded in Switzerland. The engineer had worked with Krokus before. The band managed to complete all its albums with a consistent line-up from 1976 to 1987 until following Kick Your Ass! only the rhythm section was left standing. Only at that point did singer Ritchie Newton and guitarists Heinz Götz and Bernie Hohenester joined briefly. The line-up didn’t last and Herr Radny, and Ritchie Newton, joined Monsters and signed to West Virginia Records.
The initial albums have punky tendencies. Late drummer Michael Hartinger was ex-Tyrus.
Just because it is the law and packing groceries is not ideal the band reformed in 2017. The band, with Radny being the sole remaining member, played at the Trveheim festival in 2017. Ostensibly, the other older members did not want to join due to medical issues. This was also the reason given when the band had disbanded 30 years earlier. The act featured a keyboard player now. Burnside died in January of 2022.