Radio Metal recently conducted an interview with new GOTTHARD singer Nic Maeder. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Radio Metal: What were your impressions and feelings during your auditions with GOTTHARD?
Nic Maeder: It was sort of a pretty long process. I think I spent three different auditions with the guys and we spent time together. It started at the beginning of the year; it was a very long process. Then you never know, you know? [laughs] You just give it your best shot and hope for the best. We got along really well from day one. The chemistry was always great from the beginning. Even when at one point we spent two weaks writing songs together, it just worked fantastically — we wrote a lot of stuff — and yeah, it’s just really good.
Radio Metal: Since you were still a completely unknown musician five days ago, before the official announcement, could you tell us about your background, your musical projects, etc?
Nic Maeder: I’ve been playing music all my life. I started to play a bit piano of when I was 8 years old. I didn’t like it that much and I quit. My piano teacher
told my dad, “Oh, don’t worry, one day he’ll pick up a guitar probably,” and
I did. I really started singing a bit after that and then had a lot of different bands and day jobs in between as well. Sometimes I could make a living from some bands for a little while, but never very long. That’s how I’ve been doing this. Last year I’ve been doing accoustic covers in pubs in Australia and stuff. Then I started the auditioning process for this and here I am!
Radio Metal: Didn’t you feel any pressure replacing Steve Lee or maybe were afraid of the reaction of Steve Lee‘s fans?
Nic Maeder: Yeah, of course, there’s definitely a lot of pressure. I think you need not to think about it too much. [laughs] It really helped me with it. And it’s really good having the guys here… It’s like family; everybody sticks together and everybody’s fighting the pressure, not just me. It makes it a lot easier.
Radio Metal: I guess it must be kind of embarrassing since you’re replacing someone who passed last year… Did you feel somehow ashamed of the feeling of being enthusiastic to be in the band?
Nic Maeder: No, not at all. The band really wanted to continue; that’s something that they’re really passionate about doing. I was really happy they asked me to do this and to be part of it. I think it’s fantastic.
Radio Metal: To be honest, your voice is very similar to Steve Lee‘s. Was he one of your vocal influences?
Nic Maeder: I grew up with AC/DC. But yeah, I was always a fan, you know, I always thought he had a fantastic voice. But it’s funny, because some people say it sounds very similar and some people don’t. It’s a hard one. Personally, I don’t think that I sound very similar. There are similarities, but I still see the differences.
Radio Metal: What is your level of contribution to the new album?
Nic Maeder: Well, I compose as well, so I compose music and lyrics and everything along with the others guys. It’s really a shared work with everybody.
Radio Metal: Freddy [Scherer, guitar] told us a few weeks ago that a song will be dedicated to Steve Lee. Who will write the lyrics?
Nic Maeder: This is actually something that Leo [Leoni, guitar] wrote. I helped a little bit, but it’s his.
Radio Metal: What are your projects now? You’re gonna dedicate yourselves to the album?
Nic Maeder: We’re starting production at the end of the week, and we hope that the album will be out for spring next year. Then we’ll start touring.
Read the entire interview from Radio Metal.
New song “Remember It’s Me” (audio stream):