Mandy Meyer

Mandy Meyer Biography

mandy meyer biography krokus unisonic

First steps in music

Armand "Mandy" Meyer was born August 29, 1960 in the City of Balcarres in Saskatchewan, Canada. Son of a Swiss dairy farmer and a Canadian mother Mandy spent his first three years in Canada. When his parents got divorced his father took him back to Switzerland where he grew up in his house of his grandparents in Küssnacht am Rigi.

In high school at the age of nine, Mandy started to play his first instrument, the marching drums. He then was a member of the local marching drums' club for about seven years. But after having made his first musical experiences he caught fire and started to study classical guitar. Apart from music he was interested mostly in sports, such as soccer or downhill skiing.

At the age of fifteen, Mandy founded the local band Quarry together with a few friends. They had their first live performances on parties and in local clubs. In 1975 Mandy got himself a name in the Swiss music scene as lead singer and guitar player of the Swiss band BM Smith. Even so he went to a business school and worked as a salesman in a fashion company his real interest always was in music.


Krokus era

The big chance came in 1980 when Chris von Rohr, founding member and bass player of Krokus asked him to join the band, replacing the former guitar player Tommy Kiefer. Having only waited for such an opportunity Mandy quit his job and toured with Krokus throughout the States and Europe for the next two years. For Mandy it was the first chance to prove his talent outside of Switzerland in various Countries and Continents. At the same time it was a big difference to perform in huge arenas instead of little clubs. It was the first time he was able to work with the real big shots in the music business, e.g. Clive Davis, John Kalodner, Paul Rothchild and Mike Stone. When asked about the years with Krokus Mandy says: "It opened the doors for me to the international music industry."

After having made various promising connections in the United States during the Krokus tour Mandy decided to move to Memphis, Tennessee in 1982. There he started working with Jimi Jamison (Survivor) on a project that was soon to be known as Cobra. Their debut album First Strike was very well received by the international music journalists throughout the world. In the Import Charts of the British Music Magazine Kerrang the album even made it to Nr 1.


Asia era

In fall 1984 a man called Brian Lane, who at the time was managing Asia and Yes, phoned Mandy and asked him to replace Steve Howe of Asia. Mandy was honored to hear that John Kalodner had recommended him for this job and willingly accepted to come to London and give it a try. Since Asia had just sold 7 Mill. copies of their latest album Mandy didn't have to think twice about this offer. They hit if off very well from the first time they met and Mandy enjoyed living in London and liked the British way of life. Asia was a great musical experience for Mandy. Working together with people like Carl Palmer who had different musical backgrounds was very interesting and inspiring.

Since Asia only released an album every four years, Mandy decided to go back to the States in 1987. He moved to Los Angeles, CA where John Kalodner of Geffen records had a few projects waiting for Mandy. He immediately started working with bands like Mark Ashton, Stealin' Horses, Nelson and House of Lords. Besides that he founded his own band called Katmandü.

Although Mandy never really felt at home in the City of Angels he knew in order to be successful it was important to be there. But seven years and a few dozen bigger and smaller projects later he was burnt-out and not quite satisfied with the return on his musical and personal investment. In addition, it was the time when the rise of grunge music - led by bands like Pearl Jam and Nirvana - effectively finished the careers of numerous eighties rock bands. The time was ripe for a change and he decided to go back to Switzerland where his roots are.


Gotthard era

Once back in his home country he was filled with new energy, power and creative ideas. He immediately started writing songs and meeting people who were orientated towards the European and Asian market. Of course he also met his old friends, among them his old bandbuddy Chris von Rohr, who at that time just signed up as producer of Gotthard. However when Mandy first listened to their songs he couldn't imagine that they would ever get a record deal with that kind of old fashioned eighties rock they were playing. To his surprise they were already signed to BMG Ariola and had a pretty good following in Switzerland. After Gotthard had covered an old song of his, it didn't take much longer until he joined them in early 1996 for their upcoming G Spot Tour. This was the beginning of a new era.

With the release of their acoustic album Defrosted in 1997 they landed a big success and sales doubled. Their fan community grew wider and they got more airplay than before. One of the highlights of that tour was certainly the duet with the world famous opera singer Monserat Caballe. For the past six years Gotthard was very successful in Switzerland. They played all the big festivals in Switzerland, toured in Europe and Asia and got countless platinum awards.

However after eight years Mandy decided to leave the band at the beginning of this year. He didn't agree with the strategic management decisions taken for the past year and felt that as a musician he had reached a point where he would have to start something new for further improvement.


Krokus era II

After various projects he joined Krokus in spring 2005 replacing founding member Fernando von Arb as lead guitar player. So Mandy "returns home" to the band he had started his international carrier as a musician with in 1980. With that band released the album Hellraiser (2006).


Unisonic era

Unisonic was formed at the end of 2009 by Michael Kiske, Dennis Ward and Kosta Zafiriou. They had a meeting in Hamburg and they decided to create a new band. Kiske commented: "I was stuck with my solo record, I didn’t get anywhere, couldn’t write songs for month. I was kind of really stuck and then Kosta and Dennis wanted to meet me in Hamburg, and we met up. Kosta is part of Bottom Row Promotion, it’s a management company and he said something like, “I don’t think you have ever been really managed” and he is right! I didn’t have management. Mainly, the reason was - I was kind of stuck and it was the right time. It’s like two years earlier I wouldn’t have done it, but you can’t really say why, you just feel it is good. If I don’t do it now, I will never do it." Mandy Meyer (Gotthard, Asia and Krokus) joined in the team after the advice of Dennis Ward.

Unisonic started their first tour in June 2010, first playing some warm-up shows in Germany and then performing at Sweden Rock Festival '10 and Masters Of Rock Festival '10. The set-list was done with some Place Vendôme tracks, one brand new song 'Souls Alive' which was previously released in demo form via Myspace and two Kiske classic tunes of Helloween-era, also released in Past In Different Ways solo album; 'A Little Time' and 'Kids Of The Century'.

In March 2011, Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray, ex-Helloween) joined in the band and they started to work together in the new album.

 

Links

Mandy Meyer: Web | Facebook |
Unisonic Official Fanclub: Web | Facebook |
Unisonic Official: Web | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube | Myspace | Reverbnation |
Katmandu: Facebook |

 

Discography

Official releases
Bootlegs
Guitar on Bootlegs: 
Unisonic 2014-12-20 - Knock Out Festival 2014, Schwarzwaldhalle, Karlsruhe, Germany Audio
Unisonic 2014-12-07 - Sala Totem, Villava, Pamplona, Spain Audio
Unisonic 2014-12-06 - Sala But, Madrid, Spain Audio
Unisonic 2014-10-13 - Z7, Pratteln, Switzerland Source 1-2 Audio
Unisonic 2014-10-11 - Stadthalle, Frankfurt-Langen, Germany Audio
Unisonic 2014-10-07 - Live Club, Trezzo Sull'adda, Milan, Italy Audio
Unisonic 2014-10-06 - Orion, Rome, Italy Audio
Unisonic 2014-10-06 - Orion, Rome, Italy Video
Unisonic 2014-09-06 - Umeda Club Quattro, Osaka, Japan Source 1 Audio
Unisonic 2014-09-06 - Umeda Club Quattro, Osaka, Japan Source 2 Audio
Unisonic 2014-09-04 - Nagoya Bottom Line, Nagoya, Japan Source 1-2 Audio
Unisonic 2014-09-03 - Shinagawa Prince Stellar Ball, Tokyo, Japan Audio
Unisonic 2014-09-02 - Shinagawa Prince Stellar Ball, Tokyo, Japan Source 1 Audio
Unisonic 2014-09-02 - Shinagawa Prince Stellar Ball, Tokyo, Japan Source 2 Audio
Unisonic 2014-08-09 - Leyendas del Rock '14, Villena, Alicante, Spain Audio
Unisonic 2014-07-13 - Masters Of Rock Festival 2014, Vizovice, Czech Republic Audio
Unisonic 2014-07-12 - Bang Your Head Festival 2014, Balingen, Germany Audio
Unisonic 2012-11-17 - Zenith, Munich, Germany Audio
Unisonic 2012-11-16 - Stechert Arena, Bamberg, Germany Audio
Unisonic 2012-11-03 - Ruhrcongress, Bochum, Germany V1-V2 Audio
Unisonic 2012-11-02 - Huxleys, Berlin, Germany Audio
Unisonic 2012-10-12 - La Riviera, Madrid, Spain Video
Unisonic 2012-09-22 - Milk Club, Moscow, Russian Federation Audio
Unisonic 2012-09-22 - Milk Club, Moscow, Russian Federation Video
Unisonic 2012-09-13 - Central Motion Picture C.B.Taipei, Taiwan, China Video
Unisonic 2012-09-13 - Central Motion Picture C.B.Taipei, Taiwan, China Audio
Unisonic 2012-09-11 - Club Quattro, Hiroshima, Japan V1-V2 Audio
Unisonic 2012-09-08 - Grand Cube Osaka, Osaka, Japan V1 Audio
Unisonic 2012-09-08 - Grand Cube Osaka, Osaka, Japan V2 Audio
Unisonic 2012-09-07 - Shibuya-AX, Tokyo, Japan V1 Audio
Unisonic 2012-09-07 - Shibuya-AX, Tokyo, Japan V2 Audio
Unisonic 2012-09-07 - Shibuya-AX, Tokyo, Japan V3 Audio
Unisonic 2012-09-06 - Shibuya-AX, Tokyo, Japan V1 Audio
Unisonic 2012-09-06 - Shibuya-AX, Tokyo, Japan V2 Audio
Unisonic 2012-09-06 - Shibuya-AX, Tokyo, Japan V3 Audio
Unisonic 2012-08-11 - Skogsröjet Festival 2012, Rejmyre, Sweden Video
Unisonic 2012-07-13 - Masters Of Rock Festival 12, Vizovice, Czech Republic Video
Unisonic 2012-07-13 - Masters Of Rock Festival 12, Vizovice, Czech Republic Proshot Video
Unisonic 2012-07-13 - Masters Of Rock Festival 12, Vizovice, Czech Republic V1 Audio
Unisonic 2012-07-13 - Masters Of Rock Festival 12, Vizovice, Czech Republic V2 Audio
Unisonic 2012-07-01 - Rockwave Festival 12, TerraVibe Park, Malakasa, Greece V1 Video
Unisonic 2012-07-01 - Rockwave Festival 12, TerraVibe Park, Malakasa, Greece V2 Video
Unisonic 2012-05-27 - RockHard Festival '12, Amphitheater, Gelsenkirchen, Germany Audio
Unisonic 2012-05-27 - Ignition Tour Proshots Compilation Video
Unisonic 2012-05-27 - RockHard Festival '12, Amphitheater, Gelsenkirchen, Germany Proshot Video
Unisonic 2012-05-20 - Circo Volador, Mexico City, Mexico Video
Unisonic 2012-05-20 - Circo Volador, Mexico City, Mexico V1 Audio
Unisonic 2012-05-20 - Circo Volador, Mexico City, Mexico V2 Audio
Unisonic 2012-05-12 - Teatro Flores, Buenos Aires, Argentina Video
Unisonic 2011-10-15 - Loud Park 11 Festival, Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan Video
Unisonic 2011-10-15 - Loud Park 11 Festival, Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan ProShot Video
Unisonic 2011-10-15 - Loud Park 11 Festival, Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan V1-V2 Audio
Unisonic 2011-10-15 - Loud Park 11 Festival, Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan V3 Audio
Unisonic 2011-10-15 - Loud Park 11 Festival, Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan V4 Audio
Unisonic 2011-10-15 - Loud Park 11 Festival, Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan V5 Audio
Unisonic 2011-10-15 - Loud Park 11 Festival, Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan V6 Audio
Unisonic 2011-10-15 - Loud Park 11 Festival, Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan V7 Audio
Unisonic 2010-07-18 - Masters Of Rock Festival, Vizovice, Czech Republic ProShot V1 Video
Unisonic 2010-07-18 - Masters Of Rock Festival, Vizovice, Czech Republic ProShot V2 Video
Unisonic 2010-07-18 - Masters Of Rock Festival, Vizovice, Czech Republic Version 1 Audio
Unisonic 2010-07-18 - Masters Of Rock Festival, Vizovice, Czech Republic Version 2 Audio
Unisonic 2010-06-12 - Sweden Rock Festival, Rock Stage, Sölvesborg, Sweden Audio
Unisonic 2010-06-05 - Live Music Hall, Mörlenbach / Weier, Germany Audio