Gotthard took so long to pick me
Australia-based singer Maeder reveals pain of eight-month audition process – but band say they had to be sure over who replaced tragic Lee
Gotthard’s new singer Nic Maeder found himself travelling between Switzerland and Australia several times during his eight-month audition period.
That’s how long it took them to decide he was the man to replace Steve Lee, after his death in a motorcycle crash in 2010.
But basis Marc Lynn says they had to be certain about their decision, because they wouldn’t get the chance to change it.
Maeder tells Crank It Up: “It took those guys a long time to make up their minds. It went on for probably eight months. I was living in Australia at the time, and I made the trip three times that year.”
Lynn adds: “It was a long process, but the decision had to be the right one. We’re not a band who works the easy way. We want to do it right, and we want to choose the right person because if we choose the wrong person it’s over. So we needed a long time to get to stand behind him and say, ‘He’s the man.’”
Gotthard’s new single, Starlight, is the second song they wrote with Maeder, and his voice track on Remember It’s Me is the recording he made at his audition.
He recently met the band’s fans up close for the first time at the Starlight video shoot. “Everyone was really excited,” he says. “I had people telling me I was the right guy. It was really special. The reaction has been amazing.”
Lynn believes the band had to take a professional approach once they’d decided to continue without Lee – and they did so after realising that even if they split Gotthard, they’d all keep making music, and they wanted to keep doing so together.
The bassist says: “We miss Steve as a friend – we shared twenty years together. But everybody is missing someone in their life. It’s a big tragedy, but you have to accept it.
“If we hadn’t found the right guy we would have stopped. Nic is the right guy.”