I couldn`t think of a better place to have grown up. In my days, the traffic flow was still bearable, in spite of uncontrolled exhaust fumes. We roller-skated in the streets or along the endless Sliema promenade all the way to the Rocky-Vale skating-rink in St.Julian`s.
Our beach, the Exiles, was a haven for fishing, snorkelling, canoeing and socialising. The juke-box in the Wild Swan Bar on my street corner blared out current hits, from Little Richard and Elvis to the Beatles and Rolling Stones. Local teddy boys and teddy girls jived and rock`n`rolled whilst I sat outside watching, listening and licking ice on a hot summer evening.
What do you listen to in your spare time?
Depends on my mood. Sometimes I enjoy the sweet sound of bird song as much as I enjoy listening to old-school rock. In between reading, watching movies, documentaries, chatting and singing, I don`t find that much time left to listen to as much music as I used to lately.
When I do, my taste varies from Led Zeppelin to Pink Floyd, from blues to reggae, jazz to classic and oldies.
Do you follow the Maltese music scene?
The latest Maltese act to catch my attention was Red Electrik. Amongst others, I also like Airport Impressions, Winter Moods, The Riffs and Characters and Ira Losco does a super job too. They are commercial acts and the music sounds good and emits deep emotional energy. And Joseph Calleja makes me very proud.
What is your secret for rocking on for the best part of five decades?
I`m sure it`s my profession and attitude to life which has kept me going this long. I feel young at heart and adore my wife`s healthy cooking!
How true was the famed ‘sex, drugs & rock’n’roll’ lifestyle of 1980s singers?
It was pretty real, not just for singers but for whole bands and for that whole generation. But the truth is, it did not start or stop in the 1980s did it? It`s a necessary human thing, going back to ancient times and tribal culture, for people to get together and celebrate.
A hard-working society needs to find time to wind down and dance together. Watching movies and listening to good music at home is all good. But we all need to socialise and let off steam together. The main thing is not to go over the top!
You first moved to London in your 20s – what was the biggest culture shock for you at the time?
It was my first time away from the shelter of my parents` home. I suddenly found myself fighting to keep up with all things new that life threw at me. Commuting to my day job, rehearsals, going out on dates, doing household chores, paying rent…it suddenly became exhaustingly unreal and I got homesick.
I was contemplating on returning home when destiny provided me with a sweet chance to visit Switzerland…and the rest is history.
You settled in Switzerland not long after leaving Malta and you stayed there – what attracts you to this country?
Switzerland gave me the opportunity to sing in central Europe. I was embraced by local rock musicians for my singing and ability to write lyrics in English. The more I felt at home. In the meantime, I learnt to speak the Swiss-German language fluently and became fully integrated. Today, I live here with my wife Cornelia and our two children Luca and Giuliana.
How do your children deal with the fact their dad is a rockstar? Do they show any signs of following in your footsteps?
As toddlers, they used to walk around proudly wearing backstage passes, ear-plugs and Krokus t-shirts at concerts. They listened to pop and rock. This went on until their early teens, when they suddenly became influenced by what their friends were listening to, which was mainly rap. We bought Luca (now 22) a drumset at a very early age and he still plays it, 17 years on. We sent Giuliana (20) to piano lessons, but she later dropped piano for singing. She enjoys singing very much and has a good voice. We always encouraged them to keep music as a hobby until they have their diplomas. Time will tell.
Marc Storace will be performing during Rockestra on September 12 at the MFCC in Ta’ Qali. Tickets are available online.