The Swiss band Allison has a long history behind it. Acclaimed concerts with rock superstars. But also a very long period of inactivity. During the first creative period, two albums were released. The highlight of the career was probably the gig at the St. Jakob stadium in Basel. As opener for Thunder, Van Halen and Bon Jovi. But the emerging Grunge probably caused the temporary end. It was only about twenty years later that three of the founding members decided to revive the band. They looked for more comrades-in-arms and started the songwriting process. The third album “They Never Come Back” was then released in 2020 via the Swiss label 6003 Records. This was the ticket to a record deal with Massacre Records. So, the album was re-released in March this year. Singer Janet answered my curious questions.
MHF: Hi, I’m Rainer and I write for Metalheads Forever Magazine. Thank you for letting me do this interview with you. How are you doing?
Janet: Hi, I’m Janet – the singer and front woman of Allison. Thank you very much and very cool to do this interview with you. We are doing well. It’s a very exciting time for us – the album release on Massacre Records opens more doors for us. It also gives us the opportunity to definitely reach our rock fans in Germany and around the globe better.
MHF: I can imagine that not many fans can remember the 80s and 90s. Please introduce yourselves briefly.
Janet: With pleasure. We are a Melodic Rock band from Switzerland. We were founded in 1986 and released two albums – ONE (1993) and WONDERLAND (1995). With “Dreams of Glory”, the football World Cup anthem for Germany in 1994, we entered the German charts. Many TV shows, festivals and interviews followed. Soon it was clear that Germany was welcoming us with open arms … it was indescribable.
MHF: In the introduction I mentioned that you have been on stage with various Rock legends. What memories do you have of these shows? Especially the Open Air in Basel.
Janet: Live performances are and always will be something very special. Showing the audience your musical creations directly and live is unique. Be it at a festival, in a club – and also independent of the number of guests. We always give everything and our best at gigs. Of course, it’s a bit strange to suddenly be on stage in front of 55,000 people. The experience of sharing the stage with Asia, Pink Cream 69, Nazareth, Thunder, Van Halen and Bon Jovi is unforgettable and breathtaking.
MHF: With the two albums from that time (“One”, “Wonderland”) you entered the Swiss charts. C&A used two of your songs for product advertising. What do these successes mean to you?
Janet: These successes mean everything to us. We have built on them. Symbioses (actually a term from biology) of any kind always help, if they are used cleverly. For example, C&A was able to use our music for their commercials and we were able to use their clothes. The classic win-win situation.
MHF: You were on your way up. But at the end of the 90s you suddenly stopped. At least for the time being. Why did you put the band on ice at that time?
Janet: With the second album WONDERLAND, we couldn’t quite follow up on the success of ONE as quickly and easily. That was the first thing that took the wind out of the sails of our guitarist, Jonny Stutz. He left the band. Various attempts to replace him were unsuccessful. This special chemical cocktail was no longer bubbling. The band broke up. It was not on ice at that point. It was an END.
MHF: After that it became quiet around Allison. What have you been doing all these years?
Janet: All the musicians played in other formations/bands. Dan Putelli (drummer) and Pat Visser (keyboards) left Switzerland and found their new home in Australia. Until today.
MHF: A few years ago you got back together. What made you decide to reunite?
Janet: The 50th birthday of our bassist and songwriter Pierce Baltino is to blame 😉. Behind Pierce’s back we rehearsed 12 Allison songs – even Dan Putelli travelled from Australia for that. The surprise for Pierce was big and unexpected. After that we couldn’t keep our hands off each other – the chemistry cocktail was bubbling again and everything else shows on the new album THEY NEVER COME BACK.
MHF: How does Allison 1995 differ musically from Allison 2022?
Janet: Allison remains Allison. We would never, ever bend and produce music that we don’t live and feel. My voice has changed over the years. Pierce tailored the new songs to my vocal chords – and that’s how Allison 2022 sounds.
MHF: Your third album was first released on a Swiss label and made it to number six in the Swiss album charts. Congratulations! Apart from the chart entry, how were the reactions from the press and fans?
Janet: Thank you, Rainer! This chart entry was balm for the musician’s soul. The reactions were all very good. Everyone was curious to see what would come after a 20-year break. Since we stayed true to our style and the songs packed with heart and soul, nothing could go wrong.
MHF: And how satisfied are the musicians themselves with their third album?
Janet: We would never leave anything to chance. All songs/recordings/mixes/masterings/videos/photos have the Allison stamp on them. We stand behind what we release and that’s why it meets our complete satisfaction.
MHF: In the meantime, you signed a record deal with the German label Massacre Records. How did the label become aware of you? And what does this contract mean for you?
Janet: Our friend Philipp Klauser (guitarist of the band Requiem) brought us to the attention of Thomas from Massacre Records. The deal is enormously important for us. With the big network (especially digitally) our reach can be extended. This brings us closer to our goal of presenting our music worldwide.
MHF: What will happen with Allison in the next few years? Is a new album planned? Will you go on tour when the pandemic situation allows it again?
Janet: The last two years have taught us to be flexible, patient and leisurely. So we are very happy that our booker (our pearl Gisela Stutz) can set and plan gigs. Step by step – and of course we are already looking forward to concerts in Germany. The Swiss concert calendar is filling up – and concerts in 2023 are already fixed.
MHF: Thank you again for this interview. Would you like to say something to the fans in conclusion?
Janet: Thank you very much from our side, dear Rainer.
Dear music fans: … stay on your way and enjoy the music you love. Without you we would be lost. We are happy about every message via social media or www.allison.ch. Thank you ❤️
Janet La Rose (aka Janine Amberg) – Vocals
Jonny Stutz – Gitarren
Robi Würgler – Gitarren
Pierce Baltino – Bass
Sean Evans – Drums