Epiphone has announced one of its most anticipated new models, the Tommy Thayer "Spaceman" Les Paul.
The new model, which is named after — and designed for — the longtime Kiss guitarist, will be available in January.
Thayer recently commented on the guitar on his website:
"I'm psyched to be playing my new guitar onstage as we embark on the 2012 Kiss Kruise and South American stadium tour in the weeks ahead," Thayer wrote.
"My signature axe will soon be available in guitar shops everywhere. In the meantime, the first guitars off the line are ready for you through some very special offers on my new site, tommythayerguitar.com. Keep it rockin' and remember to turn it up loud!" Epiphone.com recently posted a demo video featuring Thayer. You can check it out below.
We'll have more details about the guitar in the weeks and months ahead.
Eric Singer is one of the most honest, straight forward interview subjects that one could have the pleasure of speaking to. Never shying away from any question, Singer tells it like it is, not sparing any details. Being the drummer for KISS (on and off) for over 15 years, over the span of three decades, Eric knows what it takes to get the job done, and has never lost the appreciation of being part of one of the biggest bands in the history of music. When RockMusicStar recently spoke with Eric Singer, he reflected on "The Tour" with Motley Crue, the writing and recording process of "Monster" (Singer's fourth studio record with KISS), the misconception people have about his approach to drumming in KISS, and also responds to the comments Peter Criss made about him in Criss' autobiography, "Makeup to Breakup."
RockMusicStar: Could you tell us what "The Tour" was like for the band, and did it exceed your personal expectations? Eric Singer: Well, it was a very successful tour, and for me, I think it was a great package. I can only speak for my own point of view, but I think most people would have to concede that it was a good pairing. If I was a fan, I would want to see that tour. Even if I wasn't in KISS, I'm a fan of both bands, I'd wanna see KISS and Motley Crue together. People had been saying for years that it would be a good package (to see happen again), and I think it turned out to be. Of course, you're gonna have people say, "Oh, I'd rather see KISS do their own show, or Motley Crue do their own show," because they want to see a band play longer. But for me, if I was going as a fan, to see each band play at my age now, seeing each band play for 75-80 minutes, that would be just the right amount for me. Just enough, without being too short or too long.
RMS: How do you respond to those who say that "All For the Love of Rock and Roll" is just an attempt at mimicking or copying a Peter Criss song? ES: Here's the thing John, I'm 54 years old and this is the way that I sing. Those type of comments seem to come from the same people who question why I play (the drums) a certain way. You know somethin'? I play for the song, and I play for the band. That's what I play for first. Not for myself, not to appeal to a drummer in the audience. I play to appeal to the song and the band, and what the band does in that format. I always point back to people, listen to "MTV Unplugged." That's the best example that shows where I'm coming from, as a drummer and singer in KISS. I played very simple, very straight ahead, more closer to an earlier KISS approach, to the arrangements and the style of the songs. I made the conscience effort, from that point on, I made the concerted effort to play more simple. So I find it interesting that when I come back to play in the band in 2001, all of a sudden, just because I have makeup on, people are asking, "Why is Eric playing more simple? They're telling him to imitate Peter Criss." Gene and Paul, for the record, NEVER ONCE...EVER...(told me) to ever play anything like Peter Criss. NEVER!!!
RMS: While we're on the subject of Peter Criss, Peter recently released his book, "Makeup to Breakup." He pretty much makes negative comments about every member of KISS, past or present, with the exception of Bruce Kulick. I wanted to give you the opportunity to respond to the comments that he made towards you, as he calls you a "schlep" and claims the story of you suggesting for Peter to play at the 1995 Los Angeles KISS Konvention was disingenuous. ES: That's funny because it wasn't disingenuous. At the time when that happened in 95, Gene asked me, saying "Eric, Peter Criss wants to come down to the expo and bring his daughter. Do you have a problem with that?" I am the one that actually said, "You should have him come up to play." Let's just put it this way, Peter doesn't know me. Peter's met me a couple of times, through all the years that I've been around. It was literally like, "Hi. How ya doin'?" Other than when we did "MTV Unplugged," where we were at rehearsals on and off together, that one week. Other than that, Peter does not know me. He doesn't know my character. He doesn't know what type of person I am. If he wants to take it that way, then that's fine. That's his prerogative. I don't have nothing against the guy, he's done nothing to me personally. I may have my own personal opinions of how I feel about him as a drummer, or how he's conducted himself, that I may or may not agree with everything, but that's really their (Peter and Gene & Paul's) beef.
For some reason, Peter really hates Tommy Thayer. Why? I don't know? All that Tommy ever did was try to help the guy. When Peter came back to the band in the very beginning, for the Reunion, Tommy's the one who that sat in a room with him and Ace, teaching them the songs, and working them through the routines, before they even got together with Gene and Paul. He put the time into helping the guy, and now for some reason, he's got some real venom towards Tommy, and I don't know what that's about.
The sad thing is that the fans who like a particular person, or a particular band member, they're going to believe everything the person says, whether it's true or not. You gotta remember, this is Peter's chance to get some more attention for himself. Because, he really hasn't done much since he's been out of KISS. Obviously, Peter has his point of view on his time and his experiences, on what he feels and how he feels about his time in KISS, and all of the players that are all part of it.
I think the ultimate good way is to take the high road in life. We've all had good and bad things happen in our lives. A lot of times, when things don't go our way, it's understandable why people become negative, or bitter, or cynical about something, but hopefully, they say that "time heals," and I do believe that's true. Hopefully, we all get to that place in our lives when we look back at our experiences, and we try to remember the positive and the better things about them, rather than the negative and bad things about them. We do get affected by what happens in a given situation, but we make the conscience choice about how we wanna deal with those experiences. If we want to turn them into a learning experience, and be able to look back on the accomplishments and things we've done in our lives, and maybe crack a smile, that's hopefully what we should ALL be able to do. We're supposed to learn from life and learn from our experiences. I think everyone who's been involved with KISS has done some pretty remarkable experiences that they should be able to be proud of, and look back and smile on.
Read Entire Interview HERE!
In Memory of Eric Carr... We at KISS by Monster Mini Golf Vegas, are proud to have added yet another piece of KISStory to our ever growing museum. We purchased Eric's Porsche (a gift from KISS upon signing) from Eric's wonderful sister Loretta. KISS' gift to Eric is now on display at KISS by Monster Mini Golf. http://monsterminigolf.com/kiss/index.php
PETER CRISS will guest on Eddie Trunk's "Friday Night Rocks" syndicated show on Friday, December 14, 2012. Listen on New York's Q-104. Go to http://www.q1043.com/main.html to listen live. The show airs at 11PM (ET).
Peter will also appear on ROCKLINE on December 19, 2012. Go to http://www.rocklineradio.com/ for information on where you can listen to the nationally syndicated show on your area.
After five decades, heavy metal’s most outrageous made-up men refuse to grow old
gracefully. James McNair meets Kiss
James McNair/the Independent
Kiss’s lead singer and rhythm guitarist Paul Stanley is 60 now, but he had
his first hip replacement op aged 52. It was the nightly strutting in eight-inch
heels that did it. “Every scar on my body was proudly earned,” he says when
asked if he regrets Kiss’s stilt-like footwear. “There’s nothing worse than
looking back and wishing you had done things, but I did ’em all. That’s how life
is supposed to be lived.”
Today, Stanley is wearing flats – zebra-print flats. “Nice shoes,” says the
PR woman who’s introduced us. “Thanks – I shot them specially for you,” says
Stanley. Together with fellow founding-member of Kiss, Gene Simmons, 63, this
is how Stanley, AKA “The Starchild”, talks.
It’s a playful and meticulous kind of braggadocio, the endearing silliness of
which he and Simmons are at pains not to acknowledge. To drop the mask would be
to undermine the welcome and enduring pantomime that is Kiss.
What they do like to talk about is merchandise. The Kiss Kasket that helps
your funeral go with a kerrang!; the Kiss Kondoms that put the kitsch into
kontraception – these and sundry other alliterative goods make Kiss seem more
brand than band. This time around they are in London to flog Monster, a
ridiculously outsized book of glossy Kiss concert photos that weighs for stone,
costs around £2,740, and measures three-feet by two-and-a-half feet.
“People say of great books I couldn’t put it down,” says Simmons, “but this
one’s more I couldn’t pick it up.”
Monster the album is out, but as is so often the case with Kiss, the new
music almost seems like an aside. The cartoonish, New York City-formed band’s
fabulously entertaining live shows remain the yardstick by which we measure
KISS will headline the massive Austrian Nova Rock Festival. The festival takes place June 14th-16th, 2013 at Pannonia Fields in Nickelsdorf, Austria. It is Austria's biggest music festival. To order tickets check out the festival site Here. Kings of Leon and Rammstein will also headline during the three day festival.
Today marks the 21st year since Eric Carr's passing. We remember him for his musicianship, his personality, crazy sense of humor, dedication and his caring for others. He was one of the most charismatic people I've ever met always taking the time, without hesitation, to meet with his fans. Eric played on six Kiss albums and played over 800 concerts with the band until he was diagnosed with cancer in March of 1991. In between chemo treatments, Eric filmed the video and contributed vocals for "God Gave Rock And Roll To You II." Eric passed away at the age of 41 on November 24, 1991. Kiss dedicated their next album, Revenge, to Eric He is deeply missed and touched so many lives, including mine - Frank Animalize -1984
In Celebration of the life of the late, great ERIC CARR
THE KISS ROOM presents a KISS MASK Flashback!
Back in 1987, Frank Hagan created his KISS MASK fanzine, self publishing the 'zine which included Frank's exclusive interviews with Ace Frehley, Peter Criss, Bruce Kulick, Eddie Kramer, Bill Aucoin as well as this interview with the late Eric Carr.
This interview has never been heard and we're bringing it to you straight from Frank's micro cassette recorder.
Recorded on November 9, 1989.
Feb 28th – Perth - Perth Arena March 3rd – Adelaide - Clipsal 500 V8 Supercar March 5th – Melbourne - Etihad Stadium March 6th – Melbourne - Etihad Stadium March 9th – Sydney - All Phones Arena March 12th – Brisbane - Brisbane Entertainment Centre March 16th – Mackay- Virgin Australia Stadium
I was never a member of the KISS Army when I was a kid. I thought about it, sure. But I figured, even as a kid, that joining the KISS army was getting a little out there. So it’s probably fair to say that while I was a KISS fan growing up, I was never a rabid fan like some people. Well, excusing the facts that in 1975 I took my new copy of Alive! to school for show and tell (we were supposed to bring our favorite Christmas present to school). My first Rock concert was KISS (1976 in Charlotte, North Carolina). During Christmas of 1978 I bought all four of the KISS solo albums. It would also be fair to say that Gene Simmons was at least initially responsible for me wanting a bass player (partial credit, though – I’d have to give a nod to people like Geddy Lee, Jaco Pastorius, Chris Squire, and Stanley Clarke for the final push).
So… what I’m trying to say here is that I have a history with KISS. But, however it sounds, I was never in any danger of getting a tattoo of the KISS logo. I’m unlikely to be buried in a KISS branded casket. A fan, sure. Well, an ex-fan at this point. But certainly not one of those lunatics who get married at KISS themed weddings.
Upon reflection, my “fan” days probably ended with Unmasked. That wasn’t a bad album, despite the Disco influenced “I Was Made For Loving You” (which, in retrospect, is actually a much better song than any of us old-school fans wanted to admit at the time). But even by then there were cracks. KISS just wasn’t the band I’d loved for all those years. The glory days were gone. Oh, I stuck it out for awhile after Unmasked. I bought The Elder, and liked quite a few of the tracks on it. The flame was briefly renewed with Creatures of the Night. While still not a classic KISS album, it had some kick-ass tracks on it, and it probably heralded the return of the band to some sort of national prominence. We all know what came next. A string of hits from the albums Lick It Up, Animalize and Asylum. Even with the band charting hits again, though, something was missing for old-timers like me. It was good enough music, but it just wasn’t KISS somehow.
Anyway, Asylum was the last KISS album I bought for a long time. That was in 1984. I said “no, thanks” to Crazy Nights, Hot in the Shade, Revenge and Carnival of Souls. I didn’t begrudge Gene Simmons and Paul Stanely continuing on as KISS, but it never felt like KISS to me. It never sounded like KISS. Everything the band put out reminded me of solo tracks from the ill-advised KISS solo albums. You could tell which songs came from Paul Stanley, and which from Gene Simmons. You could usually tell which were written with outside songwriting partners, because they had that nice, carefully constructed (and calculated) sheen to them. It sounded like someone was cashing in on the name KISS (which basically what they were doing), but it never felt like a band called KISS. Does that make any sense?
Then along came Psycho Circus. What a debacle that was. Us old-time fans were excited about the return of Ace Frehley and Peter Criss. A lot of people bought the album, same as me, without much questioning whether it was a real band album. We just hoped for the best. But what did we get? It wasn’t a KISS album. Not really. It was the same stuff we’d been getting for years, just with Ace and Peter filling in as guest musicians. They were never equal band members on the record, and that showed easily through Gene Simmons’ transparent calculations and profit margin projections. Psycho Circus was yet another product under the KISS brand. Nothing else. A nostalgia kick with no real merit of its own. A keepsake of better times, with no real merit of its own.
It was another 10 years before KISS released another studio album, which again saw the band without Ace Frehley and Peter Criss. KISS had been touring with other people wearing Ace’s and Peter’s makeup, and I just wasn’t interested. That last bit sort of offended me. A lot of my friends told me I should check out that album, Sonic Boom, and I did listen to a few tracks. But really, all I heard was more of the same. Product that was sort of reminiscent of KISS, but nothing that sounded like a real band to me. I figured this was all you could expect from KISS, and that what awaited the band was a long, slow descent into irrelevancy (Gene Simmons’ marketing genius be damned). I didn’t really begrudge Gene Simmons cashing in on the band’s name and keeping the ball rolling. I just wasn’t interested in what he was selling.
So it was, and such was my thinking, when I heard that KISS was releasing a new album called Monster. I sort of took note, but had largely forgotten about it by the time the album’s release actually approached. I had so dismissed the band’s chances of ever being truly interesting again that I was able to note their new efforts, just out of deference for what KISS used to mean to me when I was a kid, but it wasn’t important enough for me to actually get excited about it, or even remember it.
Then I saw KISS perform ”Hell or Hallelujah” on David Letterman. Actually, I missed the original broadcast, but someone sent me a YouTube link of the performance. My initial response was, “Holy crap, this rocks”. That one song completely renewed my interest in Monster. I went to Amazon.com and scanned through sample tracks of the songs on the album, and I was shocked to discover that each and every one of those songs were good. Some were not just good, but kicked some solid ass. Much to my surprise, after buying only one KISS album in the previous 27 years, I found myself purchasing a new KISS album.
That was a good buy.
So, to wrap up an unexpectedly long article, all I’ll say about Monster is this; If you’ve ever liked KISS, you’ll like Monster. And if you’re one of those old guys, like me, who abandoned KISS decades ago, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. This kicks some serious ass. Buy it. Crank it up.
For a long time, beginning in 1999, Paul Stanley wasn’t sure Kiss would make
another studio album. Worse, he wasn’t sure he wanted to. Ironically, it was the
making of the previous year’s Psycho Circus—the much-ballyhooed record
that featured original members Peter Criss and Ace Frehley reunited with Kiss
founders Stanley and Gene Simmons—that put Stanley in that frame of mind. As he
tells it, Criss and Frehley were recalcitrant participants, at best.
“What we learned is that you can’t make a great Kiss album without Kiss,” he
says. “When there are two people in the studio working, and two who are refusing
to come in, or who have their attorneys on the phone all the time, that’s not a
good situation. Psycho Circus was interesting in the sense that it made
me never want to go back into the studio, and at the same time, I felt I’ll be
damned if that was going to be the last album we made. The band, during the
reunion period, went south pretty quickly. It was something we managed to keep
alive in much the same way a paramedic might keep a stroke victim from
To say Stanley and Simmons have kept Kiss alive is an understatement. Since
the group’s 1974 self-titled debut, Kiss has released 20 studio albums, 10 live
records and 13 compilation discs. Including solo records, they’ve been awarded
28 gold albums, more than any American rock group. Worldwide album sales are
colossal—more than 100 million.
There’s another facet to that success—the group’s merchandising empire, and
it’s unrivalled in rock. The Kiss brand offers everything from baby bibs to
action figures to caskets (spelled Kaskets, of course). There’s also a miniature
golf course, a coffeehouse and even a Kiss Kruise. The vast array of goods is
served up without apology. “It all begins with the songs, no question about
that,” says Simmons. “But there were never any rules for being in a rock band.
People just thought there were. For us, it’s not enough to just be a Radiohead
or a U2. That’s why we have 3,000 licensed products.”
Kiss continued to tour after Psycho Circus, albeit in ever-changing
configurations. Criss left in 2001, replaced by Eric Singer, who had previously
served as the band’s drummer in the early ’90s. Frehley departed the following
year, and longtime Kiss associate Tommy Thayer stepped in as replacement on lead
guitar. Thayer’s position was made permanent, but in 2003 Criss returned for
KISS Symphony: Alive IV, a concert album with Australia’s Melbourne
Symphony Orchestra. A year later, Criss was out, Singer was back.
Since then, the lineup of Stanley, Simmons, Thayer and Singer has coalesced
into a finely tuned rock machine that has achieved its greatest success on the
road. World tours in 2008 and 2009 solidified the group’s status as a premier
live act, as the band’s chemistry rose to a level commensurate with the group’s
spectacular stage show. In 2010—following a decade of resistance to the
idea—Kiss released Sonic Boom, a no-frills studio album that captured
the band’s sound from their mid-’70s heyday.
Kiss’ latest, Monster—produced by Stanley and production vet Greg
Collins—fully embraces a stripped-down, back-to-basics approach. “No boys’
choirs, no symphony orchestras, just meat and potatoes,” says Simmons, alluding
to the adherence to two guitars, bass and drums. The goal? Raise the bar while
keeping things simple. “We sat facing each other as we recorded,” he says. “The
idea was to get things in the first, second or third take. I didn’t want to lose
any of the urgency and passion of what we were doing.”
Simmons and Stanley emphasize that no other Kiss configuration could have
made Monster. The spirit of camaraderie is evident in the song credits.
Thayer wrote or co-wrote nine of the 12 songs, and Singer co-wrote one tune and
takes lead vocals on the Stanley-penned anthem, “All for the Love of Rock and
Roll.” “This lineup is the embodiment of everything the band wanted to be,” says
Stanley. “To think any other lineup could have made this album would be enough
to get you committed. I’ve been there from the beginning, and I know.” Stanley
and Simmons discussed the music behind the theater, their creative partnership
and the Kiss legacy.
Was there a goal with Monster?
STANLEY: To hark back to the music and artists who influenced us and capture
that spirit. That doesn’t mean copying anybody. It means finding that spot they
touched. I grew up hearing bands at the Fillmore East nearly every weekend.
Those bands played like their lives depended on it. There was also a joy. It
almost felt like being in church, like gospel. James Brown didn’t go for
perfection—he went for passion. Same was true for Motown, the Beatles, Led
Zeppelin, the Who, the Stones, early Elvis and on and on. Sonic
Boom stayed close to our past, to things we had done previously. But for
Monster, I wanted to make the album we never made.
What was your role as producer?
STANLEY: To set ground rules. It’s important that everyone know what the
expectations are. One rule was no outside co-writes, just like the last album. I
wanted to make sure everyone was totally committed to making this album—and that
we all understood there were no quotas, no entitlements. It doesn’t matter if
you’ve been in the band 10 years or 30 years—if the songs aren’t good enough,
they don’t go on. Once those parameters are made clear, everyone is willing to
work harder. That said, we never had more fun making an album.
By Paulo Maurício Costa Photo by Paulo Maurício Costa Translated from Portuguese for KISSonline by Jill Cataldo
- At its Rio concert, KISS pleases fans and does justice to the mythology of the group - Show at HSBC Arena ended the band's South American tour in Brazil. - The 1:40 concert was opened by hit "Detroit Rock City"
On the eve of turning 40 years old, the American hard rock band KISS ended its "Monster" tour in Brazil on Sunday night, the 18th, at HSBC Arena, in Barra da Tijuca, Rio's western zone.
Gene Simmons (bass and vocals), Paul Stanley (guitar and vocals)- the two remnants of the original lineup founded in 1973- Eric Singer (drums) and Tommy Thayer (guitar), were ornamented both by makeup and pyrotechnics, gave the public what they wanted, bellowing hits from around the world in more than 100 million copies and some songs from their latest disc in a show that lasted about one hour, 40 minutes.
Opening night band and rock icon Viper took the stage at 8:00 pm (when many people with faces painted in homage to their American iIdols were still in lines outside) and played competently for 30 minutes.
Then, a devilish and theatrical ghost train, a locomotive, a brand licensed over some 3,000 products, settled into the HSBC Arena on schedule, at 9:00 pm with the sound of guitars and explosions. Then KISS – except for Singer, already seated on drums in the background – appeared on a platform that brought the musicians down slowly to the ground. "Hi, Rio!" was followed by the first chords of "Detroit Rock City", followed by another of the band's hits, "Shout It Out Loud".
Vibrantly, the crowd sang the lyrics and shouts of "KISS! KISS! KISS! ". Between explosions and eruptions of fire on stage, one after another, "Hell or Hallelujah", the first single from the new CD, followed.
At just under an hour into the show, Simmons interrupted a bass solo to drool the famous red goo that mimics blood. Suspended by cables to one of the rows of light cannons, he continued his demon characteristics until finally starting to perform "God of Thunder." The audience brightened even more when Paul Stanley began the vocals from "Psycho Circus." "Black Diamond", from KISS's first album (1974) closed out the main setlist.
The encore brought "Lick It Up," "I Was Made for Lovin' You" and, of course, "Rock and Roll All Nite", ending a night that pleased fans and did justice to the mythology of the group.
You've all heard "Super Fan" Andy's KISS KRUISE KOMMENTARY segments on THE KISS ROOM, but who knew that Andy and KISS MASK creator Frank Hagan already had a connection that goes back to the early days of KISS fanzines?
Back in 1987, Frank Hagan, co-host of THE KISS ROOM, created his KISS MASK fanzine, self-publishing the 'zine which included Frank's exclusive interviews with Eric Carr, Ace Frehley, Peter Criss, Bruce Kulick, Eddie Kramer and Bill Aucoin.
Back in 1989, KISS MASK ran a contest to win an autographed picture of Eric Carr and the winner... "Super Fan" Andy Moyen!
Andy has the Eric Carr photo on his wall and recently sent us pics of the original postcard that he recieved from Frank.
KISS MASK continues online at kissmaskwebzine.blogspot.com and was featured on page 78 of the hardcover KISS book, THE ULTIMATE KISS FANZINE PHENOMENON (1976-2009).
Eric Carr was always a strong supporter of KISS MASK from the beginning including a rare autographed photo he did for a MASK contest. He always wrote notes and stayed in touch and Eric and I became friendly. Memories I will cherish forever. Eric was one of the sweetest, considerate, kind people I have ever met in the music business.
The Official Trailer of The Elder - an independent movie being made in the UK by Seb Hunter. The movie is inspired by the album Music From The Elder by KISS. It is scheduled for a 2014 release. www.elderthemovie.com
'(Music From) The Elder" Marks 31 Years Since it's Release
Today marks the 31st Anniversary of the release of Kiss' concept album. the albumm has been one the band's most talked about releases, loved by critics, ignored by fans (in 1981) and dismissed by the band.
It is an album, a musical journey, a story of a boy, chosen by the Council of the Elder, in training of becoming a hero, by the Order of the Rose. The Boy over comes his doubts of his journey and his confidence and is self assurance. Morpheus assures the Council that the Boy is ready to be a champion. "...A real champion."
Produced by Bob Ezrin based on a story by Gene Simmons. Kiss experimented in all types of music in the making of this record- from rockers to ballads- which confused Kiss fans. It wasn't your typical album from Kiss. The album sold poorly and a planned tour was cancelled.
Today, the album has more of a cult following, with fans screaming out songs from it during Kiss' acoustic sessions on the Kiss Kruise and on tour at Meet & Greets. Now, known as one of Kiss' best albums,. taking a risky chance by Kiss, that has grown like a fine wine with age.
Kiss did a number of live appearances to promote the album including a satellite broadcast to Europe from Studio 54 (minus Ace Frehley) and ABC's "Friday's" show where the entire band played "The Oath" and "I" and appeared on Solid Gold. It was Eric Carr's first recording with Kiss and Ace Frehley's last.
The album peaked at #75 on Billboard's Top 200 Albums and the single (with video), "A World Without Heroes" peaked at #56 on the Top 100 Singles Chart.- Frank Hagan
Former vice president of Glickman/Marks Management recalls the state of KISS in 1981 and the band's ambitious bid to redefine their career
From KissFAQ ongoing November "(Music From) The Elder" album feature.
KissFAQ: First, Chris, I've always wanted to share with you how much I enjoyed "KISS And Sell." I know it's been 15 years, but belated congratulations on your book. It is a spectacular read and a "must-have" for the KISS library. Christopher K. Lendt: Well, thank you. I can never hear that too much. You're very gracious.
KF: And it is a sentiment shared by many fans in the KISS community. The book is well-written and your attention to detail is meticulous, whether it's recalling the atmosphere of a particular meeting, what somebody wore, a memorable quote, and so forth. CKL: Well, it's really for two reasons. First of all, I have a really good memory. That's always something I've been fortunate to have and it's served me well in school and in business. The other reason, which is a little more colorful, [is that] all of those events that happened in my life with KISS are forever burnished in my brain. It was such an unusual experience that I absorbed a lot of those details and I still remember them today because I felt like I was sort of living in a movie. (laughs)
I did pay attention and I was not, most of the time, inebriated or incapacitated. And my job was to be the "detail man" for KISS. So, I carried through that obligation professionally as well as in my private life.
KF: Getting to "Music From The Elder," which is the topic we're discussing today. Prior to them even starting recording, how would you describe the overall health of KISS in 1981? CKL: Well, that was coming off of the Australia tour, which was December 1980. That was the most successful tour KISS had done at that time. They were treated like the second coming of the Beatles. And I recounted all of that in the book. It was quite an event. They were really puffed up, and I say that without any sarcasm. Their egos were really boosted by such a successful tour. Their popularity was waning in the U.S., which they were aware of, but a big tour like that, playing stadiums and creating "KISS mania," is a real climate to bolster your spirits and put you back in a different mood.
KF: Certainly. What do you recall about their initial studio album plans? CKL: When they approached a new album, they had made a number of efforts going into the studio in 1981, recording different tracks [at] different studios. I don't know if there were other producers involved but I know that they tried a number of different types of records. The consensus that they got from the people in Australia at PolyGram at that time was that they should come back in '81 and do another really hard rock album, because that was the essence of what KISS was and they felt that that was something that that would serve KISS well. You know, the last advice offered that you hear from people who are in a position to have their advice listened to is often the advice that you go with. So that was their inclination: to go back into the studio and record a typical hard rock, heavy metal KISS album, which I think they tried to do, but it never coalesced. And the thinking was that they didn't want to come out with another ordinary KISS hard rock album. Maybe it would have been good and accepted by the fans, but they didn't think it was really big enough. So having their egos boosted by the tremendous success of the Australia tour, and with the influence of Bill Aucoin, they decided to go off in a different direction. And eventually emerged the idea of a "concept" album.
KF: Right, which was a deliberate attempt to steer away from recording a typical KISS album. CKL: Yes, rather than just a recording of 10 or 12 tracks that were all distinct and separate from one another, they decided to do something on a more elevated level creatively. The concept idea became the operating idea.
Now, I can't really give you the day and date when all of this started to gel, but the idea was to do an album where all of the songs would be linked together and there would be a story. So the next element was a story had to be created, and once the story was created, then there would be characters, like a movie. In fact, the original title of the album was "Music From The Elder." And that was intentional because as this concept started to mushroom, the thinking was it's not even going to be just an album anymore, it's going to be a motion picture. And this will be the soundtrack to a motion picture that will come out in the future.
So this really started to move forward by leaps and bounds. This was no longer an album anymore, it was a concept album. And it wasn't just a concept album -- like "Sgt. Pepper's [Lonely Hearts Club Band]" was a concept album -- this would be a concept album that was the precursor to a movie. And the music would tell the story and present the characters who would eventually appear in a movie or an animated movie. That part, to my knowledge, never got any more concrete. The thinking really started to move by leaps and bounds.
Bob Ezrin was tapped because he was a producer who had worked on ["Destroyer"]. He was highly respected by the band. I assume he had a good relationship with Bill Aucoin, otherwise I don't think it would have gone forward. And Bob Ezrin had had enormous worldwide success with Pink Floyd's "The Wall." So here, on paper, this is one of those ideas that just seemed brilliant. KISS would comeback bigger than ever. They would no longer be seen as simply a hard rock, heavy metal band with makeup and costumes. They were going to do something really ambitious and who better to carry it off than Bob Ezrin, who had a legitimate claim to being one of the most successful record producers at that time. He had a great deal of success as the producer, or the co-producer, of "The Wall," which has gone on to sell who knows how many tens of millions of copies.
So everything started to fall into line and the pieces seemed to fall into place. And then as things moved forward, they developed the story, the developed the characters, they fleshed out the characters, [and] the songs and titles would reflect certain episodes or scenes of the movie and the musical script that the record would form the basis to. And one thing led to another and the group was largely isolated. They recorded some of the music at Ace Frehley's studio in Wilton, Connecticut. They used another studio, I don't really remember where that was. And Bob Ezrin kept everything under wraps and really nobody knew much except Bob Ezrin, the band and Bill Aucoin.
Continue reading at KissFAQ
"I absolutely still feel like a freak. That's a state of mind. It has nothing to do with how much money you have or how successful you are," Paul Stanley tells Noisecreep.
The KISS vocalist/guitarist is referring to "Freak," a track he co-wrote with guitarist Tommy Thayer that appears on Monster, the iconic group's new album.
Spending his teenage years in Queens, N.Y., Stanley, 60, says he always felt like an outsider, but he's come to peace with that all these years later. "So am I a freak? Of course I am. But I'm proud to be one. Just look at what I'm doing every night. Look at how I live. I'm not rebelling against anything, because the ultimate rebellion is to live your life your own way.
"Anyone that thinks being a successful person, or a millionaire, rules out feeling like a freak and makes you conventional... sorry. The two co-exist proudly. You can become a big success because you're a freak and that's the ultimate win-win."
Noisecreep grew up a few miles away from Stanley in Queens, so we asked him about his memories there. "I didn't have the greatest childhood, but you could have transported me to any other place in the world and I would have had the same problems. Queens was fine. For the first 7+ years of my life, I lived in uptown Manhattan. So when we moved to Queens – so help me God – I thought we were going to see grizzly bears [laughs]. All of a sudden, we had trees on the street! I was stunned. I thought I was going to run into Lassie [laughs].
"Queens might have been a half hour drive into Manhattan, but it might as well been a 5-hour flight. For someone from Manhattan, Queens looked like Minnesota. I lived in Kew Garden Hills, the poor side of the tracks from Forest Hills. I lived on 70th Rd. and Main Street," Stanley reveals.
The singer then asks me what part of Queens I'm from and I tell him between Elmhurst and Jackson Heights. "That's cool. Gene [Simmons] grew up in Jackson Heights," he says. "He also taught at Newtown High School before KISS made it."
Of course being I graduated from there, and being the KISS nerd I am, I already knew that.
The KISS ROOM is LIVE! today, November 16, from 3-5PM (ET).
**Sorry to everyone expecting to hear the Interview with Eric Carr on yesterday's show...Segments ran longer and there was no time to air it.
Today we salute the KISS ARMY! Super Fan Andy and the KISS Kruise II. PLUS- Listen to the first broadcast ever of a 1989 interview withERIC CARR!! LISTEN LIVE by clicking the link: http://stream.mc3.edu:8000/stream.m3u
KISS & Mötley Crüe 2013 Australian Tour Dates & Tickets
Thursday February 28 PERTH ARENA Bookings through ticketek.com.au & 132 849 Sunday March 3 CLIPSAL 500, ADELAIDE Currently on sale through ticketek.com.au & 132 849 * KISS and Motley Crue only Tuesday March 5 ETIHAD STADIUM (Intimate Arena Mode), MELBOURNE Bookings through ticketmaster.com.au & 136 100 Saturday March 9 ALL PHONES ARENA, SYDNEY Bookings through ticketek.com.au & 132 849 Tuesday March 12 BRISBANE ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE Bookings through ticketek.com.au & 132 849 Saturday March 16 VIRGIN AUSTRALIA STADIUM, MACKAY Bookings through ticketmaster.com.au &136 100
Rio Grande Do Sul
Photo by Felix Zucco Translated from Portuguese for KISSonline by Jill Cataldo
More than three years after their last pass through the country, KISS opened their new Brazilian tour late on Wednesday, November 14th at Gigantinho in Porto Alegre. The American band will continue to be worshipped in São Paulo on the 17th with its "Monster" tour, the fruit of their 20th studio album released in October.
Initially set to begin at 9:00 pm, the show started almost two and a half hours later. The reason: delay in setting up the stage. According to the promoter, the four trucks that brought the sound equipment, lighting and pyrotechnics from Paraguay, where the band performed on November 12th, were detained in customs. The Gaucho band Rosa Tattoada played at the show's opening while the stage structure was assembled.
The audience that filled the Gigantinho began showing some signs of impatience when bassist Gene Simmons, guitarist Paul Stanley, guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer took the stage exactly at 11:25 pm, with their characteristic visual-makeup, leather and high heels.
With a spectacle of lights, smoke and fire, the rock veterans began the show with "Detroit Rock City" followed by "Shout It Out Loud", two tracks from the classic album "Destroyer" (1976). After "Calling Dr. Love", it was time to hear the new material, with tracks "Hell or Hallelujah" and "Wall of Sound" from the album "Monster."
The evening continued with the musicians interacting with the public while revisiting the successes of the band's vast discography, which has sold over 90 million copies worldwide. Two of the best KISS songs, "I Was Made for Lovin' You" and "Rock And Roll All Nite" were saved for the finale, with Stanley breaking a guitar, putting an end to an unforgettable evening for the fans.
Beginning today at noon (EST), PopMarket is offering the KISS Alive! 1975-2000 CD Set at 42% off full retail for the 24 hours only!
Time to rock and roll all nite! Presenting the three classic KISS Alive! albums, Alive 1975, Alive II 1977 and Alive III 1993, remastered in one ultimate boxed set. Also includes The Millennium Concert (New Year's Eve 1999/2000)!
The United States District Court in Detroit, on November 6, 2012, granted a Permanent Injunction in Kiss Catalog v Scallatino, et al permanently enjoining the sale of a book entitled “Vintage KISS Photos” and ordered defendants to permanently cease from using the name KISS or any of Plaintiff’s marks, including the registered face paint used by “KISS.” The Federal Court also enjoined anyone from publishing a book which includes a collection of the copyrighted photographs or utilizes the face paint or other registered trademarks of “KISS.”
“This is an important decision, not only for ‘KISS,’ but also for the entertainment industry,” said William Randolph, the General Counsel for Kiss Catalog in New York. “Of course, the rock group ‘KISS’ has the advantage that the ‘KISS’ Logo and facepaint used by the group are registered trademarks in the US and around the world. But the precedent also applies to all entertainers. Previously, we obtained a permanent injunction and substantial damages against the sale of bootleg videos taken without permission at “KISS” concerts,” said Mr. Randolph. “We would also like to thank our counsel, Howard and Howard in Michigan, including Raymond Scott and Greg DeGrazia, for their legal work in these matters.”
KASHED-up KISS fans have snapped up $1500 packages to meet the rock legends.
The pricey packages sold out in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth yesterday, with limited quantities left for the Brisbane and Mackay shows.
For $1500 fans get to meet and greet members of KISS, get an autograph and a photo, access to soundcheck and a pre-concert party with other fans.
It also includes a KISS guitar pick, bag, poster, plus "crowd-free merchandise shopping" and premium tickets to their Australian concerts next year.
Mötley Crüe, who are performing with KISS, are charging their fans $899 for a similiar meet and greet package.
KISS were one of the first acts to sell access to themselves to fans - a revenue stream more and more musical acts are exploring.
"No-one is forcing the fan to buy the experience. We live in a commercial world and bands are business too," Paul Cashmere of music website Noise 11 says.
"The 'meet & greet' is all about creating a new revenue stream for an act. It is on offer for the fan, not forced on them."
Cashmere said compared to dwindling album sales, KISS' meet and greets will be a major money spinner.
"The latest KISS album Monster has sold 6672 units in five weeks in Australia. For a band like KISS, they could potentially make as much money from meet and greets as they do from record sales in this country".
KissFAQ: How is it that you got to work on the project with KISS?
Rob Freeman: The first project I worked on for KISS was Ace's solo album for Casablanca Records, Ace Frehley, which I recorded and mixed with producer Eddie Kramer in 1978. The album achieved a good degree of commercial success, with multi-platinum sales and a hit single, "New York Groove." It also garnered critical acclaim. But I believe it was the distinctive sonic character of the album that drew the attention of Ace's band mates and others in the KISS organization to my work (I'm in no way meaning to understate Eddie's unique contributions). Over the ensuing couple of years, I worked on a variety of smaller projects for the KISS organization such as radio spots and demos. Also during that time, I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to design and install a 4-track home studio and a state-of-the-art home theater system in Paul Stanley's uptown NYC condo.
Then in December 1980, someone from the KISS office rang me up and asked if I would work with the band on a new recording project. I heard it might be for a new album, and naturally I was thrilled at the prospect of working with KISS again. In early January 1981, I began recording tracks with KISS at Ace in the Hole, Ace's home studio in Wilton, Connecticut. There was no producer-for-hire present, just the band and me, as recording engineer. These were the first recording sessions to feature Eric Carr's extraordinary drumming.
KF: What was Ace in the Hole Studio like?
RF: Ace in the Hole was bunkered into the hillside adjacent to Ace's house. John Storyk, of the renowned Walters-Storyk Design Group, did his usual exquisite job designing and constructing the facility. Ace had genuine love and respect for the recording arts and seemed to have spared no expense when it came to the acoustic quality, technical layout, and cosmetics of his studio. Ace in the Hole may have been a private recording studio, but it was as professional and fully functional as many major commercial studios of the day.
The studio complex included a spacious control room and a large, open recording room. The control room was appointed with lots of wood but had enough acoustic traps placed throughout to effectively reduce sonic reflections, making for more accurate recording and mixing. The studio room was also abundant with wood and featured a mirrored wall and a construction glass wall built at odd angles to each other so as to disperse standing sound waves. The acoustic characteristics of the wood, the mirror, and the glass combined effectively to give the room that sought-after "live" sonic quality. There was an acoustically deadened booth-like area designed for recording drums or other instruments that might benefit from a tighter, less open sound and some large "gobos" (movable baffles) for creating smaller areas of deadened acoustics where needed.
In addition, there was a tile and mirror bathroom that was wired for recording or for use as a live reverb chamber. For the latter, sounds could be selectively fed from the control room into the bathroom, played out through a speaker (adding natural bathroom reverberation to the sound) then mic'd and returned to the control room. At one point I put a guitar amp in there to capture one of Ace's solos in that lively acoustic environment. We might have also recorded some of Gene and Paul's background vocals in there as I can recall the sound of their voices singing and cracking jokes from inside that bathroom.
Feb. 28 - Perth Arena, Perth Mar. 03 - Clipsal 500, Adelaide * without Thin Lizzy Mar. 05 - Etihad Stadium, Melbourne Mar. 09 -
All Phones Arena, Sydney Mar. 12 - Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane Mar. 16 - Virgin Australia Stadium, Mackay
Tickets go on sale November 22, 2012.
The American rock band Kiss thrilled 30,000 fans in the Paraguayan capital of Asuncion with songs and a show that went back over the group's 40 years as an international rock sensation.
Vocalist and guitarist Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons on bass, Tommy Thayer playing guitar and drummer Eric Singer opened the show at 10:00 p.m. with their classic "Detroit Rock City" at the Jockey Club on the outskirts of the Paraguayan capital.
With the words "Buenas noches, Paraguay, tonight will really be a night that rocks!" Paul Stanley introduced a true apotheosis of a concert that attracted an audience of all ages including kiddies and thousands who had painted themselves with those well-known Kiss faces.
With "Detroit Rock City" the group set off the musical fireworks that made the Paraguayan "Kiss Army" go crazy from the first chords, with Paul Stanley doing his typical dance and Gene Simmons sticking out his tongue.
Then came "Shout it out loud," "Calling Dr. Love," "Hotter Than Hell," "I Love It Loud," Black Diamond," "Lick It Up" and "I Was Made for Loving You," along with "Hell" and "Halleluja" from their latest disc "Monster". Eighteen numbers in an almost two-hour show that drove the Paraguayan public wild
Peter Criss has rescheduled his signing appearance due to Hurricane Sandy. The new date for Peter's signing is December 6 at 6PM. Changing Hands is located at 6428 S. McClintock Drive in Tempe, Arizona.
Kiss' 5th studio album, ROCK AND ROLL OVER, was released on November 11, 1976. Produced by Eddie Kramer and recorded live at the Star Theater in Nanuet, New York, reached #11 on the Billboard Top 200 Album Charts. The album's artwork was created by Michael Dorset (Sonic Boom), and certified platinum in January 1977.
I Want You Take Me Calling Dr. Love Ladies Room Baby Driver Love 'Em and Leave 'Em Mr. Speed Se You In Your Dreams Hard Luck Woman Makin' Love
As expected, KISS and Motley Crue will play Australia's largest motosport event on Sunday, March 3, 2013. The show will take place in Adelaide.
Click here for tickets and all concert information: http://www.clipsal500.com.au/the_concerts
KISS played River Plate Stadium last night in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Here is the set-list: Kiss played 5 songs from MONSTER.
Detroit Rock City Shout It Out Loud Hell Or Hallelujah Wall Of Sound Hotter Than Hell All For The Love Of Rock & Roll I Love It Loud Outta This World Eric Singer/Tommy Thayer solo War Machine Long Way Down God Of Thunder Psycho Circus Calling Dr. Love Love Gun Black Diamond ENCORES: Lick It Up I Was Made For Lovin' You Rock And Roll All Nite
There are strong rumours legendary rock band Kiss will perform at Mackay's Virgin Australia Stadium.
COULD it be true?
Only time will tell, but there are certainly some strong rumours that the American rock legends renowned for painted faces, outrageous costumes, fire breathing, blood spitting and levitating drum kits are coming to town.
Yes, we're talking about Kiss. And the rumour is the rockers are one of the big name international acts heading our way.
A definite announcement on just who will play at Mackay's Virgin Australia Stadium early next year will be made on Wednesday next week.
Steven Adler Based on all ship-to-shore accounts, The KISS Kruise II (Oct. 31-Nov. 1) was a smash just as it was on its maiden voyage last year. One of the bonuses for KISS fans aboard was an early look at Adler, the new band featuring original Guns N' Roses drummer Steven Adler.
The combo also features Johnny Martin (Chelsea Smiles, Dee Dee Ramone's band among many other outfits) on bass, singer/guitarist Jacob Bunton (Mars Electric), Lonny Paul (Adler's Appetite) on guitar.
The band's debut album, Back From the Dead, is due out Nov. 26, and while Noisecreep will be covering that, we also wanted to hear how the Kruise went so they as soon as Adler got back into port a few days ago, we reached out to Lonnie Paul to ask him about the adventure.
"The KISS Kruise was amazing," he told Noisecreep. "Everyone from the band and our crew had a blast! KISS and their people were very good to us, and the staff on the ship gave us the total "rock star" treatment. And the response to the band was everything we had hoped for. We were told by the overwhelming majority that they came to see us perform GNR songs, but by the end of the set, they said they couldn't have cared less about GNR."
As to whether KISS had a chance to check out Adler, Paul told us that all the members of KISS saw them play at least one of the three performances on the ship. Back From The Dead is now available for pre-order at this link and everyone that pre-orders the CD will receive a special bonus track.
Head to Adler's official Facebook page for more info on the new band.
As for their next move, Paul clued Noisecreep in. "The next step for Adler is more touring, and obviously the official release of the record November 26. Our manager and touring agents are putting things together now for the new year. There is talk of South America, Japan, India and of course here in the States.
ADLER performs "Sweet Child 'O' Mine" on the KISS Krusie 2
KISS is rumoured to headline the second stage of the 2013 Download Festival. A formal annocement will come this Friday. KISS will be in Europe to promote MONSTER with shows already booked for Scandanavia including the headline slot at the Sweden Rock Festival on June 6 in Solvesborg. Festival site: http://www.downloadfestival.co.uk/
KISS performing songs from night #2 of the Indoor shows- Part One.
Gene's bass is in your face- we'll see if we can come up with video where you can here the entire the band, but this video is excellent!
Here it is everybody. We have hit our 50th episode! I want to thank everybody for listening and enjoying the show! This one is a few shuffled KISS songs and talk about the KISS Kruise II, KISS’ upcoming South American tour and acting like a radio broadcaster!
According to MetalTalk.com It looks like Ace Frehley might well be reforming his 1980s solo band Frehley's Comet. Guitarist/vocalist Tod Howarth recently posted on his Facebook page about how he has been in touch with bassist John Reagan. "John Reagan and I spoke briefly yesterday. We talked about a lot of things concerning Ace and the Comet. There are some new developments that are brewing but that's all I can knowingly add here.
"I did learn a lot of things that might help, maybe get the ball rolling for the Comet so fingers are crossed for the fans."
Shout It Out Loud
Hell Or Hallelujah
Wall Of Sound
Do You Love Me?
All For The Love of Rock & Roll
I Stole Your Love
Outta' This World
Hotter Than Hell
I Love It Loud
Magic Touch (partial- last time played on Paul Stanley's LIVE TO WIN tour)
Long Way Down
Detroit Rock City
Calling Dr. Love
Lick It Up
C'Mon And Love Me
Rock And Roll All Nite
Our ship, the Norwegian Pearl, docked in Mexico yesterday, and many KISS fans spent the day exploring Cozumel. It was fun to watch a sea of KISS t-shirts exiting the cruise terminal and spreading through town!
Back aboard the ship, it was "80s night." The KISS Navy put its own spin on dressing for the decade. Many Kruisers sported big hair, neon colors, and spandex to get into the spirit. This was also the night of KISS' second indoor show, so a lot of fans wore their 80s wear to the concert, which made for a fun-looking crowd!
And what a show it was. KISS kicked off the show with "Take Me," mixing up the setlist quite a bit from the previous night's concert. The song selections were often guided by fans shouting out song titles. KISS played "Makin' Love," "I Stole Your Love" and even a short version of "Magic Touch" after the audience began chanting it. Just as the previous audience was treated to five songs from "Monster," KISS performed these songs for for this enthusiastic audience too. At the end of the show, after the encore had ended and the house lights came up, Eric returned to the stage and threw out every set of drumsticks he had near his kit. After he ran out of sticks, he and his tech began dismantling his drum kit, then autographing and distributing two cymbals and a cowbell to three young fans.
Today is the last full day of the Kruise! There are a lot of fun events scheduled, including a poolside band Q&A session with KISS and fans, Casino Night with Eric, a Belly Flop contest with Paul, and a pick-throwing contest pitting KISS Kruisers against long-range pick-throwing master... Gene! At night, a KISS costume contest promises to showcase hundreds of fans showing off their best face paint!
(Fun fact: All KISS Kruise guests received three gifts when they boarded the ship -- a KISS Kruise beach towel, a KISS Kruise poster autographed by all four members of the band... and a set of black-and-white KISS makeup, so everyone can rock the greasepaint tonight!)