‘Hellsinki’ paints tribute to KISS

HELSINKI (AFP).- It’s called “Hellsinki” for a reason: Finland’s heavy metal fans on Friday placed masks on four giant statues in the capital city to honour hard rock group Kiss.

State-owned railway operator VR invited four fans of the US band to paint black-and-white Kiss masks for the imposing figures that stand guard outside Helsinki’s main railway station.

The statues, officially called “lantern bearers” but better known among Finns as stonemen, were given their makeover to mark the band’s 10th concert next week in the Nordic country, which has one of the world’s highest concentrations of headbangers.

Kiss celebrated the statue tribute in a video post shared on the group’s Twitter account.

One of the four selected, 46-year-old Sannaliina Kuussaari, said she was 13 when she attended her first Kiss concert and she is planning to take her daughter to see the band on May 4.

“I’m a designer (by profession) and usually when I work, I listen to music at the same time. Kiss is very energising for that purpose,” Kuussaari told AFP as she was preparing one of the masks at the railway station.

She has been an active member of the band’s Finnish fan club, Kiss Army Finland, originally founded by the lead singer of Lordi, a Finnish hard rock band.

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Bruce Kulick Teams Up With Wife Lisa Lane Kulick For New Song ‘If I Could Show You’: Exclusive Interview

Matthew Wilkening | Ultimate Classic Rock

Mark FullertonFormer Kiss and current Grand Funk Railroad guitarist Bruce Kulick has teamed up with his wife Lisa Lane Kulick to release a brand-new single, “If I Could Show You.”

The song, which you can hear below, marks the first time the couple has released an original composition together. In an exclusive interview, they talk about the challenges of combining their differing musical styles together.

Although Lisa, a longtime Kiss fan who first saw her future husband perform with the group in 1986, fronted a rock and roll band named Phantasy in high school (favorite songs to sing: “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and “One Way or Another”), her tastes run more toward “standards” artists such as Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland. In fact, she spent three years performing songs like “Over the Rainbow” at one-woman cabaret shows in New York City.

Lisa explains that she was reluctant to perform in front of Bruce at first. “I hadn’t sung in years, and he kept saying, ‘I know you can sing; I’ve heard you sing!’ It took me about a year to sing for him. Since then, we just have fun in our living room. He plays and I sing along. We’ve wanted to do something together for many years.”

As it turns out, the couple’s 2014 wedding provided the spark for their first collaboration together. “She made a suggestion,” Bruce explains. “She played a song for me that Barbara Streisand used at her wedding, called ‘I Dreamed Of You.’” They decided to record their own version to use for the ceremony.

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25 Years Later, Eric Singer Looks Back on His First Kiss Show

Martin Kielty | Ultimate Classic Rock

When Eric Singer got set to make his first live appearance as a member of Kiss on April 23, 1992, he could have been forgiven for experiencing mixed emotions – but the education he’d received from an early age meant he was prepared, calm and focused.

It was an emotional moment for the Kiss family, as they continued to deal with the death of previous drummer Eric Carr five months earlier. Carr’s cancer battle had meant he’d been unable to fulfill recording duties for their 1992 album Revenge, and so Singer – who’d been a member of Paul Stanley’s solo band, and also Black Sabbath and Alice Cooper – had been recruited on a temporary basis.

Singer told Ultimate Classic Rock: “Paul told me Eric was ill, but I didn’t know any details. He asked if I could play on ‘God Gave Rock and Roll to You’ for the Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey movie. Later that summer I was on tour with Alice Cooper, and Paul called me up again and said they needed help.

“They’d tried to work with Eric on two separate occasions, but he wasn’t well enough. Doing a record isn’t like the rigors of touring, but it’s a demand on your time. You can be working 10, 12, 14 hours every day. Eric wasn’t up to it. Originally I was only going to play on half the record, and they were going to do the other half with another studio musician. But once we started, Gene [Simmons], Paul and Bob Ezrin went, ‘We think there’s a good chemistry.’”

Producer Ezrin called Cooper’s manager, Shep Gordon, and asked to cut a deal. As a result, Revenge was recorded in two stages between legs of Cooper’s world tour. “I was recording up to the day before I went to Europe,” Singer recalled. “After the tour, they got back in touch and asked me about being in the band, because Eric had unfortunately passed on. I had very mixed emotions – I thought, ‘Here’s a good opportunity for me, but under the worst conditions.’” Asked whether the possibility of being offered the job had occurred to him, he said: “Did I have a feeling it was going to go that way? Yeah.”

Singer knew how to apply himself to the challenge of replacing Carr. “I’ve always had what you might call a workmanlike mentality to being in a band. I know a drummer is there to provide a certain function. I had good training – I played in my father’s band from a young age, and my dad was quite the taskmaster. I learned how to be a key-player band guy, to really listen to people, and to listen to the leader. Continue reading

Paul Stanley On Success Of ‘Rock & Brews’ Restaurant

Ultimate Guitar

Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley – LA KISS _ Season 1, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Vivian Zink/AMC

Ask KISS frontman Gene Simmons why Rock & Brews, the restaurant he founded with bandmate Paul Stanley, is so popular and the answer is pretty simple.

“The same philosophy that made KISS award-winning is the same for Rock & Brews,” Simmons said during a recent phone interview.

Similar to a KISS concert, the restaurant gives people a reason to leave their homes for a good time, said the bass guitarist and co-lead singer of the hard-rock group known for such hits as “Rock and Roll All Nite” and “Detroit Rock City.”

Rock & Brews will bring that good time on April 24 to the Lee Vista Promenade shopping center near Orlando International Airport. The rockers will not be at the opening.

The eatery will be Rock & Brews’ second Central Florida spot (a site in Oviedo opened in 2014) and the 20th location worldwide.

“You may not be a rock star, but you sure as hell will feel like one when you come in to our restaurant,” said Simmons.

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Klassic KISS ’78 – KISS Tribute EP

Super KISS 1100

Wish weI had more info on this – submitted by an anonymous reader. From what we understand, it’s a collection of songs written by a KISS Tribute band, the jist being to write new songs in the style of classic ’78 KISS, and man, do they do it PERFECTLY! (Got a press release or anything guys? Any place we can buy this? Anything?).

Please keep in mind 100% of all posts on KISSasylum.com are submitted by our readers. Only so much we can do…

Gene Simmons: Comics, Nuggets And A Bright Future


Brian Lowe

Gene Simmons has been perfectly happy as a member of Kiss, the band he co-founded in New York City circa 1973 with friend Paul Stanley. Although Stanley has toured outside the band before and, more recently, taken to performing with his R&B cover band, Simmons was reluctant.

“The idea of solo tour never appealed to me,” he says, speaking from his California home on a recent Sunday afternoon. That was until he teamed up with Wizard World, the company that produces a series of comic book conventions across the country. The organizers tapped Simmons, a lifelong comic enthusiast, for some appearances and asked if he’d be interested in playing live as well.

“I said, ‘I’d love to, but the conventions don’t sound good.’ These are hollow halls that don’t have good acoustics,” he notes. “Why not take over a theater or arena someplace and do some shows? That’s really where the genesis of the idea started.”

To form his band, he tapped players who had worked with a variety of other acts including former Mötley Crüe vocalist John Corabi, and committed to five dates. Key to his commitment was making sure that fans had affordable tickets, keeping the price range to around $35. “I didn’t want people to get gouged on tickets,” he offers.

Simmons, however, is a notorious multi-tasker with a variety of business concerns. He’s hitting areas, including St. Louis, that are home to the Rock & Brews restaurants that he and Stanley have been opening across the U.S. The pair will expand the franchise to include a resort and casino in Bramen, Oklahoma, where Simmons appears on April 6.

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JOHN 5 Takes Partial Credit For Reuniting GENE SIMMONS And ACE FREHLEY In Beverly Hills


In a brand new interview with the “Talk Toomey” podcast, former MARILYN MANSON and current ROB ZOMBIE guitarist John 5 (real name: John William Lowery) took partial credit for reuniting Gene Simmons and Ace Frehley at the former KISS guitarist’s February 3 concert in Beverly Hills, California, marking the first time the KISS legends were photographed together since their 2014 induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

Asked how he came to be involved with Ace and Gene‘s reunion, John 5 said (hear audio below): “Gene is my buddy, just like Peter [Criss, original KISS drummer], Paul [Stanley, KISS frontman] and Ace. I e-mailed Gene and I said, ‘Gene, hear me out. Let’s go down the street from your house. Ace is playing right down the street. Let’s go have some laughs, let’s go watch Ace. I’ll pick you up, we’ll park right in front, we’ll walk in, and we’ll have a great time. ‘Cause me and Gene, we get together and we laugh and we have a really good time. I mean, I love the guy — love the guy. Iv’e known him for years, and he’s the funniest, best guy.”

He continued: “So I’m thinking he’s gonna e-mail me back and go, ‘I can’t do that,’ or, ‘That’s not a good idea,’ or, ‘I’m busy.’ And he e-mails me back and he goes, ‘Okay. Let’s do it.’ And I set it all up, made sure we had our parking right in front. And we walked in. And we were sitting in the room. Ace wasn’t there yet. Ace walks in, and I’ll tell you, man, those guys started talking like they have been… They didn’t miss a beat. They were just talking like no time has passed. And they were talking about [the early days of KISS performing at] the Coventry [club in Queens, New York], and they were talking about the Daisy [club in Amityville, New York], and it was so cool. It was really cool. And I didn’t say a word; I just listened. ‘Cause these guys were talking and just talking and talking. And it was so great, and we all had a great night. Ace sounded amazing. Ace sounded great. And me and Gene were watching on the side of the stage and we had a blast. And we just all had… It was a night I’ll never forget, and I’m so glad we did it.”

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