KISS Drummer ERIC SINGER: I’ve Never Once Been Told To Sing, Play And Act Like PETER CRISS

Blabbermouth

ericsingersolo2010_638In a brand new interview with MichaelCavacini.comKISS drummer Eric Singer spoke about what it was like coming back to the band as the replacement for Peter Criss during the “farewell tour.” He said: “At that point, I was still playing with Alice Cooper. When they did the reunion tour, I didn’t have much contact with anyone in the band for a while. It was hugely successful, and I was back playing with Alice Cooper. Then Paul [StanleyKISS guitarist/vocalist] called me up and told me that they wanted me to come tour with them in Australia and Japan. He told me they were making a change because things weren’t working out with Peter. I was actually out of the country when I got the call. My lawyer contacted me, saying KISS reached out to him and that they wanted me in the band. I didn’t know what was going on at the time regarding the makeup. My lawyer said, ‘They’re going to have you wear makeup, but they’re not sure what they’re going to do yet.’ By the time I got back, they decided they wanted me to wear the Catman makeup.”

He continued: “I was back in the band for a little over a year, and then Ace [Frehley, original KISS guitarist] decided he didn’t want to be in the band. He was becoming less and less reliable. Every time we tried to do something, it would become difficult because we wouldn’t know if he’d make it or not. One minute he’d say, ‘Yes.’ Then the next minute he’d say, ‘No.’

“I remember that summer, the summer of 2001, when I first came back, our manager booked a European tour three times and had to cancel it each time. The reason why is because Ace would commit to it and then change his mind.”

Singer added: “Just so I’m clear, the band did everything in their power to keep Ace in KISS. But he’s the one that made it more and more difficult. And eventually, we did a show, a private party, and Ace didn’t want to show up in L.A. to do rehearsals. We had already committed to doing the show, so we had Tommy Thayer step in and do the show. And that was it. From that point on, Tommy was the guitar player.”

Eric also talked about the fact that some KISS fans still can’t accept him and Tommy Thayer as members of the band because they are wearing the classic makeup that Ace and Peter used to wear.

“If a band can’t continue on because somebody quits, can’t play anymore, whatever the reason is, that shouldn’t prevent the remaining members from continuing on if that’s what they want to do,” Eric said. “STYX is a good example. I’m really good friends with Ricky Phillips, their bass player. I saw STYX in their heyday back in the ’70s, but I think they’re every bit as good now, if not better. The same thing applies to FOREIGNER. They’re another great band that no longer features all of the classic or original members, but they sound fantastic. To me, that’s what it’s all about. As long as the members of the band are doing the music justice and paying respect to its origins, then I’m fine with it. That’s what it’s all about. If a band gets new members and they aren’t very good, then you have the right to complain.”

He continued: “The way people look at the makeup situation is interesting to me. I don’t play any different in makeup than I do out of makeup, yet people perceive that there is a difference. I do have a more toned-down approach than I did when I first joined the band, but that’s because I believe that’s what the music dictates and needs.”

Eric went on to say: “I’ve heard people say that I was told to sing, play and act like Peter Criss. That’s completely ridiculous. I’ve never once been told to do that. Never. So, when people say that, it’s totally ridiculous. Look at any of the shows I’ve done since being in the band after Peter. I don’t play anything like Peter Criss.”

Read the entire interview at MichaelCavacini.com.

 

Gene Simmons has songs for the new KISS album! More details revelaed

Sherylyn Toda | Franchise Herald

Is a new KISS album finally in the works?

Bassist Gene Simmons is reportedly writing new songs that could help the American rock band work on a new album.

In an interview with Loud Wire the veteran musician shared that KISS will definitely move forward once they have enough materials for the new album.

“Paul may think there’s not going to be another record; I suspect there will be,” Simmons said. “We never force the issue. There is no one to answer to except our own gut. I recently wrote a song called ‘Your Wish is My Command’ and it feels like KISS. It came out pretty easy. When there’s enough material, we’ll look at each other and say, ‘You wanna?’”

Moreover, the 65-year-old artist also told Press Entertainment that this will be the perfect time for the band to work on a new album.

Apparently, this time the band is not forced to write or complete songs because of a binding contract, instead they could just do so in their own free will.

“There has to be a purpose to us doing an album,” the KISS singer said. “There was a time when we did albums because the contracts said so. But I only want to work now when it’s justified. Sonic Boom was an album that was very much needed to be done and Monster just felt like, ‘Well, we did Sonic Boom – let’s see where we go from here.’”

“Having accomplished that, I feel we can move forward without new music. There are enough things going on in KISS that right now it doesn’t feel utterly necessary to make a new album.”

While things are presumably looking good for KISS as they talk about working on a new album, a release date has yet to be set.

 

KISS’s Gene Simmons critiques Lam of God’s ’512′

Chad Childers | Loudwire

Gene-Simmons-Lamb-of-God-630x420It happens to most music lovers at some point in their life. You love what you grew up with but with age you don’t necessarily always relate to what the younger generation is laying down.

In a new piece with Rolling Stone, iconic KISS bassist Gene Simmons was asked to critique a couple of songs, among them the new Lamb of God track “512.” Simmons offered a mixed review on the song.

“Lamb are a solid bunch of musicians — capable and bombastic,” started Simmons. “But while I like the backing track here, I must confess this type of vocal styling — what would happen if a werewolf tried singing? — just ain’t my thing. Not that I’m claiming I can sing, mind you.”

Simmons goes on to add, “Personally, I’d be curious what this fine backing track would sound like with a decent melody and with Dave Grohl‘s vocals.”

The review is an interesting one given that Lamb of God have varied things up a little on their VII: Sturm und Drang disc. While “512″ features Randy Blythe‘s heavy and rough vocals, a song like “Overlord” finds the vocalist venturing into more melodic territory with more singing than screaming, at least until the end of the track.

It is not known if Simmons was exposed to Lamb of God’s full album or just the “512″ song, but it might be interesting to get his reaction to hearing “Overlord.”

Lamb of God’s VII: Sturm und Drang is currently available at this location. Catch the band on the road at these stops.

 

Gene Simmons and Johnny Depp lead an all-starband through KISS classics for charity

Jeff Giles | Ultimate Classic Rock

Fresh off collaborating on a new album with Alice Cooper and Joe Perry, Johnny Depp has been spotted rocking out with Gene Simmons — and for a good cause, too.

As you can see in the above and below footage filmed by an audience member, Depp and Simmons led an all-star pickup band (other participants at the show included Gilby Clarke and the members of Extreme) at the Lucky Strike bowling alley in Los Angeles on Aug. 16, performing what Simmons deemed “loosey-goosey” renditions of the Kiss classics “Deuce” and “Rock and Roll All Nite.”

The event, as Simmons explained to Billboard, was designed to help raise money for Mending Kids, a charity whose mission statement includes helping provide “life-changing surgical care to children worldwide” to children who have “congenital heart defects, orthopedic abnormalities, severe scoliosis and significant cranial facial deformities.”

“Mending Kids does great work,” said Simmons. “All the funding comes in from contributions, and MendingKids.org sends doctors, on their dime, around the world to provide free operations to children with physical deformities, facial, spinal, anything, where otherwise they would have a life of pain and suffering and perhaps death. … Everybody’s gonna jump up and jam. Johnny will play a few songs, I’ll play a few songs, a few other knuckleheads will jump up, and all the proceeds go to MendingKids.org to provide children with operations that they would normally never have.”

Although Simmons and the other members of Kiss are probably better known for making money than donating it, Simmons has done a lot of work for Mending Kids in the past; as he went on to explain, children are his “soft spot,” partly because he still remembers his own poverty-stricken youth in Israel — and how much it meant when he received a charity care package.

“Six months after the country became independent, I was born. And so in the beginning, there was very little infrastructure,” he recalled. “And one day a care package showed up and there were cans of peaches and a Bugs Bunny book, not a comic book. I still remember it: Bugs Bunny is going over the hill and he’s being hunted by Elmer Fudd and all that. Of course, I couldn’t read English at the time and there was a torn sweater. And when that care package came in, all of a sudden I had the sense that somebody cared, and it started there.”

Ace Frehley takes part in all-star jam Cathouse live at Irvine Meadows

Blabbermouth

Ace Frehley (KISS), Sebastian Bach (SKID ROW), Gilby Clarke (GUNS N’ ROSES), Evan Seinfeld (BIOHAZARD), Michael Starr (STEEL PANTHER), Nuno Bettencourt (EXTREME) and Phil Lewis (L.A. GUNS) are among the musicians who took part in an all-star jam at last night’s (Saturday, August 15) Cathouse Live At Irvine Meadows festival at Irvine Meadows Amphitheater (recently known as Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre) in Irvine, California. Fan-filmed video footage of the performance can be seen below.

Riki Rachtman created the original rock dance club that dominated the Hollywood scene from 1986 until 1993. Now, along with Live Nation and Synergy Global Entertainment (SGE), he brought Cathouse Live to a much larger audience with this decadent music and lifestyle festival.

Said Rachtman: “I recently started a Cathouse Hollywood Facebook page and everyone was asking, ‘Why don’t you do another Cathouse?’ I loved the idea and mentioned it on Twitter. So many bands told me that they wanted to be a part of it that I knew that I had to bring it back on a much larger scale. It was too big for a club, so we decided to do a festival.”

The original Hollywood Cathouse was known for its edgy, underground, dirty rock ‘n’ roll vibe that was rooted in punk. It reeked of raunch and pure decadence. Patrons would freely indulge. The DJ played rock ‘n’ roll between unannounced performances from bands like GUNS N’ ROSES (Cathouse regulars who performed live at the club in 1986 just before their debut record was released), Sebastian BachStephen PearcyL.A. GUNSFASTER PUSSYCATJUNKYARDJETBOYBANG TANGOSAIGON KICKBLACK ‘N BLUELITTLE CAESAR, and many more. GUNS N’ ROSES‘ video for “It’s So Easy” was shot at the Cathouse, and Alice Cooper played the club one Halloween.

When Ice-T was banned from every Los Angeles club, Riki invited the rapper’s band BODY COUNT to play Cathouse.

“It wouldn’t be uncommon to see GUNS N’ ROSES one week and ALICE IN CHAINS the next — so many bands played before they were huge,” said Rachtman. “It was also the kind of place where you’d find Robert Downey Jr. rubbing elbows with AEROSMITH‘s Steven Tyler.”

 

Bob Kulick on feedback from KISS during Alive II recordings – It doesn’t sound like Ace enough”; audio

Mitch Lafon | Brave Words

SONY DSCIn episode #141 of One On One With Mitch Lafon, guitarist and producer Bob Kulick sits down with Mitch to discuss his new book, upcoming EP, working as a ghost musician on KISS’ Alive II and Killers albums, the making of the Paul Stanley’s 1978 solo album, touring with Alice Cooper, the 1989 Paul Stanley solo tour, Balance, Meat Loaf, Motörhead, his brother Bruce Kulick and much much more.

Drummer Allan Schwartzberg co-hosts this episode. Allan is best known to KISS fans for having ‘ghost’ drummed on KISS’ The Elder, Animalize and Asylum albums as well as credited performances on the Gene Simmons and Peter Criss solo albums of 1978. He’s also appeared, both credited and uncredited, on multiple Alice Cooper albums.

KISS’s Gene Simmons on giving back & why he’s ‘thinking of buying the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’

Steve Baltin | Billboard

Gene SimmonsOutspoken Kiss icon Gene Simmons is a journalist’s dream, always good for colorful quotes on a variety of subjects. Like when the subject turns to Kiss’ place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Simmons questions why acts like Madonnaand Donna Summer are in there. And he wonders: “When is Led Zeppelin going to be in the Hip-Hop Hall of Fame?”

But Simmons has a softer side as he talks about his many philanthropic endeavors. He’ll be participating in two charity events. The first is Aug. 16 at Lucky Strike in Hollywood, where he and Johnny Depp will bowl and lead an all-star jam that also includes Gilby Clarke, Nuno Bettencourt and more to raise funds for Mending Kids, an organization that raises money to send doctors around the world to perform operations on kids in need. The second event will take place Aug. 18, where Simmons will be interviewed at the Grammy Museum following stand-up sets by the likes of Bill Burr and Jim Jefferies as part of Comedy Rocks. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Sophie’s Place, a charity set up by his daughter Sophie Simmons, which also benefits children.

Simmons spoke to Billboard about the importance of giving back, as well as his plans for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Tell us about the event Sunday.

Mending Kids does great work. All the funding comes in from contributions, andMendingKids.org sends doctors, on their dime, around the world to provide free operations to children with physical deformities, facial, spinal, anything, where otherwise they would have a life of pain and suffering and perhaps death. So Johnny Depp and I are gonna bowl August 16 at Lucky Strike in Hollywood, so people should go get their tickets. Space is limited, it’s not one of those huge events, so there’ll be high-end people and a rock band, everybody’s gonna jump up and jam. Johnny will play a few songs, I’ll play a few songs, a few other knuckleheads will jump up, and all the proceeds go to MendingKids.org to provide children with operations that they would normally never have.

Have you ever jammed with Johnny before?

No. We’ve met and chatted some, but never been onstage with him.

Are there covers you’d be particularly excited to do with him?

We have no idea. We’re just gonna do it loosey-goosey — which is not a bad name for a band, not a good name come to think of it. But you get up there and just let it roll. There’ll be a good bunch of musicians; it’s gonna be a good night. But anything you do too slick doesn’t come off heartfelt. It’s less about the show and the celebrities and more about the good and what we’re all trying to do for kids.

How did you first ever get involved with the organization?

A few years ago, I was introduced to Mending Kids by a friend. It started off as business, and then the more I looked into it, the more I saw these are legitimate doctors who contribute their time and effort and they try to raise funds.

You did a benefit for them at House of Blues with Kiss and Tom Jones as well.

I put the deal together, negotiated with the House of Blues to give us the space for free, I booked Arsenio Hall and Tom Jones and the guys in Kiss contributed their time. I called Penn Jillette, who hosted the evening, and I called Mark Cuban to broadcast the event on AXS. It was a big night, raised a lot of money, and then as we all do, we get busy with the rest of our lives. Then Mending Kids called me about a month back and said, “Look, we’re having this event, can you please promote it?” They said they have Johnny Depp. I said, “That’s all you need, but I’ll be happy to step up and I’ll bowl and you can auction me off and we’ll jam and do all that.”

What do you look for in charities you work with?

The most important thing is that most of the money goes to help make a difference. There are large organizations that cost a lot of money for offices and staff, I tend not to get involved with those because enough of the money goes to buy people cars and pay office rent and stuff like that. They’re well-meaning, but they’re expensive. The lean, mean organizations that don’t have a high overhead means that more of the money gets to help people. Children are my soft spot, actually.

Continue reading HERE…

 

KISS fan thinks she meets Gene Simmons, only to learn he’s an imposter

NY Daily News

A young fan was thrilled when she thought she had met Gene Simmons — until the rocker himself had to break the news she had been duped.

A fan named Stefanie tweeted the KISS front man Sunday to thank him for posing with a young girl, presumably her daughter.

“.@genesimmons Thank you. You made her day,” she wrote.

simmons10f-2-web

 

Alas, the 65-year-old star had to inform her that the guy in the red shirt and long, dark hair wasn’t actually him.

“So sorry, but that’s not me,” hetweeted back.

“There are a number of people going around impersonating me. Apologies.”

After the rock star responded, the photo was quickly deleted.

But that didn’t stop Simmons’ other fans from making jokes about the Simmons wannabe.

“Not sure what’s worse,” one person tweeted the rock star. “Dude thinking he looks like gene or the poor fan actually believing that was gene.”

KISS To Release A New Album? Gene Simmons Reveals New Song That Is “Perfect For The Band’

Lorenzo Soliman | Kpop Starz

Theo Wargo

Theo Wargo

While Gene Simmons is working on a new album for himself, it has been hinted that there may be songs good for KISS as well, insinuating a comeback for the face paint-wearing band.

According to a Loud Wire report, Simmons reportedly has been writing a few songs, which he believes could work well with KISS.

In the report, the bassist claimed how he thinks the band is ready for another release, which he thinks would happen if there would be enough materials for the group.

“Paul may think there’s not going to be another record; I suspect there will be,” Simmons said. “We never force the issue. There is no one to answer to except our own gut. I recently wrote a song called ‘Your Wish is My Command’ and it feels like KISS. It came out pretty easy. When there’s enough material, we’ll look at each other and say, ‘You wanna?’”

Simmons further talked about creating a new album for KISS in a recent Press Entertainment report. The member claimed how they now feel like writing a record on their own rather than following a contract, which would usually force them to write songs.

“There has to be a purpose to us doing an album,” he reportedly said a few months back. “There was a time when we did albums because the contracts said so. But I only want to work now when it’s justified. Sonic Boom was an album that was very much needed to be done and Monster just felt like, ‘Well, we did Sonic Boom – let’s see where we go from here.’”

“Having accomplished that, I feel we can move forward without new music. There are enough things going on in KISS that right now it doesn’t feel utterly necessary to make a new album.”

Paul Stanley’s ‘Soul Station’ Schedules September Concert

Jeff Giles | Ultimate Classic Rock

Paul-Stanley1-630x420Kiss co-founder Paul Stanley is using his next bit of downtime from the band to focus on a very different musical project.

On Sept. 11, Stanley presents the live debut of Soul Station, an 11-piece group that’s being billed as his musical “coalition,” at the Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles. Promising “a gathering of some of today’s leading musicians paying tribute to an era of great soul music,” the show starts ticket sales today at 3PM ET, according to the Roxy’s official site.

Aside from Stanley and Kiss drummer Eric Singer, Soul Station’s lineup is rounded out by guitarist Rafael “Hoffa” Moreira, bassist Sean Hurley, keyboard players Alex Alessandroni and Ely Rise, percussionist Ramon Yslas and backing vocalists Nelson Beato, Crystal Starr and Ayana Layli.

Kiss fans interested in attending the gig should know up front that it’ll present a decidedly different side of Stanley’s musical persona — right down to what you can expect to see him doing onstage. “I don’t play guitar in the band and we don’t do a single Kiss song. That’s not what this is about,” he points out in a press release. “It’s magical to hear those songs played right and we’re making magic.”

To make that magic, Stanley says he’s heading back to the music that inspired him in his youth. “We’re living in a time of being fed canned pre-programmed backing tracks and lip syncing in place of the electricity and passion of real live R&B,” he explains. “When I was a boy, before I ever saw the Who or Led Zeppelin, I saw Solomon Burke and Otis Redding. I saw the Temptations and all that music is part of the foundation of the music I’ve made. Soul Station is my chance to celebrate it for a night that’s real, live and faithfully recreates the sound with the respect it deserves. Whether it’s the Stylistics, the Dramatics, the Temptations, Smokey [Robinson] and the Miracles, Blue Magic and on, these songs, arrangements and sound just blow you away.”

 

Paul Stanley Is Now a Singer in a Soul Music Cover Band

Rolling Stone | Kory Grow

720x405-GettyImages-150568415This fall, Kiss singer-guitarist Paul Stanley will begin a surprising new gig: soul singer. His new side group, Soul Station, which plays a mix of Sixties and Seventies soul classics, will perform its first-ever concert at Los Angeles’ Roxy Theatre on September 11th. “I don’t play guitar in the band and we don’t do a single Kiss song,” Stanley said in a statement. “That’s not what this is about.”

The Kiss vocalist’s nine-person Soul Station backing band consists of musicians who have played with artists ranging from Christina Aguilera to Bobby Brown. Its drummer, Eric Singer, also plays with Stanley in Kiss. The group will play a mix of songs by the Stylistics, Dramatics, Temptations, Smokey and the Miracles and Blue Magic, among others. Their repertoire includes the Miracles’ “Ooo Baby Baby,” the Temptations’ “Just My Imagination” and the Stylistics’ “You Are My Everything.”

“We’re living in a time of being fed canned pre-programmed backing tracks and lip syncing in place of the electricity and passion of real live R&B,” Stanley said. “When I was a boy, before I ever saw the Who or Led Zeppelin, I saw Solomon Burke and Otis Redding. I saw the Temptations and all that music is part of the foundation of the music I’ve made. Soul Station is my chance to celebrate it for a night that’s real, live and faithfully recreates the sound with the respect it deserves…. These songs, arrangements and sound just blow you away.”

In the meantime, Kiss remain as active as ever. After Stanley’s Soul Station gig, the band will play a run of shows in Australia and New Zealand in October.

In other Kiss news, the group recently partnered with the makers of Scooby-Doo for a new feature-length cartoon, and the band was honored by songwriting-royalties organization ASCAP with a “Founders Award” at a gala where Dave Grohl called them his childhood superheroes. The band’s singer-bassist, Gene Simmons, has also launched a film venture with WWE studios, which will make “elevated horror movies.”

 

Paul Stanley of Kiss launches R&B cover band

George Varga | San Diego Union-Tribune

Kiss singer and guitarist Paul Stanley covered a lot of ground in his 2014 autobiography, “Face the Music: A Life Exposed,” including his disclosure that he was born without a right ear. But he didn’t drop a single hint to even suggest he was yearning to front a new band that will focus entirely on classic soul and R&B songs from the 1960s and ’70s.

That, however, is precisely what Stanley, 63 will do next month at the Roxy Theatre in Hollywood. On Tuesday, the veteran rocker announced the official launch of Soul Station, a 10-piece music “coalition” that will makes it debut at the Roxy on Sept. 11 and features longtime Kiss drummer Eric Singer. Stanley will dispense with his usual guitar duties to focus exclusively on singing.

“We’re living in a time of being fed canned pre-programmed backing tracks and lip syncing in place of the electricity and passion of real live R&B,” Stanley said in a statement released Tuesday.

“When I was a boy, before I ever saw The Who or Led Zeppelin, I saw Solomon Burke and Otis Redding. I saw The Temptations and all that music is part of the foundation of the music I’ve made. Soul Station is my chance to celebrate it for a night that’s real, live and faithfully recreates the sound with the respect it deserves. Whether it’s The Stylistics, The Dramatics, The Temptations, Smokey (Robinson)and The Miracles, Blue Magic and (so) on, these songs, arrangements and sound just blow you away.”

Since Stanley is not a jazz fan, it seems unlikely he named “Soul Station” after the classic 1960 album by sax great Hank Mobley. There are currently at least four other bands called Soul Station, including one in Italy, one in England, one in Australia and another in France.

As of this point, Stanley has announced no other shows with his Soul Station and no plans to record. He will rejoin Kiss for an October tour of Australia and New Zealand.

Will Stanley mix “Strutter,” “Shout It Out Loud,” “Rock and Roll All Nite” or any other Kiss favorites into Soul Station’s concert repertoire, which will reportedly include covers of The Temptations’ “Just My Imagination, The Miracles’ “Ooo Baby Baby” and The Stylistics’ “You Are My Everything?”

In a word, no.

“I don’t play guitar in the band and we don’t do a single Kiss song,” he said. “That’s not what this is about. It’s magical to hear those songs played right and we’re making magic.”

To aid him in his quest to create magic, Stanley will be assisted by a group of “legendary band members.” The lineup includes Rafael “Hoffa” Moreira (guitar & backing vocals), Sean Hurley (bass), Alex Alessandroni (keyboards), Ely Rise (keyboards), Eric Singer (drums & backing vocals), Ramon Yslas (percussion), Nelson Beato (backing vocals), Crystal Starr (backing vocals) and Ayana Layli (backing vocals).

Apart from Kiss drummer Singer, none of Soul Station’s members qualify as legends, in any conventional sense of the word, although most of them have solid resumes. No fewer than five of the nine musicians have performed on “American Idol” or “The Voice,” although not as contestants.

Tickets, priced at $69.50 each, are now on sale for Soul Station’s Sept. 11 Roxy Theatre performance. There is, apparently no significance to the date of their show.

Slash and Ace Frehley collaborate to cover Thin Lizzy

RTT News

EN_00941598_0013Slash and KISS guitarist Ace Frehley have reportedly recorded a new version of a Thin Lizzytrack. The track will be included on Ace’s new covers album and Slash broke news of the recording session in a recent post to Twitter.

“Had a really fun, live session with Ace Frehley last night, jamming on a Thin Lizzy tune for his new covers album,” he said via Twitter. “Good times.”

Ace also revealed that he plans to sing lead on the release so that fans can get a feel for his singing voice.

“On Kiss records I’m not singing lead. So I’m going to sing lead on them like I do live so there’s (studio tracks) out there with me.”