Marky mentions Peter Criss’s playing style at the 1:11 mark.
Chad Childers | Loudwire
Slash, Slipknot, Rob Zombie — you have some company! KISS‘ Gene Simmons is the latest rocker to dip his toes into the world of horror movies. The legendary musician revealed during an appearance on the Talk Is Jericho podcast with Chris Jericho that his latest venture includes a series of horror films.
“I have a film fund and we’re starting the first of four right away,” says Simmons. “The first one is Devil’s Triangle and it starts shooting [in] May.”
Simmons went on to tell Jericho, “I don’t like slasher things. It’s too easy to take a knife and open up a body and see guts. So what? I much prefer if it’s a psychological horror, then it’s like Psycho. If you ever see Psycho, you never actually see a knife entering a body and there are no monsters, but it’s all psychological horror cause you’re always scared to death.” Simmons also cited Insidious as one of his favorite psychological thrillers.
The rocker says he also prefers fantasy, adding his fondness for a book called Stranger in a Strange Land and the film Death Takes a Holiday about the intricacies of humanity and mortality
And speaking about the nature of humanity and mortality, Simmons discussed his own. When he dies, Simmons doesn’t see his passing as a somber occasion. “Why shouldn’t people celebrate your life than mourn your death,” says Simmons. “If you had a good life, have a party. That’s what I’ve got in my will. Forget about the tears and stuff. I’m paying for a party. Whoopee! I had a great ride.”
The rocker says he likely wouldn’t get buried in a KISS Kasket, but would probably have his ashes scattered somewhere. “I had my turn. It’s not about me. Like people had the pyramids for the pharaohs. Even after I’m gone, I want you to know that I was here,” says Simmons. “If I do have a tombstone, it’ll probably say, ‘Thank you and good night.’”
To hear more of Simmons in-depth talk with Chris Jericho, check out the Talk Is Jericho podcast from Podcast One below.
Chad Childers | Loudwire
KISS are now members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but the night did not include a performance onstage featuring original members Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss and Ace Frehley as some might have hoped. According to Stanley, that’s something that was never going to happen.
In a new interview with News.com.au, Stanley says, “I enjoyed the Hall of Fame in a twisted way. It was a terrific night but there was no way I was going to play with them. Frankly I have too much pride in what I do than to create a moment of nostalgia for someone else. To get onstage with Ace and Peter [during the induction speech] was an interesting, surreal moment but nothing I wanted to prolong. It’s like if you ever went back to an old girlfriend because you doubted your choice to leave, it only takes five minutes before you want to get back in your car and leave.”
Though the past and current members of KISS made nice on the big night, there’s still a bit of snipping on occasion about the original lineup’s reunion. But Stanley says that ship has sailed. He explains, “It was a sin to be given this amazing opportunity to pick up where we left off and go forward. Instead we picked up and just dropped it again. People can point fingers all they want, but in the end what you accomplish is the only thing that can be your alibi. I’m here today, and someone else isn’t.”
He adds, “It’s funny when a former member says, ‘Can you imagine the former tour manager [Tommy Thayer] is in the band?’ And I’d say, ‘Can you imagine a guy who made millions of dollars twice and lost it all?’ You pick the story you prefer.”
While Stanley has issues with the Rock Hall’s voting, he was happy that Tom Morello was chosen to induct the group. He recalls, “Tom went to bat like a crusader. That was his mission to get KISS in the Hall of Fame. Because they respect Tom they kind of went along with it. He plays with Bruce [Springsteen], he’s in Rage Against the Machine and he’s political so he must know something. The more Tom Morellos and Dave Grohls, the better.”
Chris Czynszak | Decibel Geek
KISS frontman Paul Stanley has visited a 4 year old girl in hospital after she underwent reconstructive surgery to her ears. Arabella Carter , who was born without external ears underwent the procedure on March.
Nick Deriso | Something Else
The promise, both fulfilled and completely missed, on Kiss’ Destroyer can be heard inside the Gene Simmons vehicle “God of Thunder.” Simmons sounds like a gaping maw, so dangerous and primordial, with a creaking groove to match — as if he’s transformed into something rising up in the night.
But here, as elsewhere on Destroyer, first-time Kiss producer Bob Ezrin is doing all this superfluous experimental garbage — sound effects, children’s voices, orchestras, whatever. “God of Thunder” ends up as a muscular but simultaneously muddy mess. The longer I listen, every time, to this song … to this whole album … the more I just want to go and dig out Alive! — the up-against-the-wall double-live concert document from the year before that conveys all of the force, and humor of Kiss in a way this often overwrought studio effort just never did.
Ezrin, and therefore Destroyer, just keeps screwing around. When it’s good, there’s fun to be had … and, especially on tough groovers like “God of Thunder,” it almost gets there. When it’s not, though, the project is weirdly disconnected, like it’s trying to sound interesting, but instead just sounds silly.
Destroyer (released on March 15, 1976) begins, for instance, with these found-object news-report snippets, straight out of Pink Floyd — with whom Bob Ezrin arguably did his best subsequent work. But this ain’t Pink Floyd. Kiss is (or it should be) too visceral for that, something Ezrin apparently had figured out by the time he returned for 1992’s Revenge.
He does OK with “Detroit Rock City” and “King of the Night Time World,” both of which are presented in a straight-forward enough way, considering their polyester-era vintage — and that Kiss was always a better live act anyway. Still, as the record continues it keeps gets more muddled. “Sweet Pain,” a vaguely troubling S&M thing, is quickly blanketed in echo. And “Beth” is the same skating-rink downer — all maudlin strings and reedy Peter Criss vocals, wrapped up with a bow of bullshit wife-beater excuses about how he just couldn’t make it home at the appointed time because of “practice.” Sure.
That said, “Flaming Youth,” with a clear assist from the dearly departed Ace Frehley, is one of the better examples of the way Kiss combined metal and classic 1970s power pop. “Shout It Out Loud” sets a party-rock template for every hair band of the subsequent decade. And “Do You Love Me,” simultaneously cocksure and needy, finds Paul Stanley aspiring to — and nearly matching — the lecherous vulnerability trademarked by Mick Jagger.
In the end though, Destroyer is sunk by its inability to let loose, maybe the weirdest charge ever leveled against Kiss. Bob Ezrin would move on to more celebrated work with Pink Floyd (The Wall, A Momentary Lapse of Reason and The Division Bell), while Kiss turned to Eddie Kramer and then Vini Poncia to regain its footing.
Just as well. You think about Pink Floyd. You jam to Kiss.
Jeff GiIles | Ultimate Classic Rock
The full-blown Kiss concert experience is big enough to require the occasional use of pre-recorded backing tracks, but that doesn’t mean the group has forgotten how to deliver an old-fashioned, stripped-down acoustic set.
The proof, as presented in fan-shot footage, presents Kiss delivering an eight-song set during the soundcheck for the March 3 Tokyo date of their recent Japanese tour.
Performed for fans who purchased VIP tickets to the show, it runs the gamut from Kiss classics like “Christine Sixteen” to an assortment of covers that included the Beatles‘ “If I Fell” and “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” (which you can watch below), Kyu Sakamoto’s “Sukiyaki” and “You Shook Me,” a Muddy Waters blues standard covered by Led Zeppelin on their 1969 debut LP (you can watch that one above).
The band’s latest tour leg coincided with the recent release of a two-song collaboration with the Japanese pop group Momoiro Clover Z, with whom Kiss appeared several times during their trip through the islands. They’re currently on a brief break from the road, scheduled to end with a series of spring dates in South America that will be followed by European shows in May and June.
The lead guitarist and driving force of KISS for 12 years from 1984 to 1996 his fretwork is all over classics like Tears Are Falling, Crazy, Crazy Nights, Unholy and God Gave Rock’n’Roll To You. A true guitarist’s guitarist, he’s worked across a myriad of genres throughout his career.
Music retailer Allans Billy Hyde have secured Kulick for a series of intimate masterclasses, with tickets at $20 and limited to 100 tickets per state.
Here’s what the man himself has to say:
“Everyone! I am so excited to return to Australia this March 2015 because 20 years ago, KISS came to play in your country. It was called ‘KISS My Ass Downunder’ and has so many memories and awesome highlights for me to share.
“The shows were filled with songs from all eras of the band, and was similar to ALIVE III, in many ways. But ‘Leon The Sphinx’ was on stage with us, and the usual huge KISS production was in full force. We hit five cities in Australia, with two shows in Melbourne. I was proud of what we accomplished and I will be digging into some of my favourite songs, discussing the work that goes into these shows, the setlist, and of course my guitar work for live performances.
“We know that playing guitar live can differ from the studio versions and there’s nothing like performing in front of your fans! So please come join me at Allans Billy Hyde. It will be wonderful reliving this tremendous tour with you all, one that I will never forget.”
The three events will take place:
Adelaide: Sunday 22 March 2pm
Allans Billy Hyde, 58 Gawler Place
Sydney: Tuesday 24 March 7.30pm
Allans Billy Hyde, 1/197 Church St, Parramatta
Melbourne: Thurs 26 March 7pm (Masterclass and launch of The Vault book)
Allans Billy Hyde, 152 Bourke St, Melbourne
Original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley spoke to Australia’s “Today” show ahead of his upcoming tour of the country. You can watch the chat at this location.
Speaking about why he chose to leave KISS the first time, Frehley said: “I quit because I started abusing substances and alcohol. And I also wasn’t agreeing with the direction of the way the band was going. You know, we had that big hit ‘I Was Made For Loving You’ and I’m more of a blues-based rock guitar player.”
He continued: “When I left, there was a sigh of relief, because I just felt like I was on a collision course with… I just thought I was gonna end up being a statistic.”
Frehley added: “By the grace of God, I’m here today, clean sober eight years, and life’s never been better.”
Asked if it’s hard staying sober, Frehley responded: “The first year or two is hard. Now it’s like… When I look at photos of me when I’m all bloated and I think about the days when I was looking at being in trouble with the law for drunk driving and all that crazy stuff… And health reasons too.”
“Space Invader”, the first new solo album from Frehley in five years, sold around 19,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 9 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD arrived in stores on August 19 via Entertainment One Music (eOne Music).
Ace‘s previous CD, “Anomaly”, opened with around 17,000 units back in September 2009 to debut at No. 27.
“Space Invader”, which was made available in Europe on August 18, 2014 (three days earlier in Germany and Scandinavia) through SPV/Steamhammer, includes 11 brand new original songs as well as a cover of Steve Miller‘s “The Joker”.
Frehley‘s touring lineup includes none other than Richie Scarlet, who rode shotgun performing rhythm guitar and vocal duties on Ace‘s “Trouble Walking” platter in 1989, and is doing so again on stage. Richie toured with Ace in 1984 and 1985 and periodically from 1989 through 1995 and was also known for touring with Sebastian Bach.
On bass and vocals is Chris Wyse from Queens, New York. Previously recording with Ozzy Osbourne and playing on Mick Jagger‘s 2001 solo album, Chris is well known as the bass player from THE CULT since 2006. Chris can also be heard on Frehley‘s new album, “Space Invader”, on select tracks. He also covers bass duties in his current band OWL.
Finally, Scot Coogan is behind the drum kit for Frehley‘s tour. Coogan played with Frehley for five years until 2012 when he left Ace‘s band to focus on other projects. He has since toured and recorded with LYNCH MOB and sat behind the kit for Lita Ford on the 2012 “Rock Of Ages” tour with DEF LEPPARD and POISON.
Read more at http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/ace-frehley-why-i-left-kiss/#XOiVTsPPUjbuX6FR.99
Are you ready to rock? Kiss is touring Down Under. Picture: AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko Source: AP
PREPARE to cure your “arocknophobia” when Kiss bring their spider tour to Australia in October.
The legendary US rock band’s tour will also see them play Newcastle for the first time.
Kiss play Perth Arena October 3, Adelaide Entertainment Centre October 6, Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne October 8, Sydney’s Allphones Arena October 10, Newcastle Entertainment Centre October 12 and Brisbane Entertainment Centre October 13.
Tickets are priced at around $98 for silver, $138 for gold and $250 for platinum and
go on sale 2pm March 26 from Ticketek.
The spider men’s schedule means they may be available to play the NRL Grand Final on October 4.
However it would require the band, and their mammoth staging, being transported to Sydney after they play their first show in Perth on October 3, a commitment which rules them out of the AFL grand final that day.
Both the AFL and NRL Grand Finals take place on the same weekend this year.
Spider web … Kiss play under their hi-tech spider. Picture: Supplied
Kiss are the masters of merchandise and monetising meet and greets.
A limited amount of $1250 VIP packages will be available for Australia, which include (painted) facetime and a photo opportunity with the band, as well as a chance to watch them perform an acoustic set minus their trademark makeup.
The packages, which have sold out immediately in the past, also include a platinum ticket, personal autograph, exclusive T-shirt, poster and official Kiss guitar picks.
The band will be supported by The Dead Daisies, featuring former members of Guns N’Roses, Motley Crue, Thin Lizzy and Whitesnake. John Corabi has replaced Jon Stevens as singer for the band for this tour.
Kiss in 2015 feature original members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, with guitarist Tommy Thayer wearing the spaceman costume made famous by Ace Frehley and drummer Eric Singer wearing Peter Criss’ catman outfit.
The band are celebrating the 40th anniversary of Stanley and Simmons meeting, the band have gone on to sell over 100 million albums and spawning hits Detroit Rock City (which the Foo Fighters covered on their Australian tour this year), I Was Made For Loving You, Love Gun, Shout It Out Loud, Rock and Roll All Night and Shandi.
KISS front man and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Gene Simmons hosts the official release party for the new book “Gene Simmons is a Powerful and Attractive Man And Other Irrefutable Facts,” on March 31 from 5 to 8 p.m. The event takes place at his Rock & Brews restaurant in El Segundo, located at 143 Main St.
Tickets to the event are $75 and will include a three-course prix fixe dinner, a signed book and a photo with Simmons.
“This book even makes me blush,” said Simmons. “It is wildly illustrated and a fun read, and I am looking forward to welcoming my friends and fans to this exclusive launch event at Rock & Brews.”
The book, written by Christina Vitagliano with a forward by Simmons, pays homage to the rock legend, showcasing more than 250 outlandish ‘facts’ about Simmons’ stage persona, love life, and more.
Vitagliano and the book’s illustrators will also be in attendance at the launch.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visitrockandbrews.com/elsegundo.
Master Blaster | Rocket News 24
As you may have noticed, KISS have recently made their way back to Japan and it’s always a treat when they do. This year we’ve already seen them make a well-received cross-genre music video with Momoiro Clover Z and release a line of skin smoothing facepacks with the Japanese cosmetic brand Isshin.
If those weren’t surprising enough, now KISS has collaborated with shodo calligrapher Ryugen Sobukawa for a limited collection of KISS-themed works each autographed by a member of the band.
Oh, and they cost a small fortune…
In total there are only 80 of these works made, but they are divided into four types based on each member of the band. First the canvas has a stylish writing of “KISS” in English next to a kanji interpretation of a character’s name.
Each of the 20 originally made works for each member was also autographed by them. Gene Simmons even did it in full make-up and costume. You know the feeling of being the only person to a “costume party” who actually wore a costume. Something tells me that’s a constant nightmare for KISS.
Each piece of art is very beautiful and blend the edginess of the rock group with the elegance of classical Japanese calligraphy perfectly. In an interesting twist, although rock is considered a new art compared to shodo, each of the artists are transposed in age. The 35-year-old Sobukawa (pictured above next to Simmons) wasn’t even alive when KISS first appeared on stage in Japan.
Okay! So I’m sure all you KISS fans are champing at the bit to get some of these limited-edition writings. The good news is they’re all ready to be ordered from Sobukawa’s website linked below!
The bad news is they cost 432,000 yen (US$3,570) a piece. Now of course the true KISS fan will need to get all four which if my abacus is correct will run you about 1,728,000 yen ($14,280). Come on, what are you waiting for? It’s not like you’re going to be buried in your KISS coffin with all your money. Might as well enjoy it.
JR Smalling, author of Back on the Streets will having a book signing event at the New Jersey KISS Expo on Friday, March 20th at the NJ KISS Mart in Ridgefield Park, NJ. Admission is FREE! Just bring your book or buy one there. Come meet JR in an intimate setting along with all the big KISS collectors of the area!
All info about the book signing is HERE at NJKISSExpo.com
Mike McPadden | VH1 Music
“Heavy” and “metal.” In a physical sense, those words apply quite literally to pinball machines and video games, but there’s also no denying the spiritual, maybe even cosmic connection between headbanging music, quarter-pumping classic arcade fun, and crashing on the couch in front of the latest home-gaming system with hard rock blasting and maybe some certain other kind of substance blazing.
On occasion, amusement manufacturers have combined hard rock aesthetics with coin-op hardware and/or at-home video games—sometimes to kickass effect, and other times to such goofy results that even those kick ass in terms of supplying metalheads with a good time.
Power up now for some continuous play with the Top 15 hard rock and heavy metal pinball machines and video games.
The same year that Kiss inundated fans with four simultaneously released solo albums along with bubblegum cards, dolls, and do-it-yourself makeup kits, the band also released a signature pinball machine.
While the other ephemera may have faded through the years (except for Ace Frehley’s solo LP; that will always rule), Kiss pinball remains one of the all-time arcade greats. For four decades now, the machine has also served as a crucial “tell” when it comes rock-and-roll bars and clubs: when you see Kiss pinball in the corner, you can rest assured you’re in a cool place.
In fact, Kiss pinball is so perfect that, despite mind-blowing forward-leaps in coin-up technology and Gene and Paul’s famous passion for cash-ins, the group has never updated the original machine, except as a PlayStation video game in 2001. That, for sure, was not quite the same.
Promising “hot licks,” “gonzo guitar,” “awesome stacks,” and overall “metal mayhem,” Heavy Metal Meltdown perfectly captures and conveys headbanger overkill circa ’87.
The back-glass depicts three wailing axe-masters—fake Jimmy Page on the left, fake Ted Nugent on the right, and fake Eddie Van Halen looming largest and loudest in the middle—while miniature fake Marshall amps piled on top blare out riffs, licks, solos, and general bombast. Ace ball manipulation lights up the letters H-E-A-V-Y and M-E-T-A-L in glorious Flying-V formation.
Heavy Metal Meltdown is the one pinball machine above all others that should be played by flipping the bumpers while keeping one’s fingers in perpetual devil-horn salute.
No force in rock-and-roll has done more for pinball than the Who, specifically by way of their landmark rock opera Tommy and its enduring anthem “Pinball Wizard”—the famous chronicle of how a “deaf, dumb, and blind kid sure plays a mean pinball!”
The 1975 movie version of Tommy inspired an unofficial machine called Wizard, the ads for which featured the movie’s female lead, Ann-Margret. More directly, Tommy spawned the 1976 Captain Fantastic pinball game, which showcased Elton John dressed in costume as the Pinball Wizard character he plays in the film.
Leaping ahead a couple of decades, the Who mounted a huge, lavish Broadway production of Tommy in 1993. A dynamic stage hit worldwide, the show also launched The Who’s Tommy: Pinball Wizard machine.
Like the theatrical production, Pinball Wizard dazzles and rocks with lights, sounds, graphics, and explosive tabletop action that’s so intense it may well leave you deaf, dumb, and blind for a spell after playing.