In a brand new interview with MichaelCavacini.com, KISS 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 [Stanley, KISS 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.