Ace Frehley On His New Album And What Went Wrong At The Rock Hall Of Fame

Ben Smith | VH1

It’s not uncommon to hear fans opine that the best Kiss album isn’t a Kiss album at all, but is actually the 1978 solo album from their extraterrestrial former-lead guitarist Ace Frehley. So it was welcome news when Ace let it be known that he was looking back to that first solo album while putting together his latest, entitled Space Invader, which came out last week. From the thick, memorable guitar riffs to the spacey artwork courtesy of Ken Kelly, who painted the cover of Kiss’ landmark Destroyer album, there’s plenty for Kiss and Ace Frehley fans to get excited about. And that’s a nice change of pace considering all the drama that surrounded past and present members when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But the affable and good-natured Bronx native remains reflective about the incident, as you’ll read below, and is excited to be taking his new album on the road. So let’s turn things over to him or as his former-bandmate Paul Stanley would say “ACE FREHLEY, LEAD GUITAR!! COME ON!!!”

VH1: What are your feeling now about the events surrounding Kiss’ induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

Ace Frehley: The rock and roll hall of fame was an exciting experience. We could’ve been inducted 15 years earlier you know, but we finally got inducted this year in April. I know there was a little controversy going on preceding the event. Originally we were asked to perform and at the last minute Paul and Gene decided they didn’t want to perform with me and Peter(founding Kiss drummer Peter Criss). Me and Peter were up for it. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was insisting that only the four original members perform and you know, Paul and Gene opted not to do it, after 40 years they couldn’t give the fans 15 minutes. Go figure. I think they’re going to regret that decision.

Tell us about your new album Space Invader.

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Ace Frehley Space Invader review

Ultimate Guitar

Sound: Ace Frehley is one of the most iconic ’70s guitar players. As the lead guitarist in KISS, he captivated audiences with his stage presence, his array of smoking and rocket-shooting Les Pauls, and to a lesser extent it seems, his guitar solos. Though many probably know him better by his character name, the Spaceman, Frehley became one of the world’s most recognizable guitar heroes. And despite his average at best musical skill, he influenced hordes of young, would-be guitar players across the world, most famously Dimebag Darrell. On a personal note, his guitar solo in the live version of “Deuce” is one of the principle reasons why I started playing. As a testament to his popularity among guitar players, his signature Les Paul model was one of the best-selling Gibson signature models in the company’s history (although the guitar was so visually stunning it may not have needed much help).

However, pretty much all of Frehley‘s fame comes from his time in KISS. His solo career has been a far less illustrious endeavor. His previous solo albums are not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but when Frehley advertises this new album by effectively saying, “It’s just as good as my 1978 solo album” (which was written while he was still in KISS), it is easy to see that, well, he is no Paul McCartney.

Considering that Ace also continues to take shots at his former band/boast about his own music and KISS seems to be doing the same, it is definitely worth comparing “Space Invader” to KISS‘ newest album “Monster.” After listening to both albums, though withAce‘s album admittedly being the fresher in my mind, I have concluded that KISS and Aceneed each other, at least from a musical standpoint.

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‘Sometimes people get divorced’: Eric Singer on wearing the classic Kiss makeup

Something Else

Through he’s long sported the makeup made famous by his predecessor, Eric Singer is careful to note that he and fellow late-comer Tommy Thayer aren’t trying to ignore what the departed Peter Criss and Ace Frehley built with Kiss. He says they’re simply trying to add to a legacy created along with remaining founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons.

“I think it’s pretty incredible what they built, what they created with those original guys,” Singer tells Nuvo. “And I’m thankful for that and I totally respect it. I think sometimes people think that somehow [we're] trying to forget what started or what created it. And believe me, nobody is trying to forget that.”

Singer also notes that this current lineup, for all of its detractors, has been together longer than any other in the complicated history of Kiss. That period of peace, Singer adds, gives him a special perspective on what came before.

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Rock solid! KISS’ signature heavy make-up remains intact as they get drenched while taking part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Ryan Smith | Mailonline

1408798716592_Image_galleryImage_NOBLESVILLE_IN_AUGUST_22_ 1408798519522_Image_galleryImage_NOBLESVILLE_IN_AUGUST_22_In their decades on the rock scene, the members of KISS have remained as famous for their black-and-white make-up as they have their music.

So when the legendary rockers became the latest stars to take part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge while performing in Indiana on Friday, all eyes were understandably on their faces.

While on-stage at Noblesville’s Klipsch Music Center as part of their 40th anniversary tour, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer halted proceedings to do their bit for charity.

Wearing their signature embellished leather bodysuits, the stars were cheered on by the capacity crowd as a crew stepped onto the stage to tip red buckets of ice water over their heads.

And, much to the delight of those watching, the rockers’ make-up remained completely unaffected as the chilly water softened their teased hairstyles and ran down their bodies.

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KISS’ Simmons, Stanley visit Toronto hospital

Dave Abel | Toronto Sun

1297594424784_ORIGINALTORONTO - KISS rock stars Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley visited Mount Sinai Hospital’s Mothers and Babies unit Wednesday in support of the hospital’s fundraising event Rock N’ Stroll, which is taking place this fall.

The fundraising initiative supports high-risk births at the hospital. Two-thirds of the 7,000 babies born at Mount Sinai are considered high risk, more than any other GTA hospital.


Kiss drummer Peter Criss visits the FoodBank

Chris Jordan | Asbury Park Press

Sammy Steinlight

Sammy Steinlight

NEPTUNE – When Peter Criss, founding drummer of the band Kiss, visited the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties in Neptune Monday, his world was rocked.

“I never knew anything like this existed in America,” Criss said. “You’re always thinking hunger is a Third World problem. We’re Americans; we’re fat; everyone looks pretty heavy to me.”

Criss, along with Q104.3-FM radio host Shelli Sonstein, visited the food bank in their roles as chairpersons of the WindMill restaurant’s summerlong 10,000 Hot Dogs anti-hunger campaign.

“These people are doing amazing stuff and my brain hurts from seeing so much of the good things going on, and I can’t believe so many people are not eating and have no food,” said Criss, a longtime Wall resident who recently was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with his fellow Kiss members. “It’s ludicrous and it’s sad. After today I’ve realized how much I’ve taken things for granted.”

The food bank annually distributes more than 9 million pounds of food to more than 260 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and more. Other roles include a culinary training program, senior food programs and a mobile food pantry.

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Kiss Guitarist Ace Frehley on Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons: “Maybe You Should Focus on Your Records a Little More”

Christa Titus | The Hollywood Reporter

ace-frehley-space-invader-inside-300x300Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley has released his first solo album in five years, and by the sound of Space Invader the axeman seems to have had as much fun playing on it as — gasp — his early years in Kiss. From the opening title track to the instrumental closer, “Starship,” where Frehley signs off with his famous cackle, Space Invader offers a classic journey through Space Ace territory: lots of groove, cheerful rock’n’roll ’tude and fiery licks.

Among the surprises on his new album: a cover of Steve Miller Band’s “The Joker,” which, Frehley says, he’s “real happy” with. “I heavied it up and threw in the guitar solo and gave it a ‘New York Groove’ kind of swing in the rhythm track.”Could it be a preamble to more covers? Indeed, eOne Music suggested a covers project, which may include a rerecording of “New York Groove,” the cover of the Hello song he did for his 1978 solo album.

Read on for Frehley’s thoughts on Space Invader, his former bandmates Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley and what could have been an unforgettable meeting with the late late Robin Williams — if only he could remember it.

The feedback on Space Invader“Some of the reviews have been so over the top, some think that I paid people to write the music. [Laughs] But you know, the jury’s out. As far as I’m concerned, none of that means anything until the fans tell me what they think, because it’s for the fans. I try to make records that my fans want to hear. My last album, Anomaly, most of my fans like that record, but some of the complaints was it wasn’t heavy enough, I should have played more guitar, so when it came time to do Space Invader I kept that in mind.”

The album’s energetic vibe: ”I was in a really good place [when I made it], and I’m glad that comes through with the music. A couple of the reviews have said that it sounds like I’m having a lot of fun, and the truth is, I was. I had 10 months to do it. I was working in a friend of mine’s studio up in Turlock, Calif., inside a farming community. This guy’s like a billionaire, he’s got his private studio that he rents out from time to time but he gave me carte blanche, and we had a ball working there without any pressure, without having to look at the clock.”

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Talking Metal Episode 486 – Ace Frehley Special

John, Ace and Mark at Gibson in NYC on 8/13/14

Listen here: Talking Metal #486

On this episode of the podcast Mark Strigl interviews Ace Frehley.  Topics include his new album ‘Space Invader’, the lineup of his current band, the upcoming tour, Gibson guitars, his recent conversation with Gene Simmons, jamming with the Tonight Show band and Four by Fate.

The interview with Ace starts about 11 mins into the episode.

During the interview, when asked if he has spoken to any of the original members of Kiss since the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame induction early this year Ace says “I spoke with Gene.  I called him up and we were reminiscing about old times.  The press makes it out like we all hate each other and that is utter nonsense.  We all get along and we all have respect for each other.  We all take cheap shots at each other in the press because that is what the press want to hear but when push comes to shove we are brothers in Rock n Roll and we have achieved something very few people do.”

Other non-interview topics discussed by Strigl and Ostronomy include Michael Butler, Eddie Trunk, Exodus, VH1’s That Metal Show, Heavy Montreal, Ozzy Osbourne and Ace’s current press tour.

Buy Ace Frehley’s “Space Invader” on Amazon now featuring the song “Gimmie A Feelin” which was co-written by Talking Metal’s own John “Ostronomy” Ostrosky.

Support Talking Metal!!!!  Buy a TM t-shirt in the Merch section, use the Paypal tab to make a donation, OR use this link to make a purchase on Amazon.

One on One podcast episode 39 – Bruce Kulick

Mitch Lafon

d5bc9761aa7aa32e57f7e5aaf0fa4002In episode 39 of One On One with Mitch Lafon. Mitch talks to former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick about the Rock For Ruben benefit taking place in Los Angeles on August 20th. Bruce also reflects on the late Eric Carr and the recent passing of guitarist Dick Wagner. Follow Bruce Kulick on Twitter: @brucekulick 

Four by Fate with John Regan and Todd Howarth of Frehley’s Comet – Live video from Belgium

Brave Worlds

FourByFate818Four By Fate, featuring Frehley’s Comet vocalist/guitarist Tod Howarth, bassist John Regan (Frehley’s Comet, Peter Frampton), drummer Stet Howland (W.A.S.P., Lita Ford) and guitarist Sean Kelly (Crash Kelly, Helix) performed at the Alcatrazz Festival in Belgium on August 9th. Fan-filmed video, courtesy of LadyLexje, of the songs “Into The Night” and “Time Ain’t Running Out” can be seen below.

In other news, FxF are “Happy to announce that studio time has been confirmed for September 16th…whereby Four By Fate will confer, converse, and otherwise hobnob for about a week, whilst creating mirth, mayhem, and some serious new music! Thanks to everyone for your patience, and support… like a great meal, great music takes time! We’re gonna rock like a big dog!”

GTV: Gene Simmons of KISS

Gene Simmons is a tough signer — hardly signs at all, really — but that doesn’t stop Gio from breaking him down on the streets of NYC while Gene is live in the flesh on GTV! Persistence pays off!

Rig Rundown: KISS

John Bohlinger | Premier Guitar

Not many bands can claim as much influence on today’s hard rock and metal scene as the makeup-wearing, blood-spitting, pyro-shooting foursome. PG caught up with current guitarist Tommy Thayer, along with Francis and Michael Berger, to dig into all the axes (in some cases, literally), effects, and amps that the band brought out on their 2014 tour with Def Leppard.

Tommy Thayer is a longtime Les Paul man and brings several on the road with him. A Custom Shop ’59 Standard with Seymour Duncan JB pickups sees most of the action.

Gibson had just delivered a new white Les Paul Custom that could see some
considerable onstage time.

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