Matthew Wilken | Ultimate Classic Rock
“I was on a downward spiral and really needed to get away from the whole music business, and try and get a grasp on reality and take a step back,” Frehley told the San Diego Union Tribute when looking back on his 1982 departure from his former group. “I’d really lost my identity, being ‘The Spaceman’ in Kiss for so long. I needed time to be away from that character and the whole crazy world of touring.”
A couple of years later, Frehley began to get a solo band together and perform in the New York City area. “He had been doing live shows, selling out two-night stands at L’Amour in Brooklyn,” radio host Eddie Trunk, who at the time was working at Megaforce records, tells Ultimate Classic Rock. “So, he was out there but nobody had really had many dealings with him. A lot of people hadn’t even seen him without his makeup yet.”
“Every time I bumped into a fan, the first thing out of their mouth was, ‘When are you going to come out with your own record?’” Frehley tells Ultimate Classic Rock. But major internal and external changes had taken place during the half-decade the guitar hero was out of the public eye.
In Kiss, Frehley was hidden behind the band’s trademark makeup and served as the George Harrison of Kiss, ceding a majority of the songwriting, lead vocal, promotional and concert-frontman duties to Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons. Now, not only was he revealing his real face to the world as the leader of his own group, he was returning to a hard-rock musical landscape overrun with hairspray and keyboards.
Jody Havenot | Podcast Rock City
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.
Matthew Wilkening | Ultimate Classic Rock
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.
We’d forgotten about this short film and thought this would be a good time to take a look at it again.
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
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.
The KISS Room
The Indianapolis KISS Expo is April 15, 2017 at the Wyndham Indianapolis West Hotel. Special guest include Eric Singer, Bruce Kulick, Bob Kulick and wall to wall KISS merchandise!