Saturday, November 28, 2009

Even The Critics Love Today's KISS!

Say what you will about KISS, but even after all these years, the face-painted foursome is still provocative.

This year, the band launched a first-ever fan-routed tour and released "Sonic Boom," its first album in 11 years (which entered the pop charts at No. 2, a career high for KISS).

If you ask Paul Stanley, KISS' co-leader, the band is KISS at its best- with co-leader Gene Simmons at his side, as well as recent additions Tommy Thayer (guitar) and Eric Singer (drums).

We talked to Stanley about the fan-routed tour, its new album and why critics and multi-generations seem to love KISS these days.

I know you guys are a little more than halfway done with the tour; how do you feel it's gone so far?

In terms of worldwide, it's the biggest and most successful tour we've ever done. It's been not only a great show in terms of turnout and response from the audience, but I've never seen so many great reviews. You have to remember we're a band that's always been loved by the public and hated by most critics. All of the sudden, either those critics are out a job, or they've had a change of heart, because it's suspicious to see so many over-the-top reviews.

Along those lines, I've seen pictures on your Web site of little kids and families at your concerts. Thirty years ago, that wasn't the image people had of KISS.

KISS has always been about writing our own book as to who we are and what we are. It usually doesn�t follow what other bands are doing. At this point, we are so multigenerational and proud of it. We do have new fans, meaning teens and 20s, but we also have older fans with their kids. For many people, KISS has always been the soundtrack to their lives, so it�' passing something along to their kids. I couldn't be more proud of the band and what we mean to so many different people.

Where does that dedication come from? What is it about the band that inspires that in people?

I think it's the idea of being the underdog who always manages to win. We've had a career of doing things our way in the face of every known obstacle and we do more than survive, we thrive.

If you were going to create "the perfect KISS," which past or present members would be in the lineup?

They're in. This is the best KISS ever. Because this is a KISS where you've got four unique personalities, but you've got four people who are all dedicated to the idea of trying to make the band more famous, rather than trying to figure out how to have the band make them more famous. You only have to come see the band to know that this is as good as it gets.