Wednesday, September 30, 2009

New Sonic Boom Web Page Launches

New Sonic Boom Web Page Launches

Tickets For Ace Frehley German And English Shows On Sale Tomorrow

Tickets For Ace Frehley German And English Shows On Sale Tomorrow

Tickets for all German and English shows can be ordered HERE. Pre-sale starts at 10 am.

Tour Dates:
29.11.2009: Drammen, Norway
30.11.2009: Stockholm (Debaser), Sweden
02.12.2009: Helsinki (Nosturi), Finland
04.12.2009: Malmö (Kulturbolaget - KB), Sweden
06.12.2009: Gothenburg (Trädgårn), Sweden
08.12.2009: Hamburg (Grosse Freiheit)
09.12.2009: Zeche (Bochum)
11.12.2009: Berlin (Huxleys)
12.12.2009: Frankfurt (Batschkapp)
13.12.2009: München (Tonhalle)
15.12.2009: Luzern (Schüür), Switzerland
16.12.2009: Rijssen (Lucky), Holland
17.12.2009: London (O2 Shepherds Bush Empire), England

The Stop Smiling Interview with Ace Frehley

The Stop Smiling Interview with Ace Frehley

Ace Frehley is as iconic a fixture of the 1970s as Star Wars and Studio 54. With his towering silver moon boots, smoking guitar, and metallic greasepaint, the original lead guitarist of KISS has global, if not galactic image recognition. The Space Man helped launch KISS into the stratosphere of popularity with his walls of bar-chords and guitar solos that eschewed all-that Malmsteenian noodling and, instead, went for a more memorable, less-is-so-much-fucking-more, pentatonic-scale magic.

Ace Frehley was always the true musician in KISS, and the fans knew it. He also had, quite arguably, the coolest stage presence of any rock guitarist — ever. And while his cohorts in costumes, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, wanted to rock and roll all nite and sell merchandise every day, for Frehley, the bedrock of KISS was always the music, rather than the t-shirts, condoms, and yes, even the KISS coffins.

KISS began on the streets of New York in the early 1970s, amidst the same punk and glam scene that launched the Ramones and the New York Dolls. Frehley never lost site of his rock and roll roots. He left the self-appointed “Hottest Band in the World” in 1982, rejoined the group again for a hugely successful reunion tour in 1996, and departed once more, this time, apparently, for good, in 2002. Frehley’s ongoing battles with drugs and alcohol over the years are the stuff of rock and roll cliché. His vices also caused seismic rifts between him and his KISS band mates — a fact for which he shows genuine remorse. Now clean for three years, Ace Frehley returns with his first solo album in nearly two decades, released on the anniversary of his sobriety. Anomaly, put out on his own Bronx Born Records, shows a more mature side to the Ace of Space. The ever-present Les Paul guitars still serve as the launch pad, but some of the lyrics on tunes like “A Little Below the Angels” find the guitar player more reflective, still looking to grow as an artist. The thirteen tracks on Anomaly are vintage Ace Frehley — an armada of electric guitars roaring from Marshall stacks. Stop Smiling sat down with the Space Man in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City, to catch up on his current rocket ride.

Stop Smiling: It’s been twenty years since your last solo disk, Trouble Walkin’. In that time, you finally kicked drugs and booze. How much did sobering up contribute to finally completing Anomaly?

Ace Frehley: It helped me get focused and actually made me a lot more creative and more productive. It’s hard to finish a record with a hangover [Laughs]. Life’s good to me now.

SS: You’ve been sober for three years. In fact, Anomaly was released on the anniversary of your last drink. Have you gone through periods of sobriety before?

AF: A couple years, actually. I relapsed in Las Vegas. I hooked up with a bunch of gals at the VH-1 Rock Honors and one thing led to another [Laughs]. But after that, you know, I got professional help. Meetings always help. It keeps you firmly planted.

SS: Is there still the temptation?

AF: Not like it used to be. The first year is the toughest. The tour I did last year, it’s the first tour from beginning to end that I’ve ever done sober and I was nervous about it. But I stayed close to friends of mine and I got through it. So now when I think about the new tour coming up, it’s not so much of an issue with me any more. But I still have to be vigilant, you know?

SS: What are the touring plans behind Anomaly?

AF: We’re putting it together right now. It’s changing every day. But we’re definitely doing some shows in September and October and November, I guess. I don’t know how long it’s gonna go — we’ve just been putting it together in the last couple of weeks.

SS: The landscape of the music industry is completely different today than when you were in KISS, and even when you put out your last record in 1989. What do you make of the current state of the music business?

AF: I’ve learned a lot in the last couple of years. I learned how to use and really understand Pro Tools. I’m amazed at how much digital downloading has changed the business. I didn’t realize how many people aren’t buying CDs anymore. Records were gone a long time ago, but there’s still a dedicated few who buy vinyl. So I’m pressing some records too.

SS: What are your opinions on illegal downloading?

AF: The way to combat that is to do an interesting package, something that people want to buy, not just for the music. You know, dedicated fans are going to want the real product. I haven’t done that much research on the people who do illegal downloads, but it’s no different than stealing something off a shelf in a store.

SS: It appears like you are really bringing a DIY ethic to the release of Anomaly. It’s released on your own label, Bronx Born. What else are you taking on?

AF: The web site was put together by me and my assistant and a couple of other people. I have a team of people doing Facebook and Twitter. Obviously I can’t sit around all day and Tweet and read every message. But you know, I check on that stuff from time to time when I get a free minute. It’s interesting because you are getting a daily read out of exactly is going on with fans, blow by blow, and not only do I read what kids are writing to me, but also the comments on YouTube are real interesting and very insightful.

SS: You made a YouTube commercial for your new disk. There’s a nice homage to your teleportation powers in the camp classic, Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park. How’d that commercial come about?

AF: That was my assistant Frank’s idea. He scripted the whole thing. I was doing an instructional DVD out in California and basically we said, we’ll do the DVD, but you have to shoot an HD commercial and they went for it. We just shot that whole thing in one night.

SS: Your daughter is now 28. Does she do all the social networking stuff?

AF: I’m pretty sure she has a MySpace. She’s working now. She’s staying busy. She’s down in Florida now.

SS: Are you still married?

AF: Yeah.

SS: Here’s a true KISS geek question. As a kid growing up, I noticed your wedding band matched your Destroyer moon boots. Was that intentional?

AF: I never even thought of that. Wow. When we got those rings, I don’t think the moon boots had been hatched yet. Maybe it was the other way around, I don’t know.

SS: You’re getting a considerable amount of press coverage with the release of your new CD. Why do you think there’s so much interest?

AF: It’s been pretty intense. I guess you don’t come out with a record for twenty years people want to talk to you.

SS: Let’s talk about your KISS days for a moment. Do you keep in touch with your former bandmates?

AF: I talk to them occasionally. You know, we’re old friends. We’ve been through too much together. People paint this picture like there’s the good and the bad, but everybody’s just trying to make a living. They take pot-shots at me once in awhile, but I guess that goes along with the territory.

SS: You’re speaking of Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, I presume. Why do you think they take pot-shots?

AF: I don’t know. Maybe they’re worried [Laughs].

SS: The original members of KISS reunited in 1996 after 17 years. Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss and yourself. What are memories of the reunion tour?

AF: It started off great. It was really strange because we wearing our old costumes, and it wasn’t that different from tours from the past. I remember a couple of times doing shows feeling like I’d really gone back in time. It was bizarre. But as the tour progressed, things got weird, people started saying the same old things, pushing people’s buttons, and it wasn’t fun any more. It was like the early 80s all over again.

SS: What, specifically, were people saying?

AF: I don’t want to get into specifics. People started doing a lot of the same things that they were doing around my first departure [in 1982]. Making decisions without me. Originally it was put together in the spirit of we were all gonna kind of do this together, and the next thing I know, I’m feeling like a hired gun and I don’t have any say in anything. And that’s not fun. The four of us invented KISS and brought it to the world. It just wasn’t fun any more.

SS: After 17 years you were reunited. Was it all business or did you ever have moments were you hung out with the other guys in the band just as friends?

AF: It wasn’t like the old days. Pretty much everyone went their own way.

SS: You and Peter didn’t share your old bond?

AF: Not like we used to. I wasn’t really allowed to drink on that tour. It was a business. It was a machine. After we got into the day-to-day business of it, it made me remember why I quit the group in the first place [Laughs].

SS: On one of the Kissology DVDs that came out a few years ago, they talk about a Southern California concert that you almost pulled a no show. What happened?

AF: That was crazy. I was in New York and I had to fly in for the show and I’d missed a flight and I was having some family problems and my daughter ended up flying out with me. I think we had missed the second flight even. We were gonna land about an hour before the show. I know Tommy [Thayer, KISS’s road manager at the time and current KISS guitarist] was already in make-up. They had a chopper waiting for me when I landed that took me to Irvine Meadows. I put the make-up on in a half-hour and did the show. [Laughs]. I feel bad because I gave a lot of people some tense moments. And that wasn’t the only time. I feel bad about it, but I wasn’t all there.

SS: If you could go back in time, is there one show you did with KISS that you would want to relive?

AF: Probably Madison Square Garden. Maybe the time we did three nights there. Now that you mention though, there was a place outside of Washington D.C., a big place, I’m trying to think of the name of it, that was a real good show too.

SS: Why?

AF: There were a lot of special nights back then, in the 70s. But then I woke up one day and it was a business.

When did that happen, do you think? When did KISS go from being this glitter-punk New York street band to a business?

AF: It wasn’t one day, it’s just the way things started getting more about merchandising and became more about marketing than the music. I got involved in rock and roll because I loved it. And it was fun. And for a time, I said, “I’m the luckiest fuckin’ guy in the world. I’m doin’ something I love to do and I’m getting paid a lot of money for it.” And I was gettin’ to see the whole world and it was great. And then all of a sudden when you start reading contracts and fine print and you realize that people are deceiving you about this and that and your lawyer tells you it’s a lot more money than you thought, and it starts not being fun any more. You think that every one is doing it in the spirit that you think they are doing it, and then you find out there are ulterior motives.

SS: Who are you speaking about?

AF: I don’t want to mention names. It was people who were handling us. We had to sue our record company. We had to sue our business managers. And then the IRS takes a crack at you. It wasn’t fun any more and it’s all because of being mismanagement and people trying to take this and that they shouldn’t be taking.

SS: Getting back to the fun times —

AF: Yeah [Laughs].

SS: You are known for your “smoking guitar” effect on stage. Were there any special effects that you had planned while you were the Space Man in KISS that never came to fruition?

AF: The only effect that I had ready to go, I think it was ’79 or ’80, I had a fiber-optic run through my guitar neck and I was going to blow up stuff with a laser beam and right around that time Blue Oyster Cult had blinded somebody in the audience and all of a sudden there was legislation about using lasers. We had invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in lasers and we ended up scraping the whole idea because of all the regulations. So that ended up turning from a laser beam coming out of my guitar to rockets.

SS: Did you ever have any Spinal Tap moments when firing those rockets from your guitar? Were there any mishaps?

AF: The original rocket guitar was a little chancy. One day I almost hit Gene with a rocket. So we had a band meeting after that and we actually worked out something pretty cool. They put a mercury switch in the neck so it couldn’t fire horizontally. It had to be at least at a thirty-degree angle or more. If the guitar was level, it wouldn’t fire.

SS: What did your parents think the first time they came out to see KISS with the make-up and the platform shoes and the costumes and the bombs going off?

AF: They were very accepting. I remember when they saw the first album cover, I don’t think they understood it, but I think once they saw us perform live they kind of got it. It was exciting for them to see me up there and seeing a sold out house with the crowd going crazy. I don’t think it was too important to them to see how we looked, but I think it was important for them to see that I was successful.

SS: Your parents are both gone now?

AF: My Dad died around the turn of the century and my Mom died in 2003.

SS: You said your parents were able to witness your success in the 1970s. You had a lot of money back then, a lot of cars, a lot of guitars. You built a state-of-the-art recording studio on your property. How many guitars did you own at the peak of your collection?

AF: At one point I had about 150. Today I have, maybe 70.

SS: What’s the prize possession in that lot?

AF: Some of my Les Pauls. A couple of quite old acoustics. A couple of Strats and Teles.

SS: You’ve been insanely loyal to Les Paul guitars. It’s now your image. You used to play other styles of guitars — Explorers, Stratocasters. Why do play Les Pauls exclusively?

AF: It’s just an all-around great guitar. You plug a Les Paul into a Marshall and you turn it up — it’s a no-brainer. Some of the other guitars you have to work a little more. And when you are in a group like KISS when you are worried about special effects and your make-up and your hair and your costume, you really want something that’s a workhorse. And that’s what a Les Paul is. It pretty much doesn’t fail you.

SS: And what happened to your recording studio, Ace-in-the-Hole?

AF: I sold the house and the studio with it, but I built a new recording studio.

SS: Even though you are recording on Pro Tools on a computer? You have an analog studio?

AF: I have both. I resisted Pro Tools for years. I bought a Pro Tools rig years ago, but I never hooked it up. In 2007 I got teacher to sit with me and because I’m computer savvy it wasn’t that hard to grab.

SS: You’ve worked on this album for a long time. What’s the oldest composition of Anomaly?

AF: A song called “Sister.”

SS: And you played that live on solo tours back in the 90s.

AF: Yeah.

SS: What’s the most recently penned song on the new record?

AF: “A Little Below the Angels.” I rewrote that song three times. The song is kind of about my recovery and my struggles in my life. Originally there were drums from beginning to end. It had electric guitars and at the very end I felt that it was not capturing what I had intended. Initially I wrote it on an acoustic so I just went with that.

SS: There’s a maturity and depth to some of the lyrics on this new album that we haven’t really seen on an Ace Frehley album, or in your work with KISS for that matter. There are references to your faith, for example. How religious or spiritual are you?

AF: I was brought up a Lutheran. My Dad taught Sunday school and I used to go to Church every Sunday. But just like everybody else, once you hit puberty you stop showing up for Sunday school [Laughs]. But I still have a faith in God and it’s got me through some tough times.

SS: Another introspective track on Anomaly is “Too Many Faces.” What’s the inspiration behind that song?

AF: You know, it might have something to do with the KISS make-up, but it’s not all about that. It’s also about how people show one face and they have another one behind that. My whole life I’ve seen different sides of people and I think it’s not just about make-up, but about how people change their faces. They show one face but they are really something else.

SS: Metaphor.

AF: I get that all the time. People read stuff into my lyrics that I didn’t even see, but maybe I wrote it subconsciously.

SS: KISS came of age during the dawn of the New York glitter and punk scene. What are your memories of being a part of that?

AF: We toured with the New York Dolls and the Runaways. I have real fond memories of that. It was great. There were so many different bands, but the Dolls and Kiss were really the only bands to emerge and really take it to the next level, and us even more than the Dolls, obviously. I was real good friends with Arthur Kane, the bass player. We used to be drinking buddies way back when. He was one of the sweetest, most soft-spoken guys. A sweetheart of a guy. That whole scene was such a special time.

KISS Sonic Boom Recordings - Video #1

KISS Sonic Boom Recordings - Video #1

Here's a clip of KISS in the studio recording Sonic Boom. This first installment shows 'behind the scenes' as the band records "Modern Day Delilah."

Photos: KISS In Cleveland

Kiss, Cleveland, 09.28.09 from John Soeder on Vimeo.

Photos: KISS In Cleveland

KISS In Walmart Circular

KISS In Walmart Circular

Here's a page of the new Walmart circular promoting KISS' SONIC BOOM. The circular will be released this weekend in newspapers and Walmart stores everywhere! KISS' SONIC BOOM album will be released exclusively at Walmart and Sam's Club Stores on Tuesday, October 6th!

KISS Albums Revisited: Unplugged

KISS Albums Revisited: Unplugged

Another great video from dutch KISS fan and film editor Necramonium has been posted on Youtube. This time the famous KISS MTV Unplugged performance is spotlighted. The performance that eventually sparked the fuse for the reunion tour with Gene, Paul, Ace and Peter!

Check out
Necramonium's Youtube page HERE.

Audio: 'Modern Day Delilah' And "Strutter" In Cleveland

Audio: 'Modern Day Delilah' And "Strutter" In Cleveland

Here are two professional audio clips of KISS performing "Modern Day Delilah" and "Strutter" on September 28, 2009 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

All shows of the KISS Alive/35 US Tour 2009 will be exclusively recorded by Concert Online.

The audio recording will be available as a USB leather wristband with a KISS metal buckle. An absolute must-have item for every KISS fan!

In addition they will be offering an instant live CD set, consisting of 2 CDs in a Collector's Box.

USB wristbands and CDs can be purchased right at the venue of each concert!


Concert Online exclusively records each show of the KISS ALIVE 35 Tour in North America. To ensure maximum quality, all tracks are recorded live and are mixed with state-of-the-art recording technology by Concert Online.

The original leather KISS USB wristband contains the audio recording of the show of your choice in highest MP3 quality (320 kBit/s) and KISS bonus multimedia material. Just plug in your wristband to a USB port on your computer and start the embedded KISS multimedia player to listen to your MP3s and enjoy the bonus features. Of course you can copy your MP3s to your computer, your MP3 player, etc. to listen to KISS ALIVE 35 wherever you want! The wristband can also be used as a standard 1GB USB flash drive.

The KISS ALIVE 35 DigiPak contains 2 discs with the complete recording of one concert of your choice in CD quality.

USB wristband and 2-CD Set are available on location at every KISS ALIVE 35 North American Tour show or online right here at Concert Online. (


KISS Army Members-Only Ticket Pre-Sale Today

KISS Army Members-Only Ticket Pre-Sale Today

A KISS ARMY Members-Only ticket pre-sale for the KISS Alive 35 Las Vegas shows begins Wednesday at 10AM (local venue time). Premium KISS ARMY Members will have access to Members-Only tickets...these are among the best available seats in the arenas.

Presale starts: Wednesday, September 30 @ 10AM (local venue time)
Presale ends: Wednesday, September 30 @ 10PM (local venue time)

Meet & Greet and Premium Upgrade Ticket packages will also be available starting Wednesday, only to KISS Army Fanclub members.

If you are a Premium KISS ARMY Member: LOGIN and visit the tour page to get your unique code to access the presale.

If you are not a current Premium Member of the KISS ARMY and would like to participate in the Pre-sale: JOIN NOW

SAT, NOV. 28, 2009 Pearl Concert Theatre (Palms Resort) LAS VEGAS, NV

Fans Still Loving KISS

Fans Still Loving KISS

CONCERT: The veteran rockers, who first played London way back in 1974, were back and in fine form again last night

Sweet 35 and still being KISSED like the first time.

Downtown London time-warped back to the 1970s last night when KISS headlined at a sold-out John Labatt Centre.

With 8,682 fans, many of them wearing the facepaint of their heroes jamming the downtown London arena, there was a whole lot of rock and roll all night.

KISS veterans Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley are still around from the band that rocked London again and again -- 1974 being the first time when the band was young and visited twice.

The band and the fans knew what to do when it was time for Rock and Roll All Nite, as the spectacular finale to the main set. Spectacular as in Simmons and lead guitarist Tommy Thayer being lofted on huge platforms with stage smoke billowing from them like jet exhaust.

Spectacular as in the fans singing and shouting along because they love the band, the song and what KISS means to them after all these years.

KISSIN' hot it was "last nite" with a multi-song encore still to come. Stanley smacked around his guitar to prompt the pyro blasts. He then allowed the crowd to egg him into smashing the guitar.

Earlier, Thayer had managed to shoot some of the lights out with a long, long, long guitar extravaganza that saw fireworks from his instrument apparently bringing some of the lights crashing to the stage. Does anyone know if he does that every night -- or was it a downtown London special light show?

KISS had promised a lot of action on its KISS Alive 35 tour. Last night, it delivered to fans of all ages, some of them no doubt the little KISS fan grandkids of the original worshippers.

"If you want us to remember you, you better get a little louder," Stanley teased mid-set, mentioning KISS still had to play Toronto and Montreal.

Loud? Louder? Loudest? No Free Press review of KISS in the Forest City has ever failed to mention the volume. Let this review be no exception. Let it be recorded that the cheering which greeted such main set items as Deuce (the opener), Nothin' to Lose, C'mon and Love Me, Watchin' You and 100,000 Years was truly a joyful noise.

Touring in full makeup and KISS regalia alongside the fire-breathing Simmons and the talkative Stanley are Thayer, the lead guitarist, and Eric Singer, the drummer.

Thayer has stepped in for guitarist Ace Frehley, while Singer has the drum role played -- and sung -- by Peter Criss.

Singer was allowed to take the title of 100,000 Years literally with one of those interminable drum solos that should have died in the 1970s, but will live forever because the fans love them. In a typical KISS touch, Singer's platform pivoted so fans could see his brawny back as he thundered on into the night.

From well back in the arena the band looked like cartoon figures. One of the band's most famous props, that lizard-length tongue Simmons loves to flick, would be an eraser-sized nubbin were if not for huge screen projections. Unfortunately it was not enough for one KISS Army berserker who was ejected during the second song. Tsk. What a KISS off.

"London," yelled Stanley during the opener, Deuce, which is one of the 35-year-old gems KISS can still count on.

KISS can always count on London even if the band's first visit in years showed the wear and tear on Stanley's vocals and his stage talk.

"Here's one those gems, one of those obscure KISS songs people love," he announced at one point. "This one is a classic among classics," he mused at another. Stanley also seemed astonished one of the main set tunes had been on Dressed to Kill and Kiss Alive.

Even when he was kidding around, Stanley knew how to keep rocking.

"I get the message," he said after boos -- booing! -- greeted a nod to a Led Zep classic before he found his way to Black Diamond. That led to Rock and Roll All Nite and all was KISS-worthy once more.

The band had arrived almost 90 minutes earlier after icy smoke covered the stage with the front line -- bassist Simmons and guitarists Stanley and Thayer -- lifted up by stage machinery and accompanied by the first of many pyro blasts around the band's logo, prominent at centre stage.

It must be said the 1970s were much better in at least one respect -- opening acts.

Back in the 1970s, Rush and Cheap Trick were among the openers in London for KISS. Last night, it was L.A. creepoids Buckcherry. Kids of all ages know the KISS act takes talent. Buckcherry, begone.

Kiss Army Worldwide: The Ultimate Fanzine Phenomenon

Kiss Army Worldwide: The Ultimate Fanzine Phenomenon

The KISS army is everywhere! For 35 years and counting, KISS has been one of the world's top touring bands. Here for the first time is a visual history of KISS through never-before-seen concert photos and unique fanzine tributes and memorablia, starting from this iconic band's very beginnings in the 1970s to today. Featuring new interviews with Gene Simmons and fans from all around the world, it is the ultimate tribute to the world's ultimate rock 'n' roll band.


KISS Alive 35 In Detroit

KISS Alive 35 In Detroit
By Hali McGrath / LiveDaily Contributing Writer

Shout it, shout it, shout it out loud--KISS has been nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This time around the institution is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and it's hard to imagine a group better suited to enter during the milestone year. But the jury is out until January, when 2010's five inductees will be revealed.

In the meantime, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley and Co. are busy getting on with the business at hand, anticipating the Oct. 6 release of "Sonic Boom," a new studio album produced by Stanley. In a press release, Simmons described the set as perhaps "the best new record we've done since 'Destroyer'! It is 'Rock And Roll Over' meets 'Love Gun.'"

Fans can catch the group during its "Alive 35 Tour 2009" through its Dec. 6 conclusion in Dallas. LiveDaily photographer Gene Schilling caught up with KISS in Detroit last weekend (9/25) and here are some of his shots.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ace Frehley European Tour Dates Announced

Ace Frehley European Tour Dates Announced

Ace Frehley has just announced a few tour dates in Germany, Holland and Switzerland in support of his new album 'Anomaly'.


29.11.2009: Drammen, Norway
30.11.2009: Stockholm, Sweden
04.12.2009: Malmö, Sweden
06.12.2009: Gothrnburg, Sweden
08.12.2009: Hamburg (Grosse Freiheit)
09.12.2009: Zeche (Bochum)
11.12.2009: Berlin (Huxleys)
12.12.2009: Frankfurt (Batschkapp)
13.12.2009: München (Tonhalle)
15.12.2009: Luzern (Schüür), Switzerland
16.12.2009: Rijssen (Lucky), Holland
17.12.2009: London O2 Shepherds Bush Empire

Ace Frehley To Play National Anthem This Sunday

Ace Frehley To Play National Anthem This Sunday

Ace Frehley will play the US national anthem this Sunday, October 4th at 12 PM at the Kansas City Chiefs game vs. the New York Giants at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.

Check local listings for more details.

KISS On The Cover Of Classic Rock Magazine

KISS On The Cover Of Classic Rock Magazine

KISS will grace the cover of Classic Rock magazine this October. Check news stands for the issue.

As we posted yesterday, KISS is also on the cover of Billboard Magazine.

The October 3, 2009 issue of Billboard Stars Special Feature: KISS - The touring and merchandising powerhouse is back with "Sonic Boom."

Cover story: THE HOTTEST BRAND IN THE LAND - Kiss has rocked merch for 35 years - and now the band is continuing its dynasty with Wal-Mart.

Sparks Fly and Blood Spews as Kiss Alive 35 Tour Hits Cleveland

Sparks Fly and Blood Spews as Kiss Alive 35 Tour Hits Cleveland

Halloween arrived early last night, when the Kiss Army invaded downtown Cleveland, Ohio, for a concert at Quicken Loans Arena. The show was the second stop of the Kiss Alive 35 tour, following a sold-out two-night stand in Detroit Rock City. The trek celebrates the 35th anniversary of Alive!, the band’s first landmark live album — one of RS’ Greatest Albums of All Time — which helped elevate the group from a New York makeup act to international rock icons.

With some luck, Kiss will return to the city in a few months: Last week, after a decade of eligibility, the popular favorite received a nomination to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which is headquartered blocks away from Q.

Buckcherry warmed up a two-thirds capacity crowd of Kiss Army careerists, privates and generals. The arena was dotted with convention-worthy costumes and fans in pedestrian fatigues and face-paint. Couples wore black-and-white Gene-and-Paul designs, dads and sons sported matching makeup, and an elementary schoolgirl looked so comfortable painted as Starchild you’d think she was at a Dora the Explorer Live! show. Vintage designs from the ’70s outsold more recent merch, and some of fans wore T’s from the band’s 2000 (alleged) farewell tour.

As frontman Paul Stanley proclaimed early in the set, “Tonight is all about celebrating the history of the band and the relationship with the Kiss Army.”

In the years that followed Alive!, detractors have had a lot to say about Kiss, through its double-live gonzos, concept albums, disco derailments, solo indulgences, collectible dolls, unmasking, remasking, forays into reality TV, and a failed fantasy movie. But few have ever accused the band of putting on a bad show. And they still can’t, regardless of what you think about their hard-chugging music and lyrics about rock, gin, loose women, liberated women, unwilling women and coerced women.

Some historical maritime skirmishes on nearby Lake Erie didn’t use as much pyro and explosives as the group brought. Flame, fog, and fireworks surrounded rotating high-rise platforms. And the band looked like they have since bringing back the makeup in 1996. This stage set featured a trademark lit-up KISS logo under a tall large drum riser, and a video screen as wide as the stage was flanked by two smaller displays.

For this tour, reports of new costumes are hype. Kiss wore the standard ’70s-era makeup. Gene Simmons added some plate mail to his torso, and Stanley took the stage in black-and-silver glam suspenders, furry chest exposed.

With under-arm wings and a wagging tongue you can see from the cheap seats, Gene Simmons is still a convincing, deep-voiced demon. He spat blood and flew (on cables) to the top of the lighting rig, where he sang “I Love It Loud.” As the band launched into “Love Gun,” Stanley the Starchild zipped on a wire from the stage to a platform in the back of the arena. Over the set, he ran through his repertoire of reliable moves — disco strut, head-scratch, butt-shake, and stripper-style hip-wiggle. His voice hit and missed, but he made most high notes and wasn’t scratchy until end — his pipes, after all, were strong enough to score him a starring role in a production of Phantom of the Opera.

Guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer were also on point, recreating the roles (and costumes) made famous by Ace “Spaceman” Frehley and Peter “Catman” Criss. Wearing Frehley and Criss’s makeup designs, the two recent additions expertly emulated their predecessors. Thayer reenacted Frehley’s famous solo, from bent-knees posture to axeman posturing. During a spotlight solo, as Ace had, Thayer wielded a guitar that spewed sparks, and gunned down a chunk of the lighting rig.

The set was an expanded staging of Alive!, with extra — in the words of Stanley — “classic classics” from the 1976’s Destroyer, plus “Modern Day Delilah,” the promising new single from the imminent throwback-style LP, Sonic Boom. The group made just two brief nods to its underrated unmasked, no-makeup period of the ’80s and ’90s: “Lick It Up” and, as the crowd exited, “God Gave Rock ‘N’ Roll To You II” played over the P.A. system like rolling-credits music from a big-budget movie.

The Kiss Army left the arena and spilled the street, chanting the “hey-yeah” refrain from “I Love It Loud.” Fan Greg Krol grew up with the classic records and first saw the band on 1984’s Animalize tour. Aside from the sludgy spotlight solos, he gave it a thumbs-up: “Best Kiss set ever.”

Set List:

“Got to Choose”
Let Me Go, Rock ‘N Roll”
“Modern Day Delilah”
“Hotter Than Hell”
“Nothing to Lose”
“C’Mon and Love Me”
Guitar solo
“Watchin’ You”
“100,000 Years”
Drum solo
(Paul teases crowd with the first bar of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven, evoking more boos than laughs)
“Black Diamond”
“Rock and Roll All Nite”

“Shout It Out Loud”
“Lick It Up” (with a brief instrumental interpolation of the Who’s “Baba O’Riley”)
Bass solo
“I Love It Loud”
“Cold Gin”
“Love Gun”
“Detroit Rock City”

Cadillac Remembers One-Of-a-Kind 1975 KISS Concert

Cadillac Remembers One-Of-a-Kind 1975 KISS Concert

CADILLAC, Mich. - Cadillac High School football coach Dave Brines knew they had to do something. The year before, the Vikings had gone 9-0 and finished third in the state, part of a 16-game winning streak. Although they had lost a few players since that undefeated 1973 season, Brines and his assistant coach, Jim Neff, knew their 1974 team was solid. Still, they had lost their first two games, although by close margins.

"They weren't used to losing. They were pretty down mentally," Brines said.

His conclusion was, "The kids weren't having any fun."

A coaching meeting to address the problem launched a series of events that, with Neff's help, would bring outrageously costumed, fire-breathing rock band Kiss to Cadillac for a visit that would be talked about and revisited for decades.

During the coaching meeting, Neff suggested playing rock and roll music in the locker room as a way to loosen up the team and get them ready to play.

The suggestion was a 180 degree turn from Brines' approach.

"I wanted the locker room quiet. I wanted them to be serious and think about the game," Brines said.

But Brines trusted Neff, and knew he had a good football mind, and he went along with the suggestion.

While coming up with an idea of whose music to play, Neff thought of band he had seen open for the New York Dolls. Their name was Kiss. Their elaborate stage show featured shooting flames and special effects, and their raucous, high energy music was bound to get the team pumped up. In addition, their name, spelled out in all capital letters, was the same as their saying in football, "Keep It Simple, Stupid."


"So I thought, this is the perfect band," Neff said.

Also, Brines instituted a change in the lineup as a solution for returning the team to its winning ways.

Brines pulled his son, Dave Brines, Jr. out as quarterback, and made him a tailback. He also put backup quarterback Mike "Red" Johnson in as starter.

"Now the rest of us coaches thought this was just crazy," Neff said. The entire coaching staff was Brines, Neff, and Kevin White, who would go on to become athletic director at Duke University. The coaches harbored fears Brines would be crushed by the larger players, and Johnson had a tendency to look shaky in practice.

Those fears were resolved, however, when Brines gained almost 1,000 yards in seven games and Johnson rose to the challenge with coolness likened to Joe Montana.

The Vikings again began winning games. Neff recalled that even on road games they would lug along one of the school's record players and the locker room would reverberate with one of Kiss's first few albums.

As the team went on to win game after game, Neff decided to let Kiss know about the team's success. He flipped over one the albums, jotted down the address of the management company, and wrote a letter recounting how the band's music played a role in getting them back on track.

The story of Cadillac's return to its winning ways struck a chord with the band. Neff recalls getting a phone call one evening from Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, who were backstage before a show.

"They were absolutely thrilled to hear what was going on," Neff said.

After Neff gave them the whole story, the pair asked the coach to call in after each game and let them know how the team did.

Still Rockin' Detroit

Still Rockin' Detroit
John Davisson

Our pal and photographer John Davisson is a huge Kiss fan. So much so that he flew from his home in Florida to Detroit last week, joining fellow Pollstar photog Scott Legato to witness the band launch their Alive 35 tour. Since none of us could get the time off from our six jobs to be there, we asked him to give us (and you) a fan's-eye view of things.

I grew up with Kiss in the late '70s. I got my cerebral rock from Rush, my bluesy roots rock from Aerosmith, my operatic rock from Queen and my aggression from Ted Nugent. But it was Kiss when I wanted to "rock and roll all night and party every day." Like a lot of teenagers, I had posters of my favorite bands plastered all over my walls. Kiss dominated them all. Partly because they had the best posters (and the most). Their Alive II tour was one of my first concerts.

I used to read the magazines about Kiss to learn my Kisstory and today I still know their real names, their vices and motivators. On the Dynasty tour, I was able to sneak in a camera (anybody remember 110 Instamatic cameras, the camera-phone of the day?). That lead to a passion for photographing concerts which grew from that Instamatic to 35mm and eventually to digital photography. Now I'm a respected senior music photographer with photos published in many outlets. Thanks guys!

So it was with great zeal that I headed to Detroit to see Kiss open their US tour with a two-night stand at Cobo Arena, the venue that helped propel them into the arena rock realm after they recorded the first Alive album there in the 70's. Cobo Arena, now one of the older arenas in the country, is about to be retired so the band felt it best to pay their last respects to the place that was so much a part of the Kiss success story.

The guys invited some fans to the venue the night before the first show for a meet and greet, a brief dress rehearsal, to watch the recording of a few songs for "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" and to watch them film some scenes for "Modern Day Delilah," the first video from their upcoming album Sonic Boom (out Oct. 6).

Kiss' Alive 35 tour is a celebration of three-and-a-half decades of Kisstory and a tribute to Alive. So the band kicked off the first night by playing the album, almost in its entirety and pretty close to the original running order. For some reason, they dropped "Firehouse" and "Rock Bottom."

Ace Frehley and Peter Criss are no longer touring with Kiss, replaced by Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer respectively. Hearing classics like "She," "Deuce," "Strutter," "Got to Choose," and "Parasite" was still a real treat though. Gene Simmons breathed fire during "Hotter Than Hell" and there was some nice pyro throughout, especially during "100,000 Years" and "Rock and Roll All Nite." Tommy Thayer had a guitar solo that featured fireworks shooting from his guitar, just like Ace's used to. Eric Singer's drum kit elevated and revolved during his drum solo.

The show ended with a long encore that brought the Kisstory into the present with "Shout It Out Loud," "Lick It Up," "I Love It Loud" (during which Gene spit blood and flew up to the lighting rig) and "Modern Day Delilah." Then Paul Stanley stepped onto a winch that carried him over the audience to a revolving second stage at the back of the hall for "Love Gun." The final song of the night was a final thank you to the city with a pyro-heavy "Detroit Rock City."

The stage and costumes might have been a little different but it was still the spectacle I know and love from Kiss, with enough confetti to completely cover the floor by the end of the show. Kiss is still very much alive 35 years after they started. And that makes this fan, and the legion of fans that make up the Kiss Army, very happy.

KISS To Rock Sold Out Labatt Centre Tonight

KISS To Rock Sold Out Labatt Centre Tonight

For KISS, it has been London, Rock City for more than 35 years.

The U.S. rock legends' KISS Alive 35 tour reaches the John Labatt Centre on Tuesday night, as they return to the city where they have action-painted dressing rooms with mayo and mustard, fished in Fanshawe Lake ... and had fans ready to sign up with the KISS Army since 1974.

When KISS first rocked London in the summer of 1974, the New York band was one of many glam rock pretenders. Even then, KISS had figured out how to shout it out loud in a colourful array, which included David Bowie and the New York Dolls.

"It was this big secretive thing about not seeing them without their makeup," says Ingersoll-area music promoter and media relations businessperson Nick Panaseiko. "They were the first one to incorporate dry ice in huge barrels ... they had Peter Criss's drum kit raised up by a fork lift."

KISS bassist Gene Simmons told that fans can expect to see "new outfits, a brand new stage and millions more (dollars) put into it" on the tour to promote Sonic Boom, the band's first new album in 11 years.

"That's just the history of KISS," Simmons told "Simply put, any band you go to see for the same ticket price, you know KISS is going to give you tenfold more."

Celebrating 35 years of rocking the world in makeup and crazed costumes, KISS is expected to visit its megamillion-selling classics including Rock and Roll All Nite, I Was Made for Lovin' You and Detroit Rock City plus new ones from Sonic Boom on Tuesday.

In 2009, long-gone former lead guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Criss have been replaced in the Sonic Boom studio by touring KISS members Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer. Simmons and longtime partner Paul (Starchild) Stanley are in place as always.

KISS cost Panaseiko, who had seen the band in Detroit, about $1,000 and pulled 900 fans to Centennial Hall for the band's first London gig on July 25, 1974. Future Canadian superstars Rush were on that bill and would soon become fixtures with the costumed headliners as KISS liked what the Toronto rockers brought to the show.

A Windsor FM radio station where Panaseiko worked had begun pushing KISS, helping bring the band to London. One of its personnel acted as MC that summer night in London.

"KISS was another outrageous band (like the New York Dolls) and we chose to have KISS on the air," Panaseiko says.

KISS was back before Christmas for another gig. This one was at the old London Arena on Bathurst St.

Panaseiko came up with a "Merry KISS-mas" concept to promote that Dec. 22, 1974 show. He also sent out some KISS impostors in faux Cat, Starchild, etc. makeup to build buzz.

The faux KISS visited record stores in a limo. It worked. KISS fans braved a huge snowstorm to see their heroes on a Sunday.

A real KISS-off was the way the storm delayed tour trucks for hours. KISS arrived late and demanded the arena be cleared for a sound check, Panaseiko recalls.

That request was rejected and the show went on. With their parents arriving to give them a ride home, many fans left before KISS started to rock. A Free Press reviewer was on hand. It appears the July show had been overlooked by The Free Press in favour of a choir from the Netherlands and a mystic called something like Dijon.

"Their style, though somewhat outdated, is unique," a reviewer wrote of KISS in time for Christmas, calling that style "thunder rock."

KISS kept coming back, jamming the old London Gardens again and again in the 1970s.

Once, when KISS came back that decade, they had an extra day here. Panaseiko says Simmons went down to play ball at Thames Park. KISS members also fished at Fanshawe Lake. They created a stir. Without their stage makeup but still wearing huge red leather boots, the KISS guys waded right into the water.

KISS stirred things up again at a much later London show.

That time, KISS decorated the dressing room at the old Gardens ... with mustard and mayo.

Legendary London concert promoter Don Jones discussed the paint-in with "one or two of the boys."

A new paint job was required.

"I'm sure they've grown up since then," Jones says.

On Tuesday, we'll see how much KISS has matured over the 35 years the band has been playing London.

The Free Press didn't think KISS would last, you know.

"KISS has something to offer musically but the glitter and whiteface is on its way out and if the group is to remain alive, it must change and face the future that one of its members (apparently Stanley, the Starchild) is supposed to represent," the reviewer said of that December, 1974 show in the snow.

It would seem the band has been able to KISS that off.

James Reaney is a Free Press columnist covering arts & entertainment.

Still Made For Lovin' You

Still Made For Lovin' You
By Sarah Rodman

They've been extolling the virtues of all-night rocking and daily partying for 35 years, and they're not done yet. Next Tuesday, the day after filling the TD Garden with its spectacle, Kiss releases its first album in 11 years, "Sonic Boom." Last week, the makeup-loving quartet learned that, 10 years after their initial eligibility, they made the nomination ballot for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We chatted with amiable Kiss guitarist-vocalist Paul Stanley last week as the band prepared to rock Cobo Center in Detroit, the scene of their first "Alive" album.

Q. Congratulations on the nomination. How are you feeling about it?

A. There's a long way between a nomination and induction. That being said, this is really something that I think is exciting. There is a very vocal segment of Kiss fans and rock fans who have wanted us in. And so for them I'm very, very pleased.

Q. What was the impetus for the new album, since you probably could've carried on successfully as you have until you retired?

A. I think this lineup [with drummer Eric Singer and lead guitarist Tommy Thayer] is so terrific and being in the midst of our most successful, biggest tour ever . . . it was so obvious, not only to me, but to the fans, how great the band is and how quintessentially we are Kiss. For me it was just a matter of one stumbling block, and that would be me producing the album. It really was about, at this point, making sure that I didn't have to make apologies for something that came out.

Q. Why have Eric and Tommy wear Ace and Peter's makeup? Were the characters they came up with just really lame, like sunflower man or something?

A. We've built those characters over 35 years and the idea that anybody owns those is ridiculous. We were there when they were created and we've worked our butts off for 35 years, so the idea that we should have "snail man" in the band is ridiculous. We did that at one point and realized that it really was a disservice to the fans because the fans know those four iconic figures. That's Kiss to everybody, and whether someday somebody wears my makeup, I'd consider it an honor quite honestly. It would mean that the band is continuing with the same philosophy and thriving without me.

Q. Say you're an aging Kiss fan who now only wants to rock 'n' roll part of the night and party every other day. Could you still be considered fit for duty in the Kiss army?

A. It's all about your attitude, right? It's not about quantity, it's about quality. So if it's every other day, it's allowed. Just make sure it's something worth remembering.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Classic Rock Revisited Reviews 'Sonic Boom'

Classic Rock Revisited Reviews 'Sonic Boom' Jeb Wright

Rating: B+

Kiss have done it again. While many would love to count them out, they have, once again, delivered big. Who wudda thunk that in October of 2009, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley could make such a sonic boom with, well, the album Sonic Boom. There is not a clunker on the album, though some are much stronger than others. A quick sneak peak at the album is below. The release of the year, at least according to Paul and Gene, will arrive just in time for those early holiday shoppers.

"Modern Day Delilah" kicks the album off and Kiss make it clear that they are not chasing trends or trying to fit into the modern day rock scene. They are clearly concerned with the Kiss legacy. This song, the first single, will become a classic and would have been the lead single on many of their '70 efforts.

"Russian Roulette" is your typical Gene Simmons song where he compares women to the deadly pistol game. The solo saves the song and while a bit trite, by the end of the song one is rocking just like they were listening to "Firehouse."

"Never Enough" is a song that mixes a classic Kiss three-chord rocker with a bit of Poison's "Ain't Nothing But a Good Time." It works and will likely be a single and should be played live as it has a killer arena sign along chorus.

"Yes I Know (Nobody's Perfect)" is another Paul and Gene song about sex and ego and how great they are and how many women they can fuck. The intro to the song is killer and the song keeps finding its way back to my ears, each time played just a little bit louder.

"Stand" is a song that early Kiss fans will totally freak out over. This could have been on Dressed to Kill. This is Kiss writing music for the hardcore fans, who will love the odd sounding chorus and the cool reprise at the end of the song.

"Hot and Cold" is a fun one. Typical Kiss. Lyrics about hot and cold and too loud then your too old. It is fun and while there is nothing wrong with it, there is not too much original about it... not that Kiss are worried about stepping outside the box.

"All For the Glory" sees drummer Eric Singer take the vocal. He is a great singer and this song is made for an arena. Fists will be pumping in the air as the machismo behind the band of boys theme will win over the Kiss crowd.

"Danger Us" is a great title. Gene and Paul have always been great when it comes to making plays on words. The old school fans will love this one as it is the "Black Diamond" of Sonic Boom.

"I'm an Animal" is another old school, Gene Simmons track. I can see Geno spitting blood during one of Thommy Thayer's solos during this track.

"When Lightening Strikes" is a first for Thommy Thayer, as he gets to step up and sing lead vocals. It is a rocking song that has a great beat and chorus and a killer guitar riff. This, I predict, will quickly become a hard core fan favorite. It would be fun to see Thommy perform this one live.

"Say Yeah" is a Paul Stanley made for the arena audience rocker. The chorus is tailor made for twenty thousand screaming maniacs to be shouting at the top of their lungs. The song goes from hard rock, to slow and from in yer face to passionate but it always retains energy and finesses.

At the end of the day, Sonic Boom is a good album. The surprise is that it is this good. One would expect a couple of tunes and a lot of filler but that is not the case here at all.

Gene and Paul have always had a magic that seems to know when to strike. They have known when to write and when to hire outsiders. This time, they wrote them all and Paul Stanley produced them. This is back to the basics Kiss, a return to the 70's that will have the over 40 years olds wondering what ever became of that Kiss Army Membership card.

Ace Frehley Interview: Spaceman Is Back On Earth...And Happy!

Ace Frehley Interview: Spaceman Is Back On Earth...And Happy!
By J. Frank Hagan - KISS Mask Webzine

Kiss Mask: Congratulations on the success of "ANOMALY." It debuts at #27 on Billboard's Top 200 next week.
Ace Frehley: Thank you. That's my lucky number. Too many weird things have happened-but that's the way my life's story has been (laughs). So it really doesn't surprise me that much.

KM: It doesn't surprise you at all?
AF: It does but it doesn't. I'm still a little in shock over the numbers. My new label (Bronx Born) is #2 on the Indie charts. You know what? After working on the record for twenty years it was all worth the while.

KM: It actually took two years to record, correct?
AF: I started it at the beginning of 2007.

KM: When I hear "ANOMALY," it sounds like the love child to your 1978 solo album.
AF: By design.

KM: Yes. The '78 solo record is the template...
AF: I listen to my fans. I'm making records because I want my fans to like it- this album is for my fans. It's everything everyone has been asking for and I think I delivered. At the beginning, I listened to my (1978) solo record and tried to figure out why everyone cites that as their favorite solo record and I basically used a lot of the same recording techniques. I used some of the same musical textures. I recorded the album the same way. The same mic techniques I learned from Eddie Kramer- all pre-amps, Marshall amps in conjunction with old guitars. I remembered the process. I've got some great engineers to work with. It turned out okay.

KM: It turned out more than okay. There is a lot of personal experience with this new record and I think that makes it more special.
AF: Yeah, I put my heart and soul into this record. It really comes from deep inside. You take a look inside a song, "A Little Below The Angels," and I rewrote that song- that song was done and I rewrote it- all the verses I wrote during the mixing process. I rewrote the lyrics... It just became more honest- more straight forward.

KM: "ANOMALY" flows so nicely.
AF: Yeah. I changed the course. The original verses has a totally different feel. Like "Genghis Kahn" basically was, after the guitar intro, how the song started and ended- the intro, the whole breakdown and the end section turned out later on.

KM: Where did you get the idea for "Genghis Kahn?"
AF: Sometimes when I am writing a song, it's almost like I'm not writing it. It's like someone is beaming into my brain and I can't write the lyrics down on a piece of paper fast enough. It's almost like my brain is a radio receiver and somebody is beaming it into my head. Sometimes it's that easy.

KM: I'd love to hear "A Little Below The Angels" and "Genghis Kahn" live. Actually, you could play the entire record live.
AF: It's funny that you say that. A lot of people were talking to me about a special concert of just the 1978 album. We were talking about it last year. Doing couple of selected shows because of the 30Th Anniversary of the solo albums, but I've been too busy finishing this record and touring. That never happened but somehow do whole first album and this album- that would something special.

KM: There are a lot of references to God and Heaven- does this mean Ace Frehley is going to church on Sundays?
AF: I used to when I was a kid. Not too much lately. I really don't think you have to go to church to communicate with God. But getting sober and that whole experience, was a really religious experience.

KM: Did you do it on your own or did you go to rehab?
AF: I didn't go to rehab, although I've been there before, but this time around I cleaned up on my own. I worked on twelve step programs and therapists and got my head screwed on straight - I was screwed up for so long. The day of release of the album was three years sobriety...

KM: ...Was that planned?
AF: No, it just happened by accident. It wasn't planned. Anyone that knows me will tell you that number 27 ( Ace's birthday is April 27) follows me around wherever I go. For the album to debut on Billboard at #27 is like God playing a trick on me - telling me that He's helping me out.

KM: It's good to see you so good...
AF: It's good to be healthy (followed by Frehley's famous cackle).
KM: Also, congratulations today on Kiss being nominated for induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
AF: Yeah, I heard. That's nice.

KM: That's your band you help start.
AF: I designed the logo, came up with the makeup for my character. Somebody else is wearing it now. Go figure (laughs).

KM: Anton Fig plays drums on most of the album. You both have been friends for over 30 years now. How did you hook up with Anton?
AF: I was trying to find a drummer ('78 solo) for the album and a friend of mine from high school with brought up Anton Fig's name. I was going to set up a meeting and then Eddie Kramer was looking for drummers independently . He called me up and one day goes, "Hey, I heard about this Anton Fig." Immediately I said, "Wow. There's something going on here."

KM: And you guys have been close ever since?
AF: That's exactly what happened with Marti Frederiksen, the guy who mixed the album. I asked a couple of independent people- Who would you get to mix the record? His name came up more than once. So, let me take a meeting with this guy. Marti produced "Fox On The Run," and besides mixing a great album with Anthony Foch, he helped me out on "A Little Below The Angels" he plays organ on. On "Fractured Quantum" he played the bass parts and re-programmed the drums. He also sang background on "Fox On The Run." He's a multi-talented guy. I just saw him last week in LA at a question and answer thing we did at the Grammy Museum - and that was great!


Ace Frehley In-Store Appearances This Weekend

Ace Frehley In-Store Appearances This Weekend

Saturday and Sunday were the big in-stores. On Saturday, 500+ people lined up at Vintage Vinyl in NJ to meet Ace; 400+ at Looney Tunes on Long Island on Sunday

KISS On The Cover Of Billboard Magazine

KISS On The Cover Of Billboard Magazine

The October 3, 2009 issue of Billboard Stars Special Feature: KISS - The touring and merchandising powerhouse is back with "Sonic Boom."

Cover story: THE HOTTEST BRAND IN THE LAND - Kiss has rocked merch for 35 years - and now the band is continuing its dynasty with Wal-Mart.

You can pick one up on eBay HERE.

KISS 2009 Alive 35 Tour Program

KISS 2009 Alive 35 Tour Program

The Legends Of Rock N' Roll are back on the road again in '09. This event program features amazing photography of the band. This is a limited edition collectors item that will not be reprinted.

Order yours today HERE.

KISS Keeps Cobo Alive

KISS Keeps Cobo Alive

Detroit's legendary Cobo Center (formerly Cobo Hall) may be closing its doors for a much lamented expansion in just a few days, but KISS couldn't resist stopping by for a two night set to remind the Motor City that they truly don't make concert venues like this anymore.

"The hottest band in the land" recorded their breakthrough album Alive! behind the Cobo Center's walls 35 years ago, and not much has changed since then. It still has the feel of an oversized high school gym from the '70s and that's part of its charm; its manila stucco, cinder block walls, and fold out chairs keep things scrappy, locking the smaller than average arena in a perpetual junky time capsule (complete with water damage, too), the perfect setting for the band, who played Alive! in its (almost) entirety last night.

Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, the group's only two original members--still perform with a ferocity and penchant for spectacle unseen from many of their peers. Stanley's whimsical rock 'n' roll preacher stage banter was still a hoot, whether it was promoting their upcoming album or reminding Detroit that we were all "one big family."

Simmons, on the other hand, still knows how to keep things charismatically creepy (e.g. strings of sweat and fake blood that oozed from him throughout the show. And who could forget about the good old fashioned pyrotechnics and marquee lighting? All part of a true nostalgia trip that reminded everyone how some florescent fire and thunderclaps could elevate a rock show from a performance to an event. Expected, of course, but then again, KISS knows exactly what they are, and they perform their hard rock pop, which oozes of good times, goofy evil, and even goofier sex puns, with unabashed strut and glam rock melodrama.

Leave the musicianship to Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer though. While no one can ever really take the place of Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, they're explosive in their playing, adding their own thundering flair to Space Ace and The Catman's already established drum and guitar solos. The most thrilling moment of the night came with Thayer's solo at the end of "She" as his guitar launched rockets above the audience with each biting lick. Other staple moments of showmanship were the blinding snowstorm of confetti during "Rock And Roll All Nite" and Simmons' obligatory fire-spitting during "Hotter Than Hell".

The show ended with the one two punch of "Love Gun" and finally, "Detroit Rock City", sadly for the last time on that fabled stage. As the lights rose, throngs of grease-painted fans left the hall with black smiles on their faces, knowing that while Cobo Hall may be done, KISS is far from finished.

KISS Plants Final Smooch

KISS Plants Final Smooch
BY James R. Chesna - ABC 12 NEWS

Kiss took a shot at traveling back in time Friday and Saturday night in Detroit, and legendary co-founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons --receiving marching orders from the loyal ranks of faithful fans enlisted in the Kiss Army -- enjoyed a successful tour of duty.

The iconic grease-painted and platform-shoed 1970s glam rockers were in Motown this weekend to celebrate a very special anniversary, and couldn't think of better followers to invite to the festivities than some of the folks who made the band's storied career possible way back in 1975 when the Demon, Starchild, Cat and Spaceman recorded their landmark multi-platinum best-seller "Alive!"

Using as a backdrop the Motor City's Cobo Hall -- the hallowed venue that started it all, now facing an uncertain future -- the band kicked off its 2009 "Alive!/35" tour in typical bombastic fashion.

Kiss had history going for them in shaking loose Cobo's dust and cobwebs. And it certainly didn't hurt that this truly felt like an event for the ages, possibly the beginning of what could be one of the band's final treks.

Tom Ingalls of Commerce Township, a 52 year old who got his mitts on a set of tickets Friday, was part of the throng who bore witness at Cobo when "Alive!" was chronicled for all time.

"Coming here I knew it would take me back a long way, just for the entertainment of it all," he said. "I always say, if you don't see these bands right now, who knows if you'll ever see 'em again?"

Detroit's beaten and battered economy didn't hold back turnout, as Friday's show was sold out and Saturday's stretched the arena's capacity just as efficiently. And the band embraced its mantra of being entertainers first and worrying about serious musical chops at some date yet to be determined.

The show was fun. And to a Kiss fan, that's all that matters.

There was no question who concert-goers came out to see.

Faces on the floor and in the multiple tiers -- some smeared with the mug of their favorite Kiss character -- ranged in age, some parents brought their awestruck and innocent young to their very first rock show.

Enormous Kiss Army banners draped the hall's walls stage left and right, and were complimented by giant closed-circuit monitors that put the group's thick, trademark makeup and black, Spandex-and-chrome-studded costumes smack-dab in front of fans' Cheshire grins.

The lights blanked out just before 9 p.m. and the big screens provided a glimpse of the classic rockers as they progressed from the bowels of the arena to the backstage curtains. The familiar booming bass rumble of the group's intro -- which caused the floor and walls to vibrate as if an airliner had touched down on Cobo's roof -- heralded the band's arrival onstage.

"You wanted the best, you got the best! The hottest band in the world, Kiss!" came the rallying bellow, and fans collectively sprung to their feet and the rock 'n' roll pawty exploded to life -- literally, courtesy of copious amounts of face-melting pyro, thunderclap flash pots and pops of fireworks and confetti.

The front line of Simmons, Stanley and lead guitarist and former road manager Tommy Thayer emerged from billowy clouds of dry ice while drummer Eric Singer -- donning the familiar feline face and costume-- rode his drum kit as it hydraulically climbed out of its nest deep within an LED Kiss logo center stage, which dwarfed the Army's first officers.

A JumboTron-style screen expansive enough to make the band appear as if it was performing for a city populated by Lilliputians hovered directly over Singer and captured every larger-than-life gesture and pose, and a stack of smaller screens were piled on one another, prominently displaying pictures of clown white-adorned fans and computer-generated flames and graphics.

The group roared through the first three tunes on "Alive!" in order of appearance on vinyl more than three decades ago: "Deuce," "Strutter" and "Got to Choose."

"This is night No. 2 in the Holy Land," ringleader and onstage spokesman Stanley quipped. "Tonight may be night No. 2, but it's up to you to make it No. 1. Tonight we're celebrating everything we've done."

But then the band dropped one of several promised surprises, launching into new song and single "Modern Day Delilah," from the upcoming Oct. 6 release of the group's first new album in 11 years, "Sonic Boom."

(Of note: A full camera crew was on hand shooting, so expect a new live DVD to come out of this, boys and girls.)

Sturdy rocker "Delilah" fit fairly seamlessly into the revered Kiss catalogue this night, and though Stanley declared the song and album "classic Kiss," the track shares more common ground with Kiss' '80s output than the tunes from the group's '70s heyday.

From there, the event returned to old-school form for much of the rest of the evening. The band, as foretold, toured the "Alive!" record in its entirety save for two cuts, "Firehouse" and "Rock Bottom," and did so convincingly.

The night proved most joyous when Simmons and Stanley cut loose on cuts like "Hotter than Hell, "C'mon and Love Me" and "Nothin' to Lose," but the energy was kicked up several notches when truly classic tunes like "100,000 Years," "Cold Gin" and "Black Diamond" got their airtime.

"Diamond," as always, was punctuated by Simmons and Thayer being perched on mechanized lifts that drove them high into the lighting rigs while smoke was belched out of hoses underneath. Stanley stood tall on a platform between them, not ascending to his bandmates' dizzying heights, which allowed him to smash and splinter his guitar in half more thoroughly.

Singer pounded the skins for the band in the '90s and Thayer's been a member of the family for decades. Some fans may bemoan Singer and Thayer's involvement, but Kiss is a tighter unit minus Frehley and Criss.

And let's face it, people: Kiss knows where its bread is buttered.

Stanley kept things lively, preening and prancing about rooster-like during the group's national anthem, "Rock 'n' Roll All Nite," while canons situated at every corner of the main floor shot a virtual snowstorm of confetti into the atmosphere and onto a sea of people.

Swatting away at his colorful collection of guitars all night long, the Starchild took great delight in playing his six-string weapons behind his head, through his legs and upside down, and was positively giddy when he sailed over the crowd during "Love Gun."

A trapeze-style harness dropped the singer off on another mechanized platform at the back of the hall, which spun full circle when Stanley belted out the song's chorus, punishing his distinctive voice in reaching for ear-piercing registers.

In a change of pace, "Love Gun" was served up as part of a packaged six-song encore, which allowed the band to dump the traditional applause-meter pattern of walking offstage and reappearing when cheers reach fever pitch.

On "Lick It Up," Stanley and Thayer cleverly morphed the Who staple "Won't Get Fooled Again" into the tune's bridge. Stanley's battle cry when the power chords took their stranglehold would have made Who frontman Roger Daltrey proud.

Kiss Army recruits ate up every trick in the band's considerable collection of show-stopping gags, including Simmons' fire breathing act in "Hotter that Hell" and his blood-spewing schtick in "I Love It Loud." The show was upbeat and breezy until things got a little more serious in the latter half when Stanley took a moment to acknowledge Detroit's beleaguered image and staggering unemployment status.

"We know that in Detroit, unemployment is higher than anywhere in the nation," the singer shouted. "That is a damned sin. But we'll make it through this. We'll see you again. We'll never forget this night. We love you."

The raucous night finally came to its coda with -- what else? -- "Detroit Rock City." The fiery finale was like the Fourth of July in the middle of September, and bombs blew up one after the other.

The crowd raised their arms, lighters and cell phones in tribute, and Kiss took its final bows. And then Cobo fell silent as witnesses to its final concert lined their way out onto the concrete of the concourse, still singing their favorite songs.

It marked the end of an era in Motown, and the gravity wasn't wasted on a few fans who snapped pictures before heading back to the parking garages.

Kiss' relationship with Detroit has come full circle. Simmons and Stanley returned to the venue that rocketed them to stardom, making sure that the hall was paid its proper respects before the lights went out for good.

Kisstory made.

"Just like I remembered," Ingalls said, brushing away a tear. "Awesome."

Kiss "Alive!/35" set list:

"Got to Choose"
"Modern Day Delilah"
"Hotter than Hell"
"Nothin' to Lose"
"C'mon and Love Me"
"She" (w/ Thayer guitar solo)
"Watchin' You"
"100,000 Years" (w/ Singer drum solo)
"Cold Gin"
"Black Diamond"
"Rock 'n' Roll All Nite"


"Shout It Out Loud"
"Lick It Up"
"I Love It Loud" (w/ Simmons bass solo)
"Let Me Go Rock 'n' Roll"
"Love Gun"
"Detroit Rock City"