Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Metal-Rules Interviews Eric Singer

Legendary U.S. band KISS started its long awaited European leg of the Monster tour in Friends Arena, Stockholm on 1’st of June. The band introduced in front of 30 000 fans, its new spectacular stage set called the “Spider”. Two days later, KISS landed in Finland and played a sold out show in the Hartwall Arena. I met the band’s drummer, Eric Singer, the day after the gig at the hotel in Helsinki. Eric was really excited about the new tour and because of his very good mood we then had a long conversation about the Monster tour, the Spider, KISS fan-dom, the future of KISS, and various other topics. Read on!


Marko: First of all Eric, I have to say that the new Spider stage is amazing!

Eric Singer: It’s going to get better. We are still working it out and it will take more, like maybe about eight or nine shows, until it’s ready.

Marko: So you are going to add more elements and parts on it?

Eric Singer: You’ll see, yeah we are. We didn’t get to rehearse, we tried to rehearse with it and the stuff wasn’t working. So, on the first day we only played music. First show was first time we were doing this thing. We came in that day to practice the beginning. So, it will get better. Paul and Doc saw the stage when they had built it, because they designed it, Paul designed it, but I did not see it until we came to Stockholm, I only saw… I didn’t physically see it with my own eyes until we came. I saw the videos when Paul first came, he sent me video clips showing me how it looks, how some things moves and things like this. I saw just a video clip where he went to the place where they built it and the way they designed it. So, he went there and my drum tech, the tech, that production man, they all went there. I didn’t go. I only saw it when we got here. And then my drum tech, he told me, “Here is how it’s going to look, your drum riser is going to be this big.” Because the crew put this together with Paul, Paul designed and the crew built it and then they tell them what we need. Like my drum tech for example would say, “Eric’s drum set is going to be this many pieces. If it’s this big, we need this size of drum riser. Because originally they want to make it smaller, I said, “No, I need it big because I have more than like 3-4 toms.” I have a lot of drums, I’ve got seven tom tom’s, so.


Marko: The album MONSTER was released in October 2012 and you been doing a few tours after that. I was going to ask, why it took so long until you now introduced this new stage?

Eric Singer: The reason why was this. We were going to do the tour of the MONSTER, when the album came out, and then the opportunity to go on tour with Motley Crue together as a co-headline bill came up, the offer. And Gene and Paul and Doc and Motley Crue guys, everyone decided like….They thought was a cool thing and a good idea, they said, “Okay, let’s do that.” So, they decided to call it The Tour and instead of doing a KISS Monster tour they decided to do a co- headline special tour together and said “We will do a proper Monster tour later. We will go to new stage and do it for that.” So, that’s the reason it happened.

Marko: So, this current one is the actual Monster tour?

Eric Singer: So, this is now the Monster tour because. Like said, we did the Motley Crue thing. And then they asked us to go down to Australia with Motley Crue again, they wanted us to do I think more days here, but Motley Crue really decided they want to go do Canada. We came over here to do this instead and then will go to Canada. So, now was the time. Then they said, “Okay, now will go to new stage with new Monster tour.” And now it’s the Monster tour.

Marko: On new set list, there are only two songs included from MONSTER. Isn’t this tour purpose to promote the new album?

Eric Singer: Why, how many do you want?

Marko: I would like to hear something like four to five new songs?

Eric Singer: You can’t do that, you can’t play four or five songs off the new record. Nobody will care. I’m not saying look at, I know that people can make the argument, “Why do you make new records, so then?” Let me tell you. The business has changed…Here is the thing. People used to tour in the old days to support records, now you make a record so you have a reason to tour. It’s changed, it’s exact opposite of what it used to be. Because of the record business… You know, people don’t buy records like they used to, they just don’t. They download for free, they steal it and they just don’t buy it. You don’t have record shops like all those big record shops where we used to go and go through the records and look at the albums. That whole experience has basically kind of gone, it’s turned to something else. So, now most people will tell you, you have to have some story, otherwise, “Why are you touring?” You have to have a story. So, there has to be a new show or new album, something, the reason why you are touring. Otherwise what are you going to say, what you are touring for this year. So, what are we doing now? Last year it was the tour with Motley Crue, this year it’s the Monster Tour with new stage show. Last year we did have a new record. You have to keep having new things or some new product. And it could be KISSOLOGY IV, it could be any reason that you are coming, we did UNPLUGGED before, MTV UNPLUGGED. There is always some reason, you have to keep reinventing a reason to tour. And the thing is you do these things, so you have a reason to go out and then you go out too. So, you have a reason to tour. It used to be that you toured only to try to support records, but it doesn’t work that way anymore.

Marko: But still, as a buying fan, I would like to hear more new stuff on live shows. The oldies have been heard many times during the years, you now?

Eric Singer: I don’t know what to tell you, they don’t want to play. Hold on… I’ve been in new bands, I’ve been in bands where they had a new record. They didn’t play a lot of songs, they would only play like three songs. I’m trying to think when I played with Gary Moore, Wild Frontier -tour I did. I think we only played like three songs off the record. It’s kind of the way with every band, I’m trying to think. With Black Sabbath, we did the SEVENTH STAR. We did the song “Seventh Star”, we did “Turn to Stone” and then we did “Danger Zone”. We did three songs, same thing. Most bands, that’s what they do. That’s kind of been… I don’t know why everybody seems to somehow, when they want to single out KISS, somehow what KISS does is the only one that’s guilty of doing something that they think is wrong. But they forget like… See, if I was only in KISS and that’s the only band I knew and they only had one point of view or should I say, one perspective. Then I could go, “Okay, maybe they have a point.” But I’ve been in a lot of bands and I know that that’s kind of the way it is in every band. You play using only two to three or four songs off the new record. Because I’m telling you, I’ve been seeing a Rolling Stones, in fact we played with Alice Cooper and we opened for the Rolling Stones. When they would do a new song, here is what the crowd would do. Sit back down and go like this, because they didn’t know it. I’m talking about the majority of the crowd, I’m not talking about people that might have bought the record. Let’s say there is 15,000 people at a show, maybe 2,000 people bought the record. Let’s just say, making up a number trying to… I’m not saying you shouldn’t play some of the new music, but if there is 15,000 people what about the 13,000 and they have never heard the songs, they are sitting there going… Are going to play a bunch of songs that they never heard. For all these people going, “What the fuck is this?” Then they go home and go, “Yeah, I saw KISS first time. They were good, but they played a bunch of songs I never heard before. The fuck is that all about?” Then it’s the other way, you can’t win. Like Gene said, you can’t win. So, you are a man on one hand, but the people that don’t know…. If they didn’t buy the new record or they don’t know newer material, they don’t care. So, do you see my point?

Marko: Yeah, I do, but do you see my point?

Eric Singer: You are both right and you are both wrong. So, which means you can’t win no matter what. In other words we can do everything exactly the way you want it to be from your point of view as a KISS family, you like what you would like to see or you’d like to hear. And we could do a set list what you want to hear but the guy next to you is going to go, “Yeah, but they didn’t play this song and this song. I can’t believe, I fucking hate that song.” You can’t win.

Marko: But don’t you ever think your long-term fans who have been around like 15, 20 or even 35 years and they have seen the show several times. They would like to hear something else but the standards on the shows? Okay, you have the KISS Kruise but…

Eric Singer: I was just going to say, that’s what the KISS Kruise is for.

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