www.au.news.yahoo.com | Photo: www.PAULSTANLEY.com
KISS's aim were to be the Attila the Hun of music.
They were unified, they had a battle plan and they were going to conquer the world.
A new book about the legendary rock band outlines their attack.
Through more than 200 hundred interviews, the book, Nothin' to Lose: The Making of KISS (1972-1975), by music journalist Ken Sharp with band members Gene Simmons and lead singer Paul Stanley, chronicles KISS's formative years.
It details how Simmons and Stanley originally didn't get along when they first met in New York, has images of those early black and white greasepaint designs and culminates with the success of their 1975 album Alive! and single Rock and Roll All Nite.
For the KISS Army - the official fan club - Stanley says Nothin' to Lose is a rich account of the dedication and commitment he, bassist Simmons, lead guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss had toward succeeding at all costs.
"It was music's answer to Attila the Hun," he says.
"We were going to conquer and we were going to do it by being unified.
"Although we may have been very different people, everybody was focused on the battleplan."
Rather than social media or reality TV shows like The Voice and The X Factor, KISS rose to popularity the old-fashioned way - through word of mouth.
"It was the ground swell," Stanley says.
"The legend of KISS was what brought people into those arenas."
It was the idea of Sharp, an old friend of the band, to write the book and recount those early years.
"I first met Ken when he was about 12 years old," Stanley says.
"He was a huge, huge fan during the `70s."
Over the years, Sharp talked to various people associated with KISS, from management, to roadies, to rock star contemporaries such as Alice Cooper and Black Sabbath band members.
"So he had the idea to do this compilation of interviews," Stanley says.
And within the pages there was actually a lot even Stanley found surprising.
"Honestly, I don't recall quite a bit of it," he says, and it's not just because it was 40-odd years ago.
He says that being in the thick of it, you sometimes don't see events in the same way as someone else watching from the outside.
"Perhaps things are lost on you," he says.
"(But) whether or not they all coincide and agree with each other is irrelevant ...
"A book of recollections or viewpoints, if they contradict each other, well, life sometimes does."
Nothin' to Lose: The Making of KISS (1972-1975) by Ken Sharp, with Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, is published by HarperCollins Australia. RRP: $35.