"Space Invader", Ace's first new solo album in five years, will be released on June 24 via Entertainment One Music (eOne Music). The CD, which will be made available in Europe on July 7 through SPV/Steamhammer, will include at least nine brand new original songs as well as a cover of Steve Miller's "The Joker". This album is the first release under Frehley's new universal deal on eOne Music.
Regarding whether he had a problem singing "The Joker" — with its famous line about a "midnight toker" — Frehley, who has been sober seven years, tells Ultimate Classic Rock: "I'm not anti-drug. I can't do drugs or drink because I did too many. I blew it. But I'm not anti-drug, or anti-alcohol. Everybody should be able to do what they want to do. It's just that, if you have a problem with it, it's time to quit."
Asked what the songwriting process was like for "Space Invader", Frehley told Guitar World magazine: "You know, all my life I've never had a formula for writing songs. Sometimes it starts with a guitar riff, sometimes it's a lyrical idea or just a melody. Sometimes I wake up with an idea. There's no rhyme or reason. Sometimes I write on an acoustic, sometimes on a bass. There's a song on the new album called 'Into The Vortex'. It's a riff song, but I wrote it on a bass guitar. Why? Because I write differently with a bass guitar in my hand than an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar. When I feel creative, I just sit down and start playing."
Regarding whether he was writing differently in the early days of KISS, Ace said: "Yes, I wasn't as structured as I am now. Even though I am not really structured — I'm at least cognizant of what's going on. [laughs] Back then it was more hit or miss — and when I hit, I hit big. You know, I go back and listen to my 1978 solo record, and it still holds up. My whole body of work that I've created over the years has withstood the test of time. I know that I still have the goods. And when this record gets released, everybody's gonna say, 'Well, Ace did it again.'"
Ace also spoke about the recording process for "Space Invader", telling Guitar World: "I did most of the recording at my friend's studio in Turlock, California, called the Creation Lab. Turlock is in the middle of nowhere — it's like a farming community — and that's why I loved it. I have Attention Deficit Disorder, and there are absolutely no distractions when working at this place. You record for eight or 10 or 12 hours, then you go back to the hotel and go to sleep. You wake up and go back to the studio. There's nothing else to do there, which means it's the perfect place for me to record. Plus, I like working with the least amount of people, and this studio is great because it's quiet and there aren't all kinds of people walking through. I did most of this record with just me and a drummer, Matt Starr. For a couple of songs I brought in Chris Wyse from THE CULT to play bass."
On the topic of whether there were things about 2009's "Anomaly" that he wanted to change with "Space Invader", Ace said: "I know that everyone is hoping that this album is heavier than the last one, and it is. I'm also doing an instrumental this time, called 'Starship', that isn't slow. It's a departure from the 'Fractured Mirror' style. It's more fast paced and has a lot of transitions in it."
The "Space Invader" cover artwork was created by Frehley's longtime friend, artist Ken Kelly, who designed the iconic cover art for two of KISS' best-selling LPs "Destroyer" (1976) and "Love Gun" (1977). Ken said: "It was very exciting when I was approached with the idea of doing an album cover for Ace."
Kelly, who is also widely known for his paintings in the sword and sorcery and heroic fantasy subgenres, most notably for the Conan The Barbarian novels, continued: "I had spoken to Ace on a few occasions about the possibility, so I was delighted when it actually happened.
"I am very pleased with the results and proud to play a part of Ace's continuing successful career!"
Frehley added: "I've been talking with Ken Kelly since 2007 about painting a CD cover for me and it has finally happened! I couldn't be more excited about the new 'Space Invader' cover, and the music behind it is also going to rock your world!"
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