Gene Simmons is a Powerful and Attractive Man

Jim Kerr | Rock & Roll Morning Show

“Gene Simmons planned on being a success the moment he launched himself out of his mother’s womb.” —Gene Simmons

We are all privileged to share a planet with Gene Simmons. Not only has he sold more than one hundred million albums with KISS, and made love to a countless number of women, he has also sold roughly one billion dollars’ worth of merchandise, including his bestselling books, KISS and Make-Up and Me, Inc. Now, in the spirit of Chuck Norris Facts, Christina Vitaglianopays homage to rock’s living legend in the authorized parody GENE SIMMONS IS A POWERFUL AND ATTRACTIVE MAN: AND OTHER IRREFUTABLE FACTS.

Did you know?

·        Gene Simmons can get to the center of a Tootsie Pop in one lick
·        Most rock stars travel by tour bus, Gene Simmons travels in the Death Star
·        Gene Simmons has never seen a red light
·        Gene Simmons does not need a toaster; bread gladly sets itself on fire for him
·        When Gene Simmons walks into a strip club, the girls pay him
·        Gene Simmons is the reason Mick Jagger “can’t get no satisfaction”
·        Gene Simmons doesn’t need an umbrella because rain knows better
·        Stan Lee was going to make Gene Simmons a Superhero, but decided to stick to fiction.

Ace Frehley talks creative process, guitar style + cover songs

Full Metal Jackie | Loudwire

483906477-1-630x420Ace Frehley‘s career is thriving once again. After releasing the well-received Space Invader album in 2014, Frehley has been working on a covers disc and touring around the world. Frehley recently took some time out of his schedule to speak with Loudwire Nights host Full Metal Jackie about his creative process, doing cover songs and his influential playing style. Check out the interview below.

What changes about the creative process as you mature musically and what stays exactly the same?

Well the creative process hasn’t changed that much for me. I mean, like, the way I recorded my 1978 solo album was pretty much me and a drummer we went in the studio with Eddie Kramer and we cut basic tracks and then I started layering guitars and bass and vocals. And that’s pretty much the way I’m doing it today. It’s just that today I’m a little more aware of what the hell’s going on. [laughs]

You’ve recorded cover songs throughout your career as a solo artist and with KISS. How much do you revert to feeling like a kid whenever you play songs by bands that influenced you?

Oh it’s always fun to do covers, you know? I mean sometimes it’s really refreshing to do someone else’s material. And that’s why I’m so excited for this new CD I’m doing for eOne because it’s exclusively covers and remakes. So it’s going to happen a lot faster because I don’t have to write lyrics or write arrangements because they’re already written. I just kinda have to go through the motions and give it my interpretation. So it’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m tracking at least six songs this week. But the creative process is pretty much the same.

The style and sound of your playing is distinct. It’s influenced so many different guitarists. Why do you think your playing has resonated with so many people?

Well I wasn’t classically trained. I don’t know how to read sheet music and I never took a guitar lesson. So I think my style is slightly unorthodox compared to some other musicians out there. And maybe because of that a lot of guitar players who just play by ear, like, the way I started out. They gravitate to my style of playing because it’s not necessarily the way a schooled musician would play something. I don’t know … that might be one of the reason. The other reason is I’m a pretty flamboyant guitar player. I invented all these special effects over the years: smoke and guitar, light guitar, rocket guitar. So, that may have something to do with it too.

Musically, you’ve done so much. What’s changed most about your goals whenever you’re making new music?

Well, the goals haven’t changed that much. You try to write a good, catchy song with a hook. I mean if a song doesn’t have a hook, pretty much, you know, I put it aside. You want something with a good hook and a good verse and a catchy bridge. Once you got the format down it’s pretty much putting the icing on the cake, you know? And usually the guitar solos come last.

Ace, so much drama always seems to surround KISS and the relationship with the band. Those headlines aside, what do you cherish the most about Peter, Gene and Paul?

Well I mean I think it’s just terrific what we created back in the early ’70s and it’s still alive and it’s still going on even though I’m not in the band, it’s still going on. But the songs will be made forever and I’m proud of my body of work, and I think it has stood the test of time. And, my last album was received really well and I’m thrilled about that. And you keep going forward, you know?

When you were younger you were famously quoted as saying that rock and roll saved your life. Today, years later, clean and sober, what does rock and roll do for you now?

Well, rock and roll initially saved my life, then it almost killed me [laughs] between all the partying and the drugs over the years, but only by the grace of God did I get sober eight years ago. And, you know, when I think back it’s been a crazy roller coaster ride but somehow I landed on my feet. It may have something to do with the fact that I grew up on the streets of the Bronx and was involved with gangs at an early age, so I’ve always been kind of a survivor. I’m just happy to be alive and being able to create great music and having it received well. Everyday above ground is a great day.

Thanks to Ace Frehley for the interview. Space Invader is currently available at Amazon and iTunes. To see where he’s playing, check here. Tune in to ‘Loudwire Nights With Full Metal Jackie and Tony LaBrie’ Monday through Friday 7PM through midnight online or on the radio. To see which stations and websites air ‘Loudwire Nights,’ click here.

KISS’s Gene Simmons reveals plan to produce horror movies

Chad Childers | Loudwire

Gene-Simmons-630x420SlashSlipknotRob Zombie — you have some company! KISS‘ Gene Simmons is the latest rocker to dip his toes into the world of horror movies. The legendary musician revealed during an appearance on the Talk Is Jericho podcast with Chris Jericho that his latest venture includes a series of horror films.

“I have a film fund and we’re starting the first of four right away,” says Simmons. “The first one is Devil’s Triangle and it starts shooting [in] May.”

Simmons went on to tell Jericho, “I don’t like slasher things. It’s too easy to take a knife and open up a body and see guts. So what? I much prefer if it’s a psychological horror, then it’s like Psycho. If you ever see Psycho, you never actually see a knife entering a body and there are no monsters, but it’s all psychological horror cause you’re always scared to death.” Simmons also cited Insidious as one of his favorite psychological thrillers.

The rocker says he also prefers fantasy, adding his fondness for a book called Stranger in a Strange Land and the film Death Takes a Holiday about the intricacies of humanity and mortality

And speaking about the nature of humanity and mortality, Simmons discussed his own. When he dies, Simmons doesn’t see his passing as a somber occasion. “Why shouldn’t people celebrate your life than mourn your death,” says Simmons. “If you had a good life, have a party. That’s what I’ve got in my will. Forget about the tears and stuff. I’m paying for a party. Whoopee! I had a great ride.”

The rocker says he likely wouldn’t get buried in a KISS Kasket, but would probably have his ashes scattered somewhere. “I had my turn. It’s not about me. Like people had the pyramids for the pharaohs. Even after I’m gone, I want you to know that I was here,” says Simmons. “If I do have a tombstone, it’ll probably say, ‘Thank you and good night.’”

To hear more of Simmons in-depth talk with Chris Jericho, check out the Talk Is Jericho podcast from Podcast One below.

KISS’s Pul Stanley: ‘No way I was going to play with Ace Frehley + Peter Criss at Rock Hall

Chad Childers | Loudwire

2255676-630x420KISS are now members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but the night did not include a performance onstage featuring original members Paul StanleyGene SimmonsPeter Criss and Ace Frehley as some might have hoped. According to Stanley, that’s something that was never going to happen.

In a new interview with, Stanley says, “I enjoyed the Hall of Fame in a twisted way. It was a terrific night but there was no way I was going to play with them. Frankly I have too much pride in what I do than to create a moment of nostalgia for someone else. To get onstage with Ace and Peter [during the induction speech] was an interesting, surreal moment but nothing I wanted to prolong. It’s like if you ever went back to an old girlfriend because you doubted your choice to leave, it only takes five minutes before you want to get back in your car and leave.”

Though the past and current members of KISS made nice on the big night, there’s still a bit of snipping on occasion about the original lineup’s reunion. But Stanley says that ship has sailed. He explains, “It was a sin to be given this amazing opportunity to pick up where we left off and go forward. Instead we picked up and just dropped it again. People can point fingers all they want, but in the end what you accomplish is the only thing that can be your alibi. I’m here today, and someone else isn’t.”

He adds, “It’s funny when a former member says, ‘Can you imagine the former tour manager [Tommy Thayer] is in the band?’ And I’d say, ‘Can you imagine a guy who made millions of dollars twice and lost it all?’ You pick the story you prefer.”

While Stanley has issues with the Rock Hall’s voting, he was happy that Tom Morello was chosen to induct the group. He recalls, “Tom went to bat like a crusader. That was his mission to get KISS in the Hall of Fame. Because they respect Tom they kind of went along with it. He plays with Bruce [Springsteen], he’s in Rage Against the Machine and he’s political so he must know something. The more Tom Morellos and Dave Grohls, the better.”


Fussy and overwrought, KISS’s Destroyer tried to out think itself

Nick Deriso | Something Else

The promise, both fulfilled and completely missed, on Kiss’ Destroyer can be heard inside the Gene Simmons vehicle “God of Thunder.” Simmons sounds like a gaping maw, so dangerous and primordial, with a creaking groove to match — as if he’s transformed into something rising up in the night.

But here, as elsewhere on Destroyer, first-time Kiss producer Bob Ezrin is doing all this superfluous experimental garbage — sound effects, children’s voices, orchestras, whatever. “God of Thunder” ends up as a muscular but simultaneously muddy mess. The longer I listen, every time, to this song … to this whole album … the more I just want to go and dig out Alive! — the up-against-the-wall double-live concert document from the year before that conveys all of the force, and humor of Kiss in a way this often overwrought studio effort just never did.

Ezrin, and therefore Destroyer, just keeps screwing around. When it’s good, there’s fun to be had … and, especially on tough groovers like “God of Thunder,” it almost gets there. When it’s not, though, the project is weirdly disconnected, like it’s trying to sound interesting, but instead just sounds silly.

[THESE, HOWEVER, WE LIKE: Let’s track back to some of our favorite, most memorable moments from the long history of Kiss – from ‘Destroyer’ to ‘Alive,’ from ‘Ace Frehley’ to ‘Revenge.’]

Destroyer (released on March 15, 1976) begins, for instance, with these found-object news-report snippets, straight out of Pink Floyd — with whom Bob Ezrin arguably did his best subsequent work. But this ain’t Pink Floyd. Kiss is (or it should be) too visceral for that, something Ezrin apparently had figured out by the time he returned for 1992’s Revenge.

He does OK with “Detroit Rock City” and “King of the Night Time World,” both of which are presented in a straight-forward enough way, considering their polyester-era vintage — and that Kiss was always a better live act anyway. Still, as the record continues it keeps gets more muddled. “Sweet Pain,” a vaguely troubling S&M thing, is quickly blanketed in echo. And “Beth” is the same skating-rink downer — all maudlin strings and reedy Peter Criss vocals, wrapped up with a bow of bullshit wife-beater excuses about how he just couldn’t make it home at the appointed time because of “practice.” Sure.

That said, “Flaming Youth,” with a clear assist from the dearly departed Ace Frehley, is one of the better examples of the way Kiss combined metal and classic 1970s power pop. “Shout It Out Loud” sets a party-rock template for every hair band of the subsequent decade. And “Do You Love Me,” simultaneously cocksure and needy, finds Paul Stanley aspiring to — and nearly matching — the lecherous vulnerability trademarked by Mick Jagger.

In the end though, Destroyer is sunk by its inability to let loose, maybe the weirdest charge ever leveled against Kiss. Bob Ezrin would move on to more celebrated work with Pink Floyd (The Wall, A Momentary Lapse of Reason and The Division Bell), while Kiss turned to Eddie Kramer and then Vini Poncia to regain its footing.

Just as well. You think about Pink Floyd. You jam to Kiss.

Watch KISS perform special acoustic set at Japanese meet-and-greet

Jeff GiIles | Ultimate Classic Rock

The full-blown Kiss concert experience is big enough to require the occasional use of pre-recorded backing tracks, but that doesn’t mean the group has forgotten how to deliver an old-fashioned, stripped-down acoustic set.

The proof, as presented in fan-shot footage, presents Kiss delivering an eight-song set during the soundcheck for the March 3 Tokyo date of their recent Japanese tour.

Performed for fans who purchased VIP tickets to the show, it runs the gamut from Kiss classics like “Christine Sixteen” to an assortment of covers that included the Beatles‘ “If I Fell” and “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” (which you can watch below), Kyu Sakamoto’s “Sukiyaki” and “You Shook Me,” a Muddy Waters blues standard covered by Led Zeppelin on their 1969 debut LP (you can watch that one above).

The band’s latest tour leg coincided with the recent release of a two-song collaboration with the Japanese pop group Momoiro Clover Z, with whom Kiss appeared several times during their trip through the islands. They’re currently on a brief break from the road, scheduled to end with a series of spring dates in South America that will be followed by European shows in May and June.


Bruce Kulick to give Master classes around Australia

The Music

Bruce Kulick, a former guitarist with KISS and Meatloaf and the current axe-wielder for Grand Funk Railroad, is coming to Australia and will be hosting exclusive masterclasses around the country.

The lead guitarist and driving force of KISS for 12 years from 1984 to 1996 his fretwork is all over classics like Tears Are FallingCrazy, Crazy NightsUnholy and God Gave Rock’n’Roll To You. A true guitarist’s guitarist, he’s worked across a myriad of genres throughout his career.

Music retailer Allans Billy Hyde have secured Kulick for a series of intimate masterclasses, with tickets at $20 and limited to 100 tickets per state.

Here’s what the man himself has to say:

“Everyone! I am so excited to return to Australia this March 2015 because 20 years ago, KISS came to play in your country. It was called ‘KISS My Ass Downunder’ and has so many memories and awesome highlights for me to share.

“The shows were filled with songs from all eras of the band, and was similar to ALIVE III, in many ways. But ‘Leon The Sphinx’ was on stage with us, and the usual huge KISS production was in full force. We hit five cities in Australia, with two shows in Melbourne. I was proud of what we accomplished and I will be digging into some of my favourite songs, discussing the work that goes into these shows, the setlist, and of course my guitar work for live performances.

“We know that playing guitar live can differ from the studio versions and there’s nothing like performing in front of your fans! So please come join me at Allans Billy Hyde. It will be wonderful reliving this tremendous tour with you all, one that I will never forget.”

The three events will take place:

Adelaide: Sunday 22 March 2pm
Allans Billy Hyde, 58 Gawler Place
Tickets here.

Sydney: Tuesday 24 March 7.30pm
Allans Billy Hyde, 1/197 Church St, Parramatta
Tickets here.

Melbourne: Thurs 26 March 7pm (Masterclass and launch of The Vault book)
Allans Billy Hyde, 152 Bourke St, Melbourne
Tickets here.

For more details head hereBruce-Kulick-Masterclasses-sponsored-post_h_0315.9c991a0100b45ccb5a7b6694f0d7c0fa

Ace Frehley Australian interview 2015


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Original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley spoke to Australia’s “Today” show ahead of his upcoming tour of the country. You can watch the chat at this location.

Speaking about why he chose to leave KISS the first time, Frehley said: “I quit because I started abusing substances and alcohol. And I also wasn’t agreeing with the direction of the way the band was going. You know, we had that big hit ‘I Was Made For Loving You’ and I’m more of a blues-based rock guitar player.”

He continued: “When I left, there was a sigh of relief, because I just felt like I was on a collision course with… I just thought I was gonna end up being a statistic.”

Frehley added: “By the grace of God, I’m here today, clean sober eight years, and life’s never been better.”

Asked if it’s hard staying sober, Frehley responded: “The first year or two is hard. Now it’s like… When I look at photos of me when I’m all bloated and I think about the days when I was looking at being in trouble with the law for drunk driving and all that crazy stuff… And health reasons too.”

“Space Invader”, the first new solo album from Frehley in five years, sold around 19,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 9 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD arrived in stores on August 19 via Entertainment One Music (eOne Music).

Ace‘s previous CD, “Anomaly”, opened with around 17,000 units back in September 2009 to debut at No. 27.

“Space Invader”, which was made available in Europe on August 18, 2014 (three days earlier in Germany and Scandinavia) through SPV/Steamhammer, includes 11 brand new original songs as well as a cover of Steve Miller‘s “The Joker”.

Frehley‘s touring lineup includes none other than Richie Scarlet, who rode shotgun performing rhythm guitar and vocal duties on Ace‘s “Trouble Walking” platter in 1989, and is doing so again on stage. Richie toured with Ace in 1984 and 1985 and periodically from 1989 through 1995 and was also known for touring with Sebastian Bach.

On bass and vocals is Chris Wyse from Queens, New York. Previously recording with Ozzy Osbourne and playing on Mick Jagger‘s 2001 solo album, Chris is well known as the bass player from THE CULT since 2006. Chris can also be heard on Frehley‘s new album, “Space Invader”, on select tracks. He also covers bass duties in his current band OWL.

Finally, Scot Coogan is behind the drum kit for Frehley‘s tour. Coogan played with Frehley for five years until 2012 when he left Ace‘s band to focus on other projects. He has since toured and recorded with LYNCH MOB and sat behind the kit for Lita Ford on the 2012 “Rock Of Ages” tour with DEF LEPPARD and POISON.