PodKISSt # 11 is now available. Click here to listen to the Podcast.
November 30, 2008
GENE SIMMONS AXE GUITAR GAME CONTROLLER REVIEW
(by Shane McGlaun)
Today we are checking out the Gene Simmons Axe Game Controller for the PS3 and PS2 console. The controller works with both Rock Band and Guitar hero games.
The controller is a licensed replica of the axe guitar that Kiss' Gene Simmons made famous. It is sized like the stock controllers for music games and offers a cooler looking controller for about the same price as a stock replacement.
The Gene Simmons AXE Game Controller features
the ability to work with both the PS3 and PS2 consoles. In addition to working with two
consoles, the controller also works with both Rock Band and Guitar Hero. This is also the
first guitar controller to be officially licensed 3/4 size replica of the guitar Gene
Simmons made famous. Wireless connectivity uses 2.4GHz technology for a range of 30-feet.
Power comes from three AA batteries and is promised to be 40 hours.
Definitely, the first thing you notice about the Gene Simmons AXE Game Controller is the design. If you ever saw a Kiss video or a live concert you will be familiar with the axe that Simmons made famous. The Gene Simmons AXE Game Controller is a replica of the actual guitar and looks appropriately heavy metal. The body is black and the edge of the axe is done in silver.
The buttons used on the controller are more like what you see on a stock Guitar Hero controller than what Rock Band players are used to seeing. The buttons are oval shaped with colors on each end. The middle fret button has three dots on it that you can feel allowing you to find the correct hand placement without looking down.
The neck offers lower solo buttons as well that are spaced closer together. An internal tilt sensor activates Star Power when the guitar is held up. The wireless transceiver plugs into the PS3 via a USB port and itself looks like a small axe. The switch for choosing Guitar Hero or Rock Band modes is on the transceiver.
The guitar itself has a power switch so you can conserve battery power when not in use and the connection button is located on the guitar. A shoulder strap is included as are the batteries to power the controller.
One of the things that some users had a problem with on the Peak wooden guitar controller I reviewed recently was the weight and size of the Peak controller. The Gene Simmons AXE Game Controller is sized about the same as a stock controller and weights about the same as well. This makes it easier for smaller players to handle. The Gene Simmons AXE Game Controller is also much cheaper than the Starpex controller at only $79.99. That is not much more than buying a second stock controller for either music game and the Gene Simmons AXE Game Controller looks much cooler. It's also neat that the Gene Simmons AXE Game Controller is a bass replica so your bassist can have a more correct looking controller.
Button feel is very good, though not quite up to the same level as the Peak controller. The whammy bar is positioned well and can be reached when needed but wont get in the way during fast play. The strum bar offers good feel and should be durable enough. The controller also features a D-Pad and buttons for navigating game menus. The only real issue that might be a problem is that the neck of the Gene Simmons AXE Game Controller flexes a lot, which could mean a shorter lifespan if not well taken care of.
November 29, 2008
14 QUESTIONS WITH PAUL STANLEY (ABOUT NEW ALBUM, TOUR, ETC)
Why is he famous?
One word: KISS.
In addition to being a founding member and front man of one of rocks most enduring and successful bands, Paul Stanley (aka The Starchild) has also starred as The Phantom on Torontos off-Broadway production of The Phantom of the Opera, embarked on a successful solo effort and become a successful artist/painter. You might not know him by name, but you certainly know him by his black-and-white makeup, and with more than 80 million KISS albums sold, more than 30 official KISS releases and a song catalog that includes some of rocks most memorable anthems, theres no denying the uncompromising success that is Paul Stanley.
Humble beginnings -- thats what we like to hear, and Paul Stanley certainly had those. He was born in Queens, New York in 1952, and soon after KISS was formed in 1973, he took up a job as a cabbie to help fund the bands expenses. Prior to his gig with KISS, Paul Stanley worked in a factory and a deli. He founded his first band, The Post War Baby Boom, when he was 15, before joining Rainbow, then Uncle Joe, and, last but not least, Wicked Lester, in which he met Gene Simmons. Along the way, Paul Stanley has dated numerous celebrities, pillaged numerous cities and rose to the top of his industry. Hes been married twice (his second and current wife is Erin Sutton), hes a proud and glowing father and hes a successful painter. His critically acclaimed painting career emerged as a result of the divorce from his first wife in 2000 -- all this from a largely self-taught guitarist from Queens who failed art at the Manhattan School of Music and Art.
Q1: First off, congratulations on the future new addition to your family. Do you have any fatherly advice youd like to offer to our readers who are first-time dads?
Yeah, Im expecting a daughter in January. If youre not prepared to surrender the center of the universe, dont do it.
Q2: Can fans look forward to new KISS material in the near future?
Actually, it looks like well be going in the studio shortly to do the first new KISS album in 10 years. Its going to be very much a vintage, classic, 70s KISS album without much regard to whats happened since then; its back to the roots.
Generally speaking, you were the last Kiss member to pursue outside interests; how does it feel to be actively promoting your music from Live to Win and One Live KISS? Are there any surprises on the DVD for fans?
Maybe I just do my outside interests more quietly than others; it doesnt mean less successfully. Theres a difference between standing up and telling people what youre planning to do and standing up and going and accomplishing something. I tend to fly a bit under the radar. Certainly, doing a solo album 28 years after the first one, there was some time between them, but I wanted to protect KISS and make sure that there was a KISS.
In terms of shooting the DVD, it was very important that it be more than just a cheesy concert video. So it was shot with 14 cameras and a great director, Louis Antonelli. The purpose in my doing that tour was really to reconnect with the roots, my roots, in the sense that I remember going to the Fillmoore in New York where 2,500 people would see Jimi Hendrix or Led Zeppelin or The Who or Derek and the Dominos, and it was really a very communal thing -- [there's just] something about a band on stage communicating and having this bombastic and yet very intimate relationship with an audience.
How did painting start being more than a personal outlet; how did it become public? What style do you consider yourself?
Doing my art came out of something very solitary and something that I had no intention of showing anybody, and yet once people saw pieces in my house, it became really clear that there was a great demand for my art. Again, it all stems from the foundation, being: I want to please myself. Perhaps the art connects so much with other people because it truly is connected to me in the best way; Im not second guessing what someone else wants to see, Im trying to do something I like.
The only thing I can say is consistent in all my paintings is vivid color. Because Ive had such great success so quickly, people really see me on this journey [and] theyre almost on this journey with me. People see my art taking all kinds of turns because its exciting and new for me. It certainly goes from abstract to abstract-impressionist to almost an 80s Pop Art feel, so its something thats always changing, but thats part of the excitement, for me at least. Im also very grateful to know that people love what Im doing and its not only KISS fans, but [that] its finding its way into some collectors collections with some other artists that Im certainly happy and proud to be with.
Whats your priority right now in terms of promoting: painting or music?
Its really not about promoting, its about doing. Promoting is just the end product of creating. You want people to know what youre doing if you want to be successful at it, and if people enjoy what youre doing, you certainly want them to know. Id have to say that Ive been devoting a lot of my time to art, although when I was on tour with KISS I never picked up a paint brush or thought about it.
Youve also been busy promoting the KISS Alive/35 tour, celebrating the 35th anniversary of KISS. Can you share some details about that?
Alive/35 has been the celebration of 35 years since KISS Alive! We did 30 shows in Europe in seven weeks; it was the biggest most successful KISS tour in Europe, ever. We played the entire KISS Alive! album and we also did about six encores of all kinds of other great classics. It was very invigorating and very reassuring to us that the KISS Army is more than alive and well; its vibrant and vicious. We played to about 400,000 people, and well pick up where we left off [in] the middle of next year, summer/fall, and to the States and Europe.
Q7: In your years with KISS, what has been your favorite moment?
Oh my God. I think the most momentous occasion and moment for me was probably in Dayton, Ohio, or Toledo when I realized that we were virtually selling out every show and that was something new for us. And I realized, looking out at a crowd before going on, that we were going to be everything that we planned; we were going to be as big as we designed it and as big as we fought for.
Q8: Whats your favorite KISS album and why?
I think Destroyer is a great album and I think KISS Alive! is a very important album. I love KISS Alive! because its the album that broke us on a much bigger scale; its the album that made us superstars.
Back in the 80s, a decision was made in order to respect the fans that Vinnie and Carr would have to wear new face makeup; why was the decision made to allow Singer and Thayer to wear the makeup of original members?
It wasnt to respect the fans; it was a misstep if anything. The idea that we should dilute the four icons, which are world-known (not by name, but by character) and come up with like "Frog Man" or "Turtle Boy" was a big misstep. Those iconic figures are known worldwide; you show anybody in the world a photo of KISS and theyll tell you its KISS. So, it just sold everybody short to think that when somebody left the band that they should take those characters with them. In a sense, we all created each others characters because it was the four of us together and the synergy between the four of us that made those characters. Could we have done it on our own? I dont think so. It was all of us together that came up with it.
Q10: Is there any truth to the rumors about a KISS II reality show?
Its kind of gotten distorted into something that it really isnt. The idea that some guys are going to take our place and were going to go home is never going to happen. Really, what it was and remains is the idea that Gene and I have created and nurtured something for 35 years [and] as successful and consistent as weve been kind of makes people wonder what it would be like if we put together another band and gave [them] that experience. Its much closer to that.
Youve suffered some physical ailments in recent years; what are you doing to stay in shape these days?
Today I did a workout that would probably give most people a heart attack. My physical injuries (what a lot of them have been) really come from the amount of punishment I [do to] my body. Thats just par for the course. My workout is pretty exhaustive and exhausting; I do a lot of hill-climbing, a lot of abdominal work and crunches, upper body weights, lower body stretching and weights -- its a lot of light weights and lots of reps, a lot of floor stuff and core exercises.
Q12: Whats your biggest career secret, and what advice do you have for readers wishing to become rock stars?
My advice to anybody who wants to succeed is: Stop listening to advice. The most important thing is to assess yourself as honestly as possible and then pursue something that you feel you can do. Only a fool would attempt something that they werent reasonably sure they could attain; thats a dangerous waste of time and life. So, if you listen to people who tell you whats impossible, theyre usually the ones who failed. My advice is always: Dont listen to advice. You have all the support and knowledge you need inside.
Q13: Whats the one quality you think all men should have?
Q14: Whos the hottest woman alive?
Thank god the world is full of beautiful women. I love women. As an artist and as a man, the aesthetics of women, the physicality of them -- theyre all pretty stunning.
November 29, 2008
GENE SIMMONS ON "THE HOUR"
Click here to see an interview with Gene on "The Hour" show. Forward 29 minutes to see the interview. He talks about Simmons Records. They also show some never before seen live-footage from the very first tour in 1974!
November 29, 2008
KISS JOURNAL WEB TV
(From Kiss Journal)
Hello Everyone !!!
We are proud tonight to announce you our new brand new project : The Kiss Journal WebTV
It's our gift for all the Kiss Fans in the World !!!
Kiss Journal Web TV is a broadcast TV created by french site Kiss Journal ( http://www.kissjournal.fr ), the SylvAceProd and the newsletter KISS INFOs.
This is in french language but as the Kiss Army is international our emission will be under-titled in english of course!
Tonight we put on line our promo ad and our emission will be on line next week...if all is ok for us !!!
November 27, 2008
KISS KINGPIN RELAUNCHES RECORD LABEL
By JANE STEVENSON, Sun Media
TORONTO Fire-breathing rocker in makeup, high heels and black leather one day, Canadian music scout the next.
Such is the life of KISS bassist-singer-songwriter Gene Simmons, who is in Canada this week checking out new groups to sign to his relaunched Simmons Records label, in a deal with both Universal Music Canada and Belinda Stronach, the former MP turned businesswoman again.
I want to find the next great three Canadian acts from different genres (each year), Simmons, 59, said in a chic Toronto hotel bar. And dont let them go to America. Provide the care and support that they need here, make them monsters here, and then take them to the rest of the world.
One possible signing is Toronto prog-hip-hop act Down With Webster.
But if they do it the way they want to do it, they will fail, said Simmons, who was attending three nights of music showcases. You gotta do it my way. Its a benevolent dictatorship.
Simmons Records was orginally launched in the late 80s with BMG, and we had a few hair bands, said Simmons, and then music changed.
The label was relaunched again to put out Simmons 2004 solo record, A--hole. The new deal partners him with Universal and Stronach, whose family Simmons has known through business.
Ill be in the studio with the bands, he said. Ill be there to beat them up regarding their image, their names. If one of them is a drug addict hes going to be gone. And Ive had experience with that. Theres no room for idiots in bands. Because aside from the luck of the draw, it really is hard work. You have to get up every day, and cool is a moving target, so its a very hard target to hit.
Simmons is also proposing a reality-TV show for a Canadian network, to document the selected bands journey to the studio.
Were going to film the development of these bands, so when the record hits the TV show will hit at the same time.
Speaking of TV, Simmons said he sees no end in sight for his reality show on A&E Gene Simmons Family Jewels, which will begin its fourth season in March despite the fact that his partner of 18 years, Canadian Shannon Tweed, is tired of the cameras. Also featured on the hit reality show are the couples two children, 19-year-old Nick and 16-year-old Sophie.
Since the kids dont really have to set up lemonade stands and work for a living, they can work on the show til I say, Simmons said. They dont understand that its actually going to help them in life later on to have done this, but thats my resonsibility. Shannon hates to do this. Oh, she cant stand it. Thats okay, youll do it anyway. Who says you have to like everything you do?
As for his day job with KISS, Simmons confirms the veteran glam-rockers are writing songs for a new album that he expects they will record next year and release next summer. KISS singer-guitarist Paul Stanley will produce the disc. The band will follow the albums release with a limited tour.
Well do a handful of shows just to keep in the game (next) summer, maybe 10 (dates), some Canadian shows. I know Halifax is one, but before you get out there and start the baseball season, they hold exhibition games, thats what were doing. Cause once we go out, its going to be for a year and a half.
As for rumblings of a co-headlining tour with Queen, Simmons would only: Oh, Ive heard that, but we dont know until its real. I would be happy to step up on that stage. Id (also) love to step up on a stage with the Stones.
Just another day with Gene
What does Shannon Tweed, Gene Simmons Canadian-born housemate of 18 years, think of him spending so much time now in Canada?
Apparently, its just another day with Gene.
Every day of the week I get up and its some new venture, he said.
There are any number of new projects all the time, and so she always just rolls her eyes. She goes, Oh boy, here we go again. The point of it is when I wake up and I get passionately involved in something, she knows Im not going to stop until I make it a success.
But she knows Ive always been in love with Canada.
Unfortunately, that doesnt extend to the outdoors. Simmons recently bought a house in Whistler, B.C., for Tweed and their teenage kids, which was documented on their reality show, A&Es Gene Simmons Family Jewels.
I went up for a little bit, but I dont like nature, he said. I like buildings and activity cause when I look at a mountain I cant make deals. I get something from cream cheese and a good hot bagel and some jam. I get Jewish soul. You know, my people wandered through the wilderness a long time ago, Im done with nature. Give me a Four Seasons hotel.
November 26, 2008
C.C. BANANA DISCUSSES VINNIE VINCENT TRIBUTE
Michigan's The Bear (WIMK/93.1 FM) recently chatted with rock & roll comic C.C. Banana regarding his participation in the newly released tribute album "KISS MY ANKH: A Tribute To Vinnie Vincent." In this 15-minute interview, DJ and fellow Kiss fan Steve Ponchaud talks with C.C. Banana about his new song "Ted Poley" (a parody of "Unholy" by Vinnie Vincent and Gene Simmons). C.C. also shares details of his unlikely origin and tells of his many rock & roll misadventures. The complete audio interview can be heard here:
Despite its humorous overtones, C.C. Banana's parody of "Unholy" is an appropriately heavy recreation of the Kiss original, featuring a guitar solo by Chris Caffery (Savatage, Trans-Siberian Orchestra), guitars and bass by Paul LaPlaca (Zandelle, Z02, Chris Caffery solo band), drums by Dennis Leeflang (Sun Caged, Epica, Bumblefoot solo band) and background vocals by Kelli McCloud (Queen of the Reich) and Vic Rivera (AdrianGale, Crunch, Poley/Rivera). A sample of the song is available at the official "KISS MY ANKH" MySpace page, along with samples of all other songs on the tribute.
A video clip of C.C. Banana announcing his participation in "KISS MY ANKH" during an episode of "Talking Metal on Fuse" is available here:
Though Vinnie Vincent himself has not released any new material in over a decade, "KISS MY ANKH" pays tribute to the undeniable musical legacy of the former Kiss guitarist. Vinnie's compositions are widely regarded as a highlight of the Kiss catalog and remain a staple of the live Kiss set list. All songs on the tribute were written or co-written by Vinnie Vincent and originally appeared on albums by Kiss and the Vinnie Vincent Invasion. The artist roster features a mixture of veteran and rising talent, including members of White Lion, Savatage, Alice Cooper, Trixter, Nitro and others. All in all, "KISS MY ANKH" boasts a powerful lineup of inspired musicians and unforgettable music, assembled in honor of Vinnie Vincent. Further details can be found at the SplitScreen Entertainment website.
November 22, 2008
GENE INTERVIEWS AT THE US STOCK MARKET
Here you can watch interviews with Gene on the US stock market on November 19th:
November 22, 2008
NEW OFFICIAL KISSMAS MERCHANDISE
Christmas is coming, so it is time to put some new Kissmas Merchandise on the market. There are new Kissmas T-Shirts, X-mas balls, blankets and lots more. See it here.
November 21, 2008
GENE SIMMONS WITH MEDIAWEEK
Click here to see an interview with Gene Simmons on Mediaweek.
November 21, 2008
VIDEO OF GENE AT NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE
Click here to see a video of Gene rising the Opening bell at New Yorks Stock exchange on November 19th, 2008.
November 21, 2008
SIMMONS SOUNDS OFF AT TOURING CONF. KEYNOTE
Mitchell Peters, L.A.
Having recently completed a 30-plus-date European tour, Kiss will "eventually when we're ready tour America," co-founder Gene Simmons said during a keynote address today (Nov. 20) at the fifth annual Billboard Touring Conference, held at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York.
Referring to Kiss as the "juggernaut of all rock'n'roll brands," Simmons said the band is currently working out future tour details. "We've been talking with [manager Doc McGhee] about Europe and then doing a year-long tour maybe this coming summer, but we'll see," Simmons said. "Kiss and Queen, that would be a smash. That would kill. So far (it's) 50/50."
During the address, Simmons, who is also a reality TV star and entrepreneur, stressed the duties of being a live performer. "I don't care if you're Axl Rose, forgot to tie your shoelaces or your father molested you when you were three -- you're a bitch if you don't show up onstage when it says 9 o'clock," he said, drawing loud applause from the audience.
"You need to have the integrity and self-respect to respect the promoter who paid you the money in advance, the hall and the people who makes all our lives possible," he continued.
Speaking to an audience of primarily concert promoters, venue officials and booking agents, Simmons warned those in the live entertainment industry that it wouldn't be wise to lower concert ticket prices. "Don't do that, you're training an entire generation of people to pay less for something and then more for something else," he said. "They won't know what the value is and they'd rather pay less every time."
Simmons stressed that the touring business needs to quickly think about the future of its model. "Thank God you're the last vestiges of a dying breed, because the record industry is already dead, because we trained the people [that] they don't have to pay for stuff that they used to pay for," he said. "The record industry allowed that and people are shocked they're out of business."
Meanwhile, Simmons expressed his discontent with the fact that Kiss, which he co-founded in 1972, has not yet been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. "A lot of those guys on the board can go and get my sandwich when I want, and I mean that in the nicest way," he said. "There are disco bands, rap bands, Yiddish folk song bands in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but not Kiss. I believe we have more gold records in America than any other group, but it's OK."
Billboard executive director of content and programming for touring and live entertainment Ray Waddell conducted today's Q&A with Simmons. The keynote address was filmed for an episode of his A&E reality show "Gene Simmons Family Jewels," currently in its third season.
November 20, 2008
ANDRE LABELLE (VINNINE VINCENT INVASION DRUMMER 1989-90)
We continue our year-long KISS special feature with the 19th interview of a KISS-related figure. This week, ex-Vinnie Vincent Invasion drummer, Andre Labelle talks about his tenure in the band between 1989-90. Heres an excerpt:
Rockpages.gr: You worked together with Vinnie, Chris Lee and Robert Fleischmann on various songs that were destined for the "Guitars From Hell" album. What do you remember from those sessions and how close you were in releasing the record?
Andre Labelle: Vinnie recorded the bass guitars himself on those sessions. Robert
Fleischman was the last to be tracked. I stuck around for all the vocal
recording. Robert tracked the vocals effortlessly. His ability to nail it in
one take was amazing. The album was to be released on Enigma records but
they lost there distribution with Capital records and the album got shelved.
You can read the rest of the interview on:
November 20, 2008
OFFICIALLY LICENSED "LOST TOY" SURFACES AFTER 32 YEARS
Its not everyday that a never-before-seen officially-licensed KISS item from the 1970s surfaces, however, an eBay auction (which is slated to end this Sunday) can certainly lay such a claim. A KISS lost toy from the 1976-77 Rock And Roll Over Tour has surfaced in the form of a gold-plated, metal key chain in the shape of the bands infamous lightning bolt logo.
The auction can be viewed here.
This lost toy was apparently only offered for sale at a few of the shows on the tour and was quickly forgotten by the KISS Army-who (at the time) might not have been able to afford such a high-end item. The metal key chain bears the bands official merchandise marking Copyright 1976 Aucoin by agreement with KISS.
This virtual prototype item is only one of 2,000 items to be offered by former KISS Alive Forever coauthor Curt Gooch. Other high-end items to be included in the auction: a Paul Stanley smashed stage guitar, an original KISS-Hotel Diplomat concert poster from 1973, and even a Gene Simmons blood cup + several 1970s signed KISS items.
November 19, 2008
"KISS MY ASS" DVD RE-RELEASE
The "Kiss my ass" DVD has just been re-released in the "Rock Legends" series with a new cover.
November 19, 2008
ANOTHER PAUL STANLEY RADIO INTERVIEW
Click here to hear an interview with Paul Stanley on the Electric Morning Show.
November 17, 2008
PAUL STANLEY INTERVIEW
Kiss rhythm guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley has confirmed to the Clog that the band are seriously considering recording a new album. Rumours of a brand new Kiss release first surfaced last week on photographer Ross Halfins blog. Now Geoff Barton has taken it upon himself to grab the Classic Rock poker and agitate the embers of speculation (poetic, huh?!).
Barton recently talked to Stanley and asked him:
What does the future hold for Kiss?
It looks like well be touring Europe as well as the States next year. Youll be getting more of what you saw at the Download festival this past summer the Kiss Alive! vibe amped up to the max. There might even be a new Kiss album at some point. I have been ambivalent to the idea in the past but Im much more open to it now.
Why is that?
Well, I thought that I'd be content for Kiss to remain a heritage act, just playing our greatest hits Detroit Rock City and all that. But the new Kiss line-up with Tommy Thayer (guitar) and Eric Singer (drums) is proving to be so good, so strong in spirit, it would interesting to see how we perform in the studio. I must stress that no recording time has been booked at this point. But it if we were to go into the studio, the intention would be to make a Kiss album in the style of our 1970s recordings. A classic Kiss album, unmistakably.
(Read more in the January issue of Classic Rock, on sale December 10.)
November 17, 2008
GENE SIMMONS FAMILY JEWELS
Season 3 of "Gene Simmons Family Jewels" will be realeased on DVD tomorrow.
November 17, 2008
VINTAGE KISS PHOTOS
There is a new KISS photo website www.vintageKISSphotos.com, which offers hundreds of never before published KISS photos from 1974 to 1981.
November 15, 2008
(from Andreas Balzer)
There is a new edition of KISS Gold (see photo). It is a German pressing with original logo.
Content: 2 CD's and the Exposed DVD. Nothing special, but the design is new.
It comes in a cardboard fold-out cover (ca. normal CD-size).
The CD's and the DVD are in cardboard sleeves and it also includes a 12-page booklet.
Price: 19,99 Euros. Catalog number is: 0600753016244
November 13, 2008
NEW ESP DATE IN PRAGUE
ESP will play in Prague on 6.2.2009. Click here for details.
November 13, 2008
PAUL STANLEY CONFIRMS: NEW KISS ALBUM ALREADY IN THE WORKS!
In a radio-interview with David Brody Paul has now confirmed, that a Kiss album is already in the works! You can listen to the interview here. Paul recently told this already photographer Ross Halfin. Supposedly Paul will be producing the album himself in a typical Kiss '70s style. This will be the first Kiss album in over 10 years!
November 13, 2008
ACE FREHLEY HONORS LES PAUL IN CLEVELAND
On Tuesday, November 11, original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley appear as a special guest at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio to honor Les Paul. This event, which was part of the Rock Hall's 13th annual American Music Masters series, was an in-depth look at the history and innovative sound of the distinguished Les Paul-style guitar.
Along with Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar, Ace spoke about his guitar of choice and demonstrated some of his signature riffs.
Check out photos from the event at the Talking Metal blog.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Case Western Reserve University and Gibson Guitar is honoring the extraordinary Les Paul with a week-long series of events culminating in a retrospective of Les Paul's life and legacy at Case Western University and an all-star tribute concert at PlayhouseSquare's State Theater.
November 13, 2008
KISSOLOGY TV COMMERCIAL
VH-1 runs a new commercial for the Kissology DVD-series. Click here to see the commercial.
November 11, 2008
NEW KISS ALBUM?
Photographer Ross Halfin has posted this message on his website:
"I had breakfast with Paul Stanley,The Love Gun (if I don't put that John Bionelli starts bombarding me with emails and leaving me voice messages singing Kiss songs). Paul told me they may make a Kiss record, which he'll produce. A real 70s Kiss style record. If Paul can stop painting which is his other career."
November 11, 2008
"HEAVEN'S ON FIRE" ON SWEDISH "IDOL" TV SHOW
A contestant sang "Heaven's on fire" on the Swedish TV show "Idol". Watch it here.
November 10, 2008
BORIS BECKER & PAUL STANLEY
(from David Posselt)
Here is a photo from Boris Becker with Paul. Unfortunately the quality is not so good, it was taken with an I-Phone without flash after their show in Berlin. Manager Doc McGhee said, they will be coming to Europe in 2009 again.
November 10, 2008
KISS IN THE PRESS
Kiss are on the front-cover of "Heute", an Austrian daily free newspaper, which is mainly available at Viennas Undergraound-stations. They are pictured together with Lewis Hamilton. It includes an article about Lewis Hamilton, but nothing about Kiss.
November 9, 2008
ERIC CARR INTERVIEW
In celebrating the life and marking the 17th anniversary of his passing, KISS MASK WEBZINE is proud to present an Interview with KISS drummer ERIC CARR. First published in the October/December 1989 issue of KISS MASK Fanzine, Eric discusses his audition for KISS, his bands prior, fan reaction and his first tour of Europe with KISS. The interview will be presented in a series during the month of November.
By J. Frank Hagan
Eric Carr, the musician, the rock star, wasn't anything I expected. Purely the type of guy I could easily go down to the corner bar, have a beer and shoot a game of pool with. The man who could pound the spots off a leopard talks about the bands before KISS and joining the band in this candid interview.
Eric played in two bands prior to joining KISS, the first one he explains, "Started off as being called Salt and Pepper in 1970 and went on to Creation in the mid-1970's and the late 1970's Mother Nature, Father Time. What happened is that in the early 1970's when we first started, it was top 40, but top 40 then was every type of music. You could hear really heavy acid, funk, ballads and everything else. The mid- 1970's we started moving towards the rhythm and blues and in 1977 we started doing disco exclusively. We became a disco band and one of the best, we kicked ass!. There were six people in the band, six part harmony and everybody sang leads. We would switch the instruments and I would play bass on some songs, guitars on some songs. It was cool."
However, considering the collection of demo and live tapes floating around amongst fans, I don't think you will find any of Eric's former band. "No, you would never because they would be tapes that I made by me when we did certain gigs. I do have some tapes around, but they have been through floods, so I don't know if they're playable anymore. The problem with my stuff is that it was just a club band and it was long ago, people that may have been there and seen me play are probably old or dead now. They took it with them ," Eric laughs.
Soon after the split of that band, Eric joined what he describes as the, "First real rock band I was ever in, a copy band. We did the Van Halen, the Clash, the Cars, the Who, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC. We did everything! I have a tape of that... the band was called Flasher. We played around Queens in little clubs. It was a four-piece band but after three months our keyboard player left and we went on as a three piece."
Eric found out about the audition for Kiss through an ex-band mate, that very same keyboard player. "I just happened to run into him at a club I was playing the next night. I invited him down, he was the one that told me about the audition for Kiss. If it wasn't that I ran into this guy, I would have never known it."
With the release of the undeniably poppish album, UNMASKED, and the departure of Peter Criss, fans (including myself) were unsure of the status of Kiss. But not long after the news broke of Peter leaving came word that Brooklynite Eric Carr would fill the seat that had been vacant. Kiss fans ordered a sigh of relief knowing the band would go on.
Next up: The audition that changed Eric's life and the preparation for his debut with Kiss debut at New York's Palladium.
November 8, 2008
DORO PERFORMING WITH KISSIN' TIME
Click here to see Doro performing "All we are" together with Kiss-Tribute band "Kissin' Time" at this years Halloween Kiss Festival in Germany.
November 7, 2008
NO KISS BLOOD IN MARVEL-COMIC?
Bill Aucoin was interviewed for the Kiss Special, which was shown theses days on Norwegian TV. He mentioned, that Kiss have put their blood in the red ink at the pressing plant, but it was set up to print the new issue of "Sports Illustrated" and not the Kiss Marvel Comic, so all the Kiss blood ended up in that issue of "Sports Illustrated"...
November 7, 2008
KISS SPECIAL ON NORWEGIAN TV
Click here to watch the Norwegian Kiss Special from NRK online.
November 6, 2008
GENE ON TV ON FRIDAY
Gene Simmons, Multi-Media Mogul and Legendary KISS Demon, jams his way into the classroom for his charity, the Elizabeth Glazer Pediatrics AIDS Foundation. As his popular family looks on, Gene rocks the test and spirited fans cheer him on this atypical game show that tests adults lack of knowledge as revealed by how much theyve forgotten since elementary school on an all-new ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A 5th GRADER? airing Friday, Nov. 7 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.
Click on the links to see a preview:
November 6, 2008
ACE FREHLEY TO APPEAR AT ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME TO HONOR LES PAUL
On Tuesday, November 11 at 7pm,, Ace Frehley will appear as a special guest at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to honor Les Paul. This event will be an in-depth look at the history and innovative sound of the distinguished Les Paul style guitar.
Along with Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar, Ace will speak about his guitar of choice and will demonstrate some of his signature riffs. This "guitar clinic" will prove that in the right hands, a guitar is an uplifting beacon of creativity.
This introspective evening is one not to miss.
November 6, 2008
ACE FREHLEY STUDIO REPORT
(from Eddie Trunk/www.eddietrunk.com)
Now that we have a firm release date for the new G&R CD, one of the most popular questions I get through this site and on the radio shows is "wheres the new Ace album"? Ace has been asking me to come to his home studio and give him my thoughts on what he is working on for a few months, but with my schedule and upcoming TV show on VH1 Classic its been a little hard to free up the time. Well I finally made the trip to his place in Westchester NY yesterday and we had a great time as always. Ace has been a close friend for over 20 years now and was the first artist I ever signed and worked with at a label in the 80's. Amazingly he has not done a new CD since. Obviously much has gone on in his life since Trouble Walkin, Kiss reunions, career ups and downs, and most importantly he got sober. Another huge thing that has happened is a radical change in the music business and how people make and market records and how many they can sell. Ace knows he can trust me and knows I will give it to him straight, which is why he really wanted me to come and help him make some decisions on what to do next and hear where he's at with a CD he has been talking about for years.
Ace lives in the woods of Westchester NY. A really nice country area. There are a couple houses and his studio on the property. The studio is a converted barn. A really cool place to say the least. The studio is a very lived in rock and roll place. Original Kiss gold and platinum records are on the walls, many falling apart in the frame due to being over 30 years old. Still cool and authentic. Other Kiss/Ace memorabilia from the years is all over the place, including stuff from the reunion and some of Ace's Kiss stage clothing. Ace has been a close friend forever, but it's still so cool as a fan to take all this in and go back in time. We even looked at some photos from the 80's and early 90's from the original solo bands and tours and it brought back many memories! Needless to say there are guitars and instruments all around and a really cool main control room to the studio with the latest computer recording equipment. Ace was one of the first guys I ever knew really into computers, so it's natural he has fully embraced it for recording.
As for the music. I first heard 3 songs Ace was mixing about a year ago at a studio in NYC. All sounded good to me but obviously I hadn't lived with them like Ace has. He now has about 15 total songs, 6 of which have been mixed by two different people. Jay Messina, who has worked with Kiss and Aerosmith to name a few in the past, and Mchael Barbiero, best know for the production team in the 80's of Thompson/Barbiero (Tesla, G&R) also mixed some stuff. There are also many songs not mixed, some not complete, and some still being written. You can already see where the delays are. This is an album in several phases of completion. If he wanted to put out a 5 song EP it's pretty much done, but the challenge is figuring out the direction he wants the album to be, what songs make it, and what mixes. Some of the songs I heard include "Sister", which has been around for years and was played live, "Pain In The Neck", which Ace said could be the albums title, "Gehnghis Kahn", which may be an instrumental, and my favorite so far,"Change The World", which has a very heavy Beatles vibe. As far as the direction, the album is more in line with classic Kiss than anything that has been on any original members solo releases thus far. Gene's last album was a little quirky and all over the map, Paul's glossy and pop leaning, Peter's more ballads and standards influenced. This is straight down the middle, in your face, loud guitars, hard rock. Exactly what Kiss fans would expect. I urged Ace to make a CD for him and his fans, not to follow trends. It was important I stressed to him that the days of having a hit record are likely over. Nothing to do with material, just the reality of the business now for classic based artists (of course I'd love to be wrong!). The guitars sounded great on what I heard and Ace's playing was in top form. He sings lead on all the songs, is producing the record and wrote everything. The band on the recordings is his current touring band. Most striking to me about what I heard was Ace's voice. It has never sounded better on record. Clean and in that high register, with the Ace attitude. He credited this to his sobriety, as well as the quality of his playing.
All in all what I heard is very promising, but I would not expect it to be released anytime soon. Ace still has some questions to answer about this material, what will make the CD, what it will sound like, and he is still getting new song ideas which is making him rethink things. When you have your own home studio, no label telling you deadlines, and the demand from the fans that want an Ace album as good as the first Frehley's Comet or Touble Walkin (or of course the '78 all time classic!). there is no release date except for when Ace feels its ready. He also has some interest from a few labels and has to decide if he wants to go that route or do what many artists are now doing and sell direct. He also needs to get up an offical website. So there is still much to do on the business and recording fronts, and again, no deadline but his own. He understands fans are frustrated and want new music from him, but until he thinks it right its not coming out. I am helping him where I can and can tell you I really think it will make Kiss fans and Ace fans happy when it does come out but the release is not imminent in my judgement.
After the studio we went to dinner and caught up on all sorts of stuff. For me personally I am most proud of the man Ace has become the last few years. He is sober, logical, and reflective about his career. Very simply, he now "gets it" and is a survivor to say the least. I've seen everything over the decades with the guy, but I am most proud for the changes he made in his lifestyle. If he stays focused, maybe brings in an outside producer, finds a manager he likes (all things he's considering) and maybe makes some personal deadlines we might see this sometime next year. But again, don't hold me to that. It all depends on how he's feeling about things. Trust me when I say that it exists, it rocks, and I think Kiss/Ace fans will love it when its ready if he stays on track. I of course will keep you posted.
November 4, 2008
GGGARTH RICHARDSON (ENGINEER ON "ALIVE III")
We continue our year-long KISS special article with the 18th interview with a KISS-related figure.
This week we publish an interview with GGGarth Richardson (Engineer on KISS Alive III). Heres an excerpt:
Rockpages.gr: What do you think of Eddie Kramer?
GGGarth Richardson: Eddie Kramer is still one of the best old school engineers/producers on the planet. I learned so much from him, from micing and panning techniques to dealing with artists. He is a legend in our business and his work will be admired for centuries.
Rockpages.gr: Did they do any re-workings on the live sound?
GGGarth Richardson: When I got to the mixing of the record, I was handed the tapes at the time. I dont think there was any re-working done, but that would have to be a question for Mr. Kramer.
You can find the whole interview on:
November 4, 2008
CLASSIC ROCK AWARDS
Although losing out on Event of the Year (for Download) and Band Of The Year, Kisss inimitable rhythm guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley received the Showman award (sponsored by Guinness).
November 4, 2008
KISS SPECIAL ON NORWEGIAN TV
There will be a Kiss Special on the Norwegian TV channel NRK1. Click here to see a preview. More infos here.
November 3, 2008
KISS ALIVE 35 PHOTOS/BOOK
Denis O'Regan toured with Kiss as official photographer on their record-breaking 2008 "Kiss Alive 35" European tour.
These live photographs, and much more including exclusive backstage material, will feature in an upcoming official book...
November 2, 2008
ACE FREHLEY SCRAPBOOK
Bill Baker is back with updates to his Ace Frehley Archive website - http://www.theacefrehleyarchive.com
ACE FANS! Finally, "Ace Frehley - The Ultimate Fan Scrapbook" has arrived! The books were delivered Tuesday, Oct 21st. Yes, I'm no longer "the boy who cried wolf". (For years I've been saying... "I'm going to put out this Ace Book"....) But it's all true! After all of these years of work it's NOW FINALLY AVAILABLE!
Ace Frehley - The Ultimate Fan Scrapbook features:-
· 128 glossy art pages of Ace!
· Large 9 1/2 X 12 inch size - many full page photos, mostly COLOR and some black and white shots!
· Never before seen documents and memorabilia from Bill's collection!
· Bill's stories and memories of good times hanging and working with Ace!
· Photos spanning from the early years of Kiss, the Comet and solo years, and up until the Kiss reunion in '96 with lots of candids in between.
Only 2000 copies of the book have been printed. I am taking orders now via my website. If you would like a copy please go to: www.acefrehleyscrapbook.com and follow the details there.
Bill says - "I'm glad I have this site. I'm glad I put together this book for you, the fans. I'm proud of it and it's NOW FINALLY AVAILABLE!!!! Because I put so much into it, I'll take the extra time to sign and number each one!"
Bill personally gave Ace his copy at the Chiller Theatre convention last weekend and Ace loved it, (see pictures of that meeting on the site), I know you will love it too!
Thankya, Thankya very much,
November 2, 2008
MORE PAUL STANLEY INTERVIEWS
KISW: http://kisw.radiotown.com/bjdaily/10-08/bjpodcast10-31-7A.mp3 (Paul interview after 13 min., Paul talks about "One Live Kiss", other band members and the upcoming US & European Kiss Tour 2009)
WHEB: click here for the interview (Paul talks about his heart problems, his solo band, he mentions the upcoming 2009 Tour in Europe & USA, his paintings and Kiss Idol)
November 1, 2008
KISS HALLOWEEN FESTIVAL
Doro Pesch was Special Guest yesterday at the sold out Kiss Halloween Festival in the Neukirchen-Vluyner Sport- und Freizeitpark. Doro played also live with Kiss Cover-Band Kissin' Time on stage and did a sign-session there.
November 1, 2008
PAUL STANLEY INTERVIEWS
Paul did a few interviews on radio shows recently. Here are some links to some of them:
Bob & Brian mornings: http://www.1029thehog.com/pages/2550715.php - click on the right side on Paul Stanley under the 5 most recend Hog-Casts (Paul talks about "One Live Kiss", best of re-releases, Gene Simmons Family Jewels, his paintings and Kiss/Paul Stanley solo tours)
100.7 WZLX: http://www.wzlx.com/topic/play_window.php?audioType=Episode&audioId=3038904 (Paul talks about Halloween, his paintings and Solo Tour)
Ace & TJ: http://www.acetj.com/listen/# (Paul talks about Kiss merchandise, "One Live Kiss", Kiss Tour, and Gene Simmons Family Jewels)