November 24 will mark the 17th Anniversary of the passing of our beloved ERIC CARR. In a series celebrating his life, KISS MASK will present an Interview with Eric that first appeared in the October/December 1989 (Vol.1/No.4) issue of Kiss Mask. Eric was a strong supporter of Kiss Mask from the very beginning, always sending us notes, doing interviews and making himself available, the most accessible member of Kiss at the time.
Kiss Mask is proud to present his interview in a series of parts for you to enjoy once again. The interview, in article form, was conducted in November of 1989, during Kiss' filming of the "Forever" and "Rise To It" videos. Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Eric Carr.
By J. Frank Hagan
Part four and final installment of our interview with Eric Carr, the FOX discusses redoing "Beth" and the (then) new album, Hot In The Shade.
Although Eric's official lead vocal on a Kiss album is "Hot In The Shade," he first got a taste of singing lead on 1988's greatest hits package, "Smashes, Thrashes & Hits," re-recording the vocals for "Beth." Redoing a Kiss classic had to bring a little hesitation for Eric, "Yeah at first. I was real flattered they offered to ask me to do it. My first reaction was to say 'yes, great, let me do it'. But then I thought about it and I started to worry that people would take offense against me and I certainly didn't want fans being angry with me as though I committed sacrilege or something. It's one of those kind of songs where people that know it are used to hearing it one way. It's like if you re-did 'Stairway to Heaven,' you can get somebody to sing a great job on it, but everyone that's heard that song knows the vocal one way and if you hear anything different it's not gonna' sound good. You're used to hearing Plant sing it that way, people were used to hearing Peter sing 'Beth' that way. I was afraid no matter how good a performance I did, people just wouldn't except it. The reaction, same as when I joined the band, I didn't get all the negative stuff. Maybe fans were being kind and didn't tell me, but I get fan letters all the time. Everyone always told me how great it sounded. I'm very happy the way I sang it. I basically re sang it in a smoother voice." Eric was quick to point out that he recorded in the same studio but the same room Peter recorded it it. "We did it at Record Plant (New York City), the same room he recorded it in. For all I know it could have been the same stool he was on and the same sandwich he was eating," Eric says laughing.
Our conversation shifts back to the new album with Eric explaining he brought a ballad to the sessions he wrote titled, "Somebodys Waiting." I asked Eric how long in took to record "Hot In The Shade," "About two months for the whole thing and a few weeks for mixing. We don't usually take whole lot of time in the studio. We really come in really prepared." With an album so tight, I was interested if the band took extra time for rehearsing for the session work. "Actually no. This was interesting this time because there was supposed to be some rehearsal but as it turned out, we just didn't rehearse. I listened to tapes and got a feel for what Paul and Gene wanted on the songs. We'd get in the studio and as I would go through them, we'd make changes or add stuff or someone would suggest something which is the way we always work.
But at least this time there were a lot more things completed than they usually are. And that's not just us, a lot of bands start recording an album and you may have one or two songs written and writing is going on during the recording. It's real difficult to have all the songs you want, the perfect combination of songs ready at the same time. You gotta' remember new songs come up as you're working. Something you thought was great may not sound so good anymore and somebody may come up with a really cool song. Like 'Little Caesar' came out of nowhere and that worked for the album. If we has locked into the fifteen songs or the fourteen before hand that song may not have made it on there. It was just too good to let go."