Tuesday, July 26, 2011

KISS army ready to invade Rama

Guitarist Tommy Thayer says there's no end in sight for the Kiss phenomenon.


For nearly 40 years, Kiss has been one of the planet's most recognizable, popular and successful rock bands.

And it seems like that isn't going to be ending any time soon.

For the past three years, the band has performed more than 250 shows, in three dozen nations around the world, to an audience that is arguably getting younger and younger.

As part of a short mid-summer tour, Kiss, comprising original members Gene Simmons, 61, and Paul Stanley, 59, along with longtime drummer Eric Singer and guitarist Tommy Thayer, will be shaking the foundations of Casino Rama outside Orillia, on Tuesday and then take to the stage at Caesar's Windsor the following evening.

Thayer, who has been working with the band in a background capacity since the early 1990s, and joined the band as a full-fledged member in 2002, told QMI Agency about what a ride it's been for the veteran rockers over the past number of years.

"It's been a whirlwind, and it keeps going because it's been going so well that we keep on adding shows here and there. This run we're on now is only about five or six weeks, but a lot of the shows are up in Canada, which has always been one of the greatest places for us to play. Some of the biggest turnouts, almost ever, have been at some of our Canadian shows. There's a lot of great fans there," Thayer said from Los Angeles, where the band had taken a short break from touring to do some work on their next album.

The band's previous album, Sonic Boom, was the first studio album for Kiss in more than a decade, and the first with Thayer.

It was a smash hit, in an era when record sales have been in decline thanks to the advent of downloading. On the strength of the singles Modern Day Deliliah and Say Yeah, the Sonic Boom world tour has, essentially never stopped. Thayer said all of the band members, but particularly stalwarts Simmons and Stanley, were very pleased with the album, and were heartened by the critical acclaim it received, as well as the overwhelming fan support.

Like their as-yet-untitled forthcoming album, Sonic Boom was recorded 'old-school', much like Kiss' first three albums — Kiss, Hotter than Hell and Dressed to Kill — in the early 1970s.

"We were super proud of how we wrote and recorded that album, and the way it sounded. From top to bottom, we were 100% happy with how it turned out. The whole design of it was something that we were going to do just between the four band members. We did all the writing and recording, we didn't get influenced, or have outside input on song selections or anything like that. We did it almost like a new band starting up would," Thayer explained.

"It reminded me of that feeling of going back to when you first got into a band, where you're in your garage or someone's basement, and you're writing songs and recording them. There was no real agenda with Sonic Boom. We wanted to keep it simple, and not over-think it."

Thayer said eight songs have been recorded for the new album, and there are still four or five more to go.

"This new record has the same approach, but I think we've even upped the ante as far as the writing, and I think we're just more comfortable now. We're coming up with even cooler ideas. And even the recording process is kind of a throwback. In the studio, everybody is playing together, it's not just building tracks up one instrument at a time. We all played together, and we recorded on analog tape ... to get the real straight-ahead rock sound," he said.

Read the rest here with TOMMY THAYER

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