Friday, February 10, 2012

'Carnival of Souls' Producer Toby Wright Interviewed

Interview with Toby Wright

“Carnival of Souls” was an album that divided the KISS fans and caused major controversy in all the forums and the fanzine columns around that time. To tell you the truth, personally I needed a few months to adjust to the new musical direction of KISS. The person behind the console was Toby Wright, a producer responsible also for albums by such artists as Alice in Chains, Korn, Sevendust and many others. I am sure that all the die-hard KISS fans had noticed his name...10 years before “Carnival of Souls”. We talked exclusively with Toby via Skype...

Interview: Sakis Nikas Toby, you were first involved with KISS as an assistant engineer for “Crazy Nights”. How did this collaboration come up?

Toby Wright: I was working at One on One Studios as the only engineer/assistant engineer at the time and one of my good friends, Ron Nevison, loved that studio and he used to bring all the acts that he was producing back then. One of them happened to be KISS. The recording sessions took place in One on One Studios under the production guidance of Ron Nevison. Which were exactly your duties and how did it feel for you to be working with Nevison?

Toby Wright: I was engineering for him and generally assisting in the studio…it felt great; Ron’s one of the best producers in the world. I learned a lot from him and all in all it was an amazing experience. Would you like to describe a typical day in the studio with KISS at that time?

Toby Wright: If I can remember correctly, it started out around noon, had some lunch, then we got around doing the tracking…Eric Carr was alive at that point; he was an amazing drummer! Then after that, we were doing some overdubs…guitars, bass, vocals. Back then, KISS was heavily based on Paul Stanley with Gene Simmons being tangled up with other projects. Was this evident in the studio?

Toby Wright: Definitely yes! For that record, definitely, yes. It was mostly a “Paul and Ron” record and Gene just stepped in when it was only necessary. I remember him being absent a lot but the sessions kept on going without him. So, the more commercial direction of “Crazy Nights”...was it something that KISS, Nevison or both of them wanted?

Toby Wright: Probably yes. I wasn’t really involved in that kind of decisions. They have done some pre-production and some stuff before they went into the studio…it was all decided before I was even involved.

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