Friday, September 28, 2012

Kiss and Motley Crue End "The Tour" Donating $450,000 to Charity

The Kiss/Motley Crue co-headlining tour wrapped up September 23 in Hartford, Connecticut after hitting 41 cities and donating more than $450,00 to charity.
“It’s been an amazing kick ass summer for us and a serious blast to share the stage again with Kiss three decades after our first tour together,” says Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue in a press release. “We feel grateful and fortunate to have been given the opportunity to support different charitable organizations throughout The Tour so hard every day to provide relief and make life better for our fellow Americans.”
Paul Stanley of Kiss adds, “It’s a privilege to be in a position that enables us to give back to the community through various charities and also raise everyone’s awareness of these worthy causes.”
The Tour benefited several organizations including Hiring Our Heroes, Aurora Victim’s Relief Fund, Operation Homefront, Skylar Neil Foundation, Spondylitis Association of America and the Augusta Warrior Project.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

KISS will Perfrom on David Letterman's Show on October 10

KISS will perform on The Late Show with David Letterman (CBS Network) on Wednesday, October 10 (show airs at 11:35PM) to promote MONSTER which will release on October 9 in North America.

Kiss: Paul Stanley 'Embarrassed’ By Gene Simmons' Endorsement Of Mitt Romney

Kiss: Paul Stanley 'Embarrassed’ By Gene Simmons' Endorsement Of Mitt Romney
Ultimate Guitar
Blabbermouth is reporting that Kiss front man Paul Stanley is "embarrassed" by musicians voicing their political beliefs in public, and is critical of his bandmate Gene Simmons for doing so. In an interview with Noisecreep, Stanley had the following to say:
"I don't know what's more embarrassing, these musicians and actors talking about politics in interviews or the media actually giving them credibility about it... It's absurd that a celebrity could speak out on the economy or politics with no more justification than a hit album or a movie. Not to deride Gene, but I just think he's part of a symptom of absurdity where you'll see somebody on television whose only criteria for being there is success in a field far away from what they're being asked about. I really don't know who is more ridiculous, the celebrity answering these political questions or the person asking them".

"I'm usually not at a loss for words, but this whole celebrity political thing always gets me. It's so embarrassing to see people with absolutely no inside knowledge of anything they are talking about. I have friends who are intimately involved with world affairs and these are the people who won't give opinions like these celebrities do. For my friends, it's far more complex and sensitive than that, unlike these celebrities who read some newspaper story, or watch CNN, and then spout out some opinion on something they truly don't know anything about".

Stanley’s comments come after Simmons expressed his regret for endorsing Barack Obama in the 2008 election on a Fox News program earlier in the year:

"Hindsight is 20/20. I have some real issues with the economy and how it's being done. America should be in business and it should be run by a businessman. America is a business. If you can't afford to do something, no matter how much bellyaching everybody does… I'm so sorry, if you can't afford it, you shouldn't do it. If you can afford to take care of two kids. Have two kids. Don't have ten kids. If you can't afford to have a $400,000 home, you can afford a $100,000 home, then do that".
Simmons, when asked for who he would be voting for in the upcoming election, responded: "Strictly speaking on the economy and in my humble opinion, Mitt Romney".

PAUL STANLEY PS12 Starfire Guitar from Washburn


Another Guitar From The Kiss Man

Washburn Guitars introduces the new Paul Stanley PS12 Starfire guitar 28-Sep-12
Sonic State

Another Guitar From The Kiss Man

Designed in conjunction with Kiss' Paul Stanley and based on his USA Washburn PS2012 model, Washburn Guitars has introduced the Washburn PS12 Starfire. Here's what Washburn has to say about it:
The PS12 is a sleek, classically inspired design that features a carved "raised center" solid mahogany body and mahogany neck for warm tone and lots of sustain. A bound ebony fingerboard is fitted with 22 easy playing jumbo frets and features stunning pearl/abalone split block inlays. The high quality hardware includes a custom Paul Stanley tailpiece machined from solid aluminum aiding in sustain, a Tune-O-Matic bridge, graphite nut and premium Grover 18:1 tuners for precise tuning. The mirrored pickguard ties in nicely with the headstock shaped mirrored trussrod cover. Both contain a silk screened variation of the Paul Stanley Starfire logo. Electronics include 2 chrome mini humbuckers, each controlled by separate top hat volume and tone knobs and a 3-way pickup selector.
The high output mini humbuckers produce a tone all their own that is both versatile and will sit front and center in a stage mix. Judicious use of the volume and tone controls will reward the player with a wide pallet of biting and/or creamy sustaining tones to choose from. The PS12 Starfire is available in black or white and includes a gig bag.
Pricing and Availability:
$1,426.90 More information:

KISS will Rock Paraguay for the First Time


Kiss will perform at the Jockey Clube in Asuncion on November 12. As we reported on September 18, Kiss will tour South America.

07: Bueno Aires, River Plate Stadium
10: Chile, Club de Campo Las Vizcachas

12: Paraguay, Jockey Club
16: Rio de Janeiro. HSBC Arena
17: San Paulo, Anhenbi Stadium

Thursday, September 27, 2012

RetroKISS: 'Hotter Than Hell' Photo Session

KISS HOTTER THAN HELL Photo Session 1974

Note Ace's makeup applied on the right side of his face

PodKISSt #63: Resurrecting “Destroyer” (Side 1)

No wonder it took 6 years to do this! “Destroyer” is one heck of a record to talk about!

Every note of this album is klassic KISS, through and through. It helped define KISS musically and thematically, while pushing the band to new heights of creativity.

Now, with the release of “Destroyer: Resurrected,” the KISS Army has a new reason to celebrate this beloved record. Bob Ezrin’s gone back to remix and remaster the 1976 masterpiece, and the results are stunning!

For this in-depth discussion of “Destroyer: Resurrected,” Ken and Gary are joined by Matt Porter (host of the “KISS Room” radio show), author Julian Gill (from KISSfaq), Brian Shaller (long-time KISS Army member), and John Humphrey (drummer from the band Seether)!

An album this important warrants plenty of exploration, so this is only SIDE 1 of our “Destroyer: Resurrected” celebration; join us for SIDE 2 on the next edition of PodKISSt… the KISS fanzine for your ears!

RetroKISS: KISS Mask Fanzine Cover- 1989

Kiss Mask #2 (1989) featured Paul's solo tour, Ace Frehley Interview and KISS CD Giveaway.
Photo by Frank Hagan from Paul's show at City Gardens, Trenton, NJ.

LYDIA CRISS' "Sealed With A Kiss" Second Edition Available Now


Lydia Criss has released her second printing of her acclaimed book, Sealed With A Kiss.

Lydia's book is a MUST HAVE for your collection and would make a great holiday gift for a

that special someone on your gift list. You can order your copy at

Check out my interview with Lydia on the August episode of The Kiss Room at

A Match Made in Hell - Kiss and Motley Crue, The Tour to end all tours!

By: Robert Cavuoto
Guitar International
With only three shows left in their summer tour schedule, Kiss and Motley Crue pulled out all the stops and put on one Hell of a show at PNC in Holmdel, New Jersey, as they shared the stage in a tour simply and powerfully dubbed “The Tour”.
Think Fourth of July colliding with New Year’s Eve, all in one night. Both bands came out trying to outdo each other, but the clear winner was the audience! Their sets were packed with enough hits, pyro and explosives to level Holmdel back to the Stone Age.
Motley Crue went on first and opened the show with a funeral march through the audience with girls and ghouls in tow firing CO2 at the fans. Instantly, you knew you knew this was leading up to something great.
Continue at Guitar International

KISS, MOTLEY CRUE Reveal Australian Tour Plans

Mosh Cam

Lock up your daughters, mothers and grandmothers – hair metal juggernauts Kiss and Mötley Crüe look set to descend on Australia early next year.

Crüe drummer Tommy Lee spilled the beans overnight on his Facebook page (via Fasterlouder), writing excitedly: “Wow! how time flys!! Last night of the US part of the tour. One show in Mexico in a few days but its a rap for 2012 kids!! A little break til Jan 2013 then off to Australia with Kiss n Motley.”
Nothing official has yet been confirmed, but stay tuned.

Sharing the stage for the first time since 1982, the Kiss/Crüe tag-team – simply dubbed ‘The Tour’ – has already clocked up over 40 shows together in the US since starting in July, no doubt leaving a trail of elated rock fans, exhausted groupies and pyro fumes in their wake.
At the tour’s press conference in March, the bands curiously described the joint tour as “Elvis on steroids”, an interesting comparison given the King Of Rock ‘n’ Roll was never known for face paint, armour or umlauts (that we know of).

“I want people to leave and go so this is what rock & roll is,” Kiss frontman Paul Stanley told the conference, as reported by Rolling Stone. “It’s dangerous, it’s loose, it’s not perfect. So whatever pop artist you see dancing around on a stage lip synching, that’s a con game and that’s not a live concert. If you want karaoke, go to a karaoke bar.”

Kiss guitarists Gene Simmons added: “”Come out, we’ll blow shit up, go home and fuck your girlfriend, that’s it. That’s exactly what we’d hope for.”

Kiss plan to release their 20th studio album ‘Monster’ next month. Motley Crue’s last album ‘Saints of Los Angeles’ came out in 2008, although they did drop a new song, simply titled ‘Sex’ in July.

"MONSTER" Available as 3-D Cover

KISS' Monster is available for pre-order in a 3-D Cover form. You can order it for $28.98 at


Pre-Order Your Copy of MONSTER for your chance to premiere a brand new KISS song from MONSTER on your personal Twitter feed? You the fan will help KISS spread the rock!

Live in the US? ENTER HERE:

Live outside the US? ENTER HERE:

Sophie Tweed-Simmons 'X Factor' Audition- Video

Sophie Tweed-Simmons Get's Four Yeses

X Factor Sophie Simmons Gene Simmons P
The Hollywood Reporter
It took The X Factor over an hour to get to the most hyped moments of the San Francisco auditions, but if you wanted the best, you got the best as Sophie Tweed Simmons, daughter of KISS founder Gene Simmons broke the Adele curse and unwittingly began a rivalry sure to be highlighted in the upcoming Boot Camp episodes.

Simmons, 19, already showed off her vocal chops on the Simmons family reality show, Family Jewels, singing “At Last” by Etta James at her parent’s wedding, but could she cut it in front of Simon Cowell, Britney Spears, Demi Lovato, L.A. Reid and a competitive Atlanta, Ga. vocal teacher?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

KISS' MONSTER: Album Review

Review By: Gus Griesinger/
Kiss’ career has spanned almost 39 years and this year they are about to release their 20th studio album titled “Monster” on Universal Music Enterprises. As with their last effort “Sonic Boom,” the band invited no co-writers and founder and rhythm guitarist Paul Stanley co-produced the CD along with Greg Collins. Stanley, along with co-founder and bassist Gene Simmons have continued to sport the same lineup for the last 8 years with drummer Eric Singer and lead guitarist Tommy Thayer rounding out the quartet.

The band’s first single “Hell or Hallelujah” was released to the airwaves on July 2, 2012. It is an up-tempo, ass kicking song that showcases Thayer’s strong and consistent licks delivered with that traditional Stanley vocal that Kiss fans have come to love. I believe it can already be put in the category of a “Kiss classic!”

Simmons has cited his favorite track on this release as the 2nd track, “Wall of Sound.”For some reason, the song takes me back to an 80’s or earlier version of Kiss, perhaps something that could have been on either “Crazy Nights” or Hot in the Shade.” It's a cool track but not my favorite Simmons song on the CD as you will see below.

Stanley handles lead vocals on the tune “Freak" and shares in the collective effort on the choruses and some of the verses. “Back to the Stone Age” was co-written by all four members and all 4 have their imprint on this song vocally. All show an amazing ability to harmonize their vocals.

One of my favorite tracks is “Long Way Down.” This is a flowing track that bares everything that Kiss encompasses; a strong Stanley vocal performance and good harmonies. This, coupled with Simmons, Singer and Thayer, who all shine on this track, again make for another "Kiss classic."
“Eat Your Heart Out” starts out with the group doing an a Capella chorus, during which, you can really hear Singer who has an underrated voice. Simmons takes lead vocal on this track, and if any song stands out as unique, I would say it’s this one.

Thayer commands lead vocals on “Outta This World.” I like this song more than his last lead on “Sonic Boom” called “When Lightning Strikes.” This seems more natural than its predecessor, and I hope they will have a chance to perform this in concert.

Singer also has a song called “All for the Love of Rock & Roll.” As noted, his vocals are underrated and he shows what he can do with his voice on this song. His style of playing is a little different here, which earns some added attention.

Simmons' bass pummels through the track “Take Me Down Below.” He locks in with Singer and leads this track on its way to being another one of my favorites on the album. I personally would like to see this released as a single. Simmons and Stanley both share vocal duties on the song.
“Last Chance” is another stand out selection. It may not get any recognition beyond my review, but it has a great hook and a memorable chorus.

Overall, I believe it’s a stronger performance than “Sonic Boom.” Even though this band has been together for 8 years now, this is only the 2nd studio effort between them. I think you can tell the band is becoming more comfortable with one another and the results show. This solid release by Kiss should delight the Kiss Army!

KISS Buildable Figures Exclusively at Target

KNEX Live Nation KISS Figures


By Mel Fabrikant/The Paramus Post

Music fans, young and old alike, can now build and play with characters from two iconic rock bands! K’NEX, the only US Construction toy company focused on Building Worlds Kids Love™, is pleased to introduce buildable figure packs inspired by The Beatles Yellow Submarine and KISS, available exclusively at Target this holiday season!

The award-winning K’NEX building system combined with the popularity of figure packs will bring the well-known images of the beloved musicians to the construction aisle for the first time. A part of our culture, The Beatles and KISS buildable figure packs are sure to appeal to music and building fans of all generations.
“The K’NEX buildable figure packs will bring these favorite personalities to life in a new way,” said Michael Araten, president of K’NEX Brands. “Children of all ages will have the opportunity to build and collect The Beatles Yellow Submarine or KISS!”
Buildable figure packs will feature authentic adornments from the unforgettable Yellow Submarine movie and the show-stopping looks of KISS. Sets include instruments, such as guitars and drums, to recreate the full band experience and packaging that doubles as a stage! Designed for children ages 5+, the sets will bring the fun of the stage show to the child and expand its appeal through a rewarding, age-appropriate K’NEX building experience. The Beatles Yellow Submarine and Kiss buildable figure packs are available exclusively at Target, and now!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

MONSTER Arrives in Two Weeks- The Countdown Begins!!

PETER CRISS Book Signing Schedule

Peter will be signing copies of his autobiography at the following locations:


555 Fifth Avenue at 46th Street
New York,NY
Monmouth Mall, 180 Route 35
6428 S. McClintock Dr.
50 N. Martingale Road

KISS Fan Needs Our Help

We Are One Kiss Army!

(from KissFAQ Message Board)

KISS fan Craig Boyce lost his 6 year old son this week and needs help paying for the funeral costs. Gene and Paul even donated items for the auction to help the family. Please check out these items and bid whatever you can.
Ross!/ ... ment_reply

WMS and KISS to "Rock and Roll All Nite" at G2E® with Premiere of New KISS™ Slot Game

WMS and KISS to "Rock and Roll All Nite" at G2E® with Premiere of New KISS™ Slot Game
- High Energy Participation Game to Deliver a Party Every Day on Casino Slot Floors -
- Kiss Co-Founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons to Introduce this Rocking New Gaming Floor Experience on Tuesday, October 2 nd with WMS Booth Appearance -

WAUKEGAN, Ill. & LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- A rock and roll experience like none other is set to take over the gaming industry's largest trade show with the debut of the new KISS slot game from WMS Gaming Inc., a subsidiary of WMS Industries Inc. (NYS: WMS) , at the twelfth annual Global Gaming Expo (G2E), October 2-4 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas. In conjunction with the introduction of the new game, legendary original KISS band members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons will be on hand to meet and greet fans in support of this rockin' new game at the WMS booth (#1118) on Tuesday, October 2 from 10:00 a.m. until Noon PT.

Featuring the music made famous by one of the world's most recognized and successful rock bands, the new KISS slot game offers players unique features for multi-array games, as players can be awarded one, two or three bonus video reel sets on any spin, each enhanced with WILD symbols added to the reels or the low-credit symbols removed. Additionally, when three or more bonus symbols appear on the reels, players will be awarded a Backstage Pass. Players then can choose from one of three passes that may award the Rock n' Records free spin bonus, Band Prize Top Box Bonus or the KISSAlive! Bonus with its exciting new interpretation on picking bonuses set to a soundtrack that's "Hotter than Hell" on WMS' Sensory Immersion platform with the near-concert-like surround sound. The KISS slots are sure to transform casino slot floors into party mode 'round-the-clock with "Rock and Roll All Nite and Party Every Day."

With game elements that feature the band member personas of the "Starchild," "Demon," "Spaceman" and "Catman," players will keep coming back for exciting bonus rounds and music from the band that's been awarded 28 gold albums, the most of any American rock band.

Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, co-founders of KISS, noted, "We've spent 40 years bringing our spectacle music and the KISS experience to life on stages around the world. We're blown away by this new cutting edge slot game. WMS has done an incredible job of capturing the energy of KISS and bringing our classic rock to life on the casino floor."

Rob Bone, Senior Vice President, North American Sales and Marketing for WMS, said, "KISS is a unique and legendary band that has entertained fans around the world since 1973; and our game designers have brought the distinctive music and energetic appeal of this iconic band to life in a new slot experience that is sure to engage and entertain players everywhere. Everything that makes KISS one of the most well-known bands of all time is featured in this game, from their distinct look and original album artwork, to their chart-topping hits. We know that bringing a player popular brand like KISS to life creates some big platform shoes to fill, but I'm confident we've succeeded. And, with Gene and Paul at G2E to help kick off this exciting new product, it doesn't get any better."

See the rocking new KISS slot game along with more than 100 other new products that demonstrate WMS' commitment to "Engaging Players. Delivering Results™." on display at G2E 2012 (booth #1118).
The deal was brokered by Live Nation Merchandise, KISS's exclusive Worldwide licensing agent.

KISS at Jones Beach, NY - Full Show

KISS September 22, 2012 Jones Beach, NY -Entire Show


KISS' Next Stop? Mexico

Kiss and Motley Crue will take "The Tour" to Mexico

09/29/12: Foro Sol, Mexico City
10/01/12: Arena Monterrey, Monterrey

South America:
11/07/12: River Plate Stadium, Buenos Aires

Monday, September 24, 2012

KISS Rocks Hartford Republican
By Donnie Moorehouse

HARTFORD - There are not a lot of true rock shows out on the road these days, that unabashed rock’ n’ roll that’s as much about the mayhem, posturing and adult-themed innuendo as it is the music. That the perceived void should be filled by bands now 30-years past relevancy should come as no surprise. The genre itself has the feel of a bygone era.

What may surprise some is that two of those bands, Kiss and Motley Crue, teamed up for a summer tour that ended with a show at the Comcast Theatre on Sunday night and both sounded like bands, not of a bygone era, but in their prime.

The double-bill (with Kiss as the headliner) brought thousands to the Hartford venue, selling out the pavilion and earning a respectable presence on the vast lawn as well proving there is indeed at least somewhat of a void that deserves to be filled.

Kiss has always been about three chords and an absolute spectacle and the band delivered on both fronts. Descending to the stage on a platform surrounded by pinwheel-like pyrotechnics and their now standard introduction (“you wanted the best, you got the best….”), the band opened with “Detroit Rock City.”

Collectively and individually the group has not sounded this good in a decade. Both Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley seemed to have cheated the ravages of time to some extent and are energized by drummer Eric Singer and lead guitarist Tommy Thayer.

Simmons spit fire balls, blood, and lyrical venom as the band churned out “I Love It Loud,” “Firehouse” and a new song from the upcoming “Kiss Monster” album called “Hell or Hallelujah.”
After “War Machine,” Thayer took center stage on “Shock Me” with sparks flying out of the end of his guitar. Simmons did him one better, riding a cable to the top of the light rack to sing “God of Thunder.” Stanley took his turn, zip-lining to the back of the shed for a one-song stint.

The band broke into “Lick It Up,” and segued into The Who’s “Won’t Be Fooled Again,” before wrapping up the set with “Rock’ N’ Roll All Nite,” which featured a confetti and firework finale the Grucci family would have admired.

It was a great display of a band that doesn’t take its audience for granted, a spirit that was also invoked by Motley Crue’s 90 minute set that featured their live concert staples, both musically and otherwise.

The band delivered songs like “Shout at the Devil,” “Same Old Situation,” “Home Sweet Home,” and “Dr. Feelgood,” while also showcasing high-powered water guns, scantily clad backing vocalists, and a Tommy Lee rotating, floating drum solo on a contraption that belongs on the midway.

KISS & MOTLEY CRUE Confirm 2013 Australian Tour



As reported by Kiss Mask back in May/June,  we told our follwers and readers the Kiss/Motley Crue tour would be extended, as  overseas promoters clamor for one of the top tours of the year in the US and bring it to the rest of the world. 'The TOUR'  (we do not know as of yet the name of the trek will remain as 'The Tour') has be extended and now will rock Australia!
-Kiss Mask Webzine

Kiss and Motley Crue will be touring Australia early next year.

In January, Kiss manager Doc McGhee revealed that that the rock gods were planning a return to Australia next year, and now the news has been confirmed via a Facebook post from Motley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee!

Tommy posted to his fans saying he was taking “a little break til Jan 2013 then off to Australia with Kiss n Motley.”

This year the glam rock icons have toured together playing over 40 dates across the US, Canada and Mexico.

Both bands are currently playing 90 minute sets, with KISS lead singer Gene Simmons promising that at the shows “you will scream your head off until it’s no longer on your shoulder and then you’ll feel great. You’ll be drenched, exhausted, and completely satisfied without ever having anyone touch your schmekel.”

We don’t know what a schmekel is, but it sounds exciting!

Are you excited to hear that these musical legends are coming to town? Stay tuned for more dates soon!

KISS "Hotter Than Hell" at PNC Arts Center -Video

Holmdel, NJ 9/21/12  Show #40

Hotter Than Hell


Here's the KISS MONSTER ZinePak. The limited edition KISS ZinePak will include the new 12-track CD and a commemorative 64 page magazine. The magazine includes exclusive interviews with Paul, Gene, Tommy, and Eric; never-before-seen photos; and lyrics to all songs with a track-by-track commentary from the band.
The KISS MONSTER ZinePak will be released on October 9, 2012.
Pre-Order at Wal-Mart

KISS Finshes US Tour in Hartford, CT. - Video

Hartford, CT. 9/23/12- Final US Show of 'The Tour'

Detroit Rock City

Lick It Up

Friday, September 21, 2012

Rock Show Review: KISS Stuns In Camden

When the vintage hard rock n' roll machine KISS visits the Delaware Valley there's one word that comes to mind: Monster. That's how big the experience is. The band, the make-up, the guitars, the boots, the hair and the crowd; all stand out in monstrous proportions.
You can expect that in every show. Wednesday night's blast of classic rock at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden delivered all of that on cue. KISS brought a peak performance after 80s glam metal heavy weights Motley Crue left the stage with an already dazzled and energized crowd.
KISS opened their show in familiar form blasting that infamous intro to my hometown's anthem "Detroit Rock City", while being lowered from the rafters on a platform like the gods of classic rock they've come to be after nearly 40 years.
You had the traditional elements of a KISS show with fireworks, stunning stage lights and rockets being fired from lead axe man Tommy Thayer's guitar, in the same spirit is original guitarist Ace Frehley.
The set list, however, had many not-so-traditional live numbers that haven't been heard by fans in years.
FOX29 photographer Shane McEachern and I looked at each other in awe when we heard the beginning of "War Machine" from the landmark 1982 record Creatures of the Night.
Lead vocalist, guitarist and principal songwriter Paul Stanley declared they were going to "kick it old-school" before ripping into "Strutter" off of the first and self-titled KISS release in 1974.
"We didn't play this one last night" he said.
The band also did the classic "Lick It Up" from the non-make-up era, before transitioning into a melodic cover of The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again."
Drummer, Eric Singer's voice was in top form when he sang the lead on "Black Diamond" and Gene Simmons delivered a demonically brilliant energy on his staple "God of Thunder" from 1976's Destroyer.
Stanley paid an acrobatic visit to the middle of the venue after soaring over the crowd, securing himself on a rotating platform and launching the fan favorite "Love Gun."
A KISS show wouldn't live up to its own standards without more explosions and a confetti drop during the "Rock And Roll All Nite" encore, closing out another epic night.
This was the fourth time I've seen KISS live and I can say without a doubt the band is tighter and more passionate than they've been in many years. Regardless of how you feel about this not being the original band, the legacy is still there and the talent is tops.
By the way, the new album Monster is set to drop next month. I personally can't wait to get my hands on it!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

KISS Rocked Camden Last Night 9/19/12

Camden, NJ 9/19/12 Show #39

Detroit Rock City


Strutter and Rock And Roll All Nite (in complete)

Rock And Roll All Nite (full)

Black Diamond

KISS & the Camden, NJ/Philadelphia Crowd

KISS rocked the Susquehanna Bank Center last night in Camden, NJ.
Photo:Dean Snowden/Kissonline

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

KISS Pull Out "Got To Choose" Live


Paul, Gene, Tommy and Eric play Got To Choose . September 16th 2012 Mansfield, Massachusetts.


KISS, Mötley Crüe Fans Deal With Wet Weather

by /16 WNEP News

SCRANTON — It wasn`t an ideal night for outdoor concert Tuesday night, but diehard fans of KISS and Mötley Crüe weren`t going to let a little rain keep them away.
“We do have the tickets. We want to enjoy the show. It`s a good night. I`ve been fortunate to have good weather at Montage so this is kind of the penance that we have to pay to enjoy a show out here tonight with this rain,” said Jim Roberts from Shavertown.
Tailgaters at Toyota Pavillion did what they could to stay dry: taking cover under tents, umbrellas, and ponchos.
Concertgoer Walter Bohner even used the bad weather to make a couple bucks.
“We`re selling ponchos. I figured inside you`re going to pay $5, $7, maybe $10,” said Bohner, who came out from Bloomsburg. “Out here two for $5, you get one for you, your wife, your kids, you got a lawn seat it`s going to be wet.”
Others didn`t even bother to find shelter for rain, working their grills as streams of water ran under them.
“I’ve gone all around the world seeing classic rock from the `70 and `80s and this is what we fans do,” said Michael Kent from New Jersey. “Although the weather is suspect but we`re going to have a great time.”
Luckily the rain stopped by concert time, however this isn`t the first time fans have had to deal with bad weather here on the mountain.
In July, fans at the popular Warped Tour were caught up in severe weather and sent running for cover as thunderstorms came through.
Officials halted the Warped Tour temporarily as they waited for the weather to pass.
In August, it was a soggy start as campers arrived for the three day Peach Festival.
Many at this concert say they planned for months to be here and the rainy weather wasn’t stopping them.
“It`s Mötley Crüe and KISS so I`d come out here because they`re awesome,”said Marissa Klinger from Mount Carmel. “I`ve seen Mötley Crüe like ten times! KISS I saw twice, for my sixteenth birthday I was right up front, seventh row.”
We did try to speak with Live Nation officials to see if this summer’s rainy weather affected this year’s concert season but no one was available to talk.

Richie Sambora Recalls Audition for KISS on Howard Stern's Show

Bon Jovi guitarist recalls auditioning for Kiss for Ace Frehley's spot in KISS with Howard Stern. Richie appeared on Stern's show September 17.

September is a KISS Month for Album Releases

In the 80's, KISS released a slew of albums during the month of September.

LICK IT UP/September 18, 1983. KISS also removed their makeup in an MTV exclusive.
ANIMALIZE/September 13, 1984.
ASYLUM/September 16, 1985.
CRAZY NIGHTS/September 18, 1987.

Watch and Win with KISS! Countdown to MONSTER

UME & Vevo Present Watch and Win with KISS! Sweepstakes!

Watch KISS' video "Heaven's On Fire." then answer the multiple choice questions.
Hint: Be sure to watch the entire video.
Enter from 9/17 to 9/23 for a chance to win one of four $25 iTunes Gift Cards!

"Hiring Our Heroes" Vet is a KISS Roadie


Fox News Philly checks in with Vet KISS roadie, Paul Jordan.

Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

Kiss, Crüe rock a rain-soaked Montage Mountain

By Josh McAuliffe (Staff Writer)
The Times-Tribune

Kiss and Motley Crüe, sharing the same stage.
Can you say sensory overload?

The glam metal icons brought their co-headlining tour to a rain-drenched Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain on Tuesday night, putting a bombastic exclamation point on the 2012 summer concert season.

The weather no doubt kept some people at home, but the thousands who turned out were treated to a double bill of nonstop bells and whistles - with some pretty decent music thrown in for good measure.

The Crüe was first, arriving at 7:45 p.m. to a stage adorned with huge video monitors, pyromania, a menagerie of scantily clad dancing women and a mini roller coaster (more on that later).
They opened their 80-minute set with "The Saints of Los Angeles," which might be one of the most ironically titled songs in rock history, considering the band's debauchery-laden past.
Next was the driving "Wild Side," then the decibel-shattering "Shout at the Devil." Lead singer Vince Neil's voice doesn't quite have the punch it once did, but it's still got a nice whine to it.
His bandmates played loud and well. Bassist Nikki Sixx, resembling a character from "Mad Max" with his painted face and imposing height, laid out one big churning groove after another. Elfin goth guitarist Mick Mars had several good solos, particularly on "Same Ol' Situation."
And then there was the irrepressible Tommy Lee, who, as always, took his drum kit for a nifty ride around the aforementioned Tommy coaster. It's not every day you get to see someone drum while airborne and upside down. One lucky (is that the word?) audience member got to take a ride with him.

Other highlights included "Dr. Feelgood" and the power ballad "Home Sweet Home," which found Mr. Lee briefly leaving his kit to play piano. The grand finale, "Kickstart My Heart," was the ultimate show stopper, a barrage of smoke, fire, laser lights and guys in red jumpsuits and masks spraying water on the crowd.

Tough act to follow, indeed, but the audience wanted the best, and they got it at 9:40 p.m. when the face-painted godfathers of glam metal took over amid a flurry of pyrotechnics.
Kiss put on a clinic for their appreciative army, opening with the thunderous power chords of "Detroit Rock City," followed by the catchy power pop of "Shout It Out Loud."

The maniacal Gene Simmons brought the noise on "I Love It Loud," and Paul Stanley bantered with the crowd incessantly. Lead guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer were solid and left the showmanship to their famous bandmates.

It was an exuberantly entertaining spectacle, and expertly choreographed, from Mr. Simmons' patented fire breathing and blood spewing to Mr. Stanley flying out into the middle of the audience to perform "Love Gun."

Mr. Simmons and Mr. Stanley have several years on their tour mates, but the Crüe could learn a thing or two from their elders.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

KISS South American Tour

KISS South American Tour Dates

A newspaper in Brazil has printed KISS dates for South America in November.


07: Bueno Aires, River Plate Stadium
10: Chile, Maquinaria Stadium
14: Porto Alegre, Fiergs
16: Rio de Janeiro. HSBC Arena
17: San Paulo, Anhenbi Stadium

'The TOUR' wraps up on September 29 in Mexico City and Monterrey on October 1.

PETER CRISS Talks About Breast Cancer in Men

Peter Criss at the NJ Kiss Expo talking about retiring, writing a children's book and breast cancer in men. September 8, 2012.

KISS Expo Compilation video:

ACE FREHLEY to Appear at Chiller Expo

Chiller Expo

Ace Frehley will join former Frehley's Comet guitarist Richie Scarlet at this year's Chiller Expo, October 26-28 at the Sheraton Parsippany Hotel 199 Smith Rd Parsippany, NJ 07054
Phone: 973-515-2000.

For tickets/guest information/directions/times here at Chiller Theatre

KISS stays alive with fresh faces, material

By Ed Condran/

It's quite an accomplishment when a band hits the 20-album mark. When “Monster,” the latest album from KISS, drops in October, the group will celebrate that achievement.
It means that KISS, which will perform Wednesday at the Susquehanna Bank Center, has been around for awhile, still receives ample fan support and has the desire to release new material instead of riding the nostalgia circuit.
“We still like to have something new to offer,” drummer Eric Singer says. “We still are a creative band. We don’t have to rely solely on older songs.”
The band has always been hell-bent on releasing new material. KISS continues to move forward, even though its lineup has changed many times.
Vocalist-guitarist Paul Stanley and vocalist-bassist Gene Simmons, who formed the band in 1973, have been compelled to keep the act alive, and who could blame them?
The band, which burst onto the scene sporting flamboyant costumes and makeup, was a hit with young males during the mid-’70s, and still draws huge crowds.
“We struck a chord with the youth,” Simmons says. “That’s a good thing, since the youth grows up with you and stays with you. Our fans have been very devoted.”
The Kiss Army, which was established shortly after the group released its eponymous album in 1973, is still going strong. You have the older fans, and some of their progeny are also on the bandwagon.
“Parents pass on the music to their kids,” Simmons says. “That’s worked out well for us.”
Well, hard rock is a rite of passage for many boys, and KISS brings as much flash and noise as any band. The fans still love the band in its war paint.
“We still love putting it on,” Singer says. “It’s part of the ritual. We’re always pumped up to lay things out in a theatrical manner. It’s a cool thing going out in the makeup and the cool clothes. This band has always been about being larger than life. There just aren’t many bands out there that are larger than life anymore.”
We’re living in an ordinary era, and then you have KISS, which is still all about being big.”
The band has sold more than 100 million albums around the world, and still sells out arenas and stadiums around the globe. Yet the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and many critics, refuse to take them seriously.
“Few bands have accomplished what KISS has accomplished,” Simmons says. “There is no other way around that. We’re proud of our past, but we’re very excited about our future as well. Expect more albums, shows and inventiveness. We’re all about making new things, and keeping KISS alive.”

Monday, September 17, 2012


Here is video of Peter Criss judging the KISS costume contest at the NJ Kiss Expo, September 8, 2012.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

KISS "Hell or Hallelujah" -Toronto 9/13/12 (HD)

Toronto Show # 36

Live from The Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, Toronto, Ontario, September 13, 2012

Hell of Hallelujah


Mars Attacks Podcast Episode 66 – Kiss Revenge Special Part I

This episode kicks off a two part interview which Mitch Lafon, who earlier this year did a five part interview regarding the 20th anniversary of the Kiss album Revenge. If you have not read all five parts you can read interviews Mitch conducted with Eric Singer, Bruce Kulick, Dick Wagner, Kevin Valentine, and Tommy Thayer. Bruce Kulick also remembers the album on site as well, you can read those comments here.
In this episode Mitch discusses things that stood out to him regarding his five part interview. Part two will feature things that stood out to me after reading his interviews. The show also features select tracks from the album.
Would like to thank Decibel Geek podcast once again for posting my 9/11 story, if you haven’t read it, you can find it here.
The episode can be streamed or downloaded from here:
Download MP3
Download From iTunes

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The KISS ROOM Replay

The KISS ROOM Replay

 September 14th Episode
itunes pic

Friday, September 14, 2012

New Retro KISS Figures Coming this Fall

Retro KISS Figures

KISS 12 Inch Action Figures Series 1

Figures Toy Company is set to release a new collection of KISS figures from the 1974 era complete with Paul Stanley in his original raccon makeup. Check out the collection at . The collection will be available in October.

KISS Perform "Hard Luck Woman" & "Goin' Blind" Unplugged Backstage In Toronto, Canada

KISS in Toronto, Canada on September 13, 2012.

KISS in front of Toronto Show

Here's KISS in front of the sold-out Toronto crowd at Molson Amphitheater!

Photo by Dean Snowden for KISSonline.

Decibel Geek Podcast with Bruce Kulick

Bruce Kulick Appears on Decibel Geek Podcast

The Decibel Geek Podcast has released an in-depth discussion with former KISS and current Grand Funk Railroad guitarist Bruce Kulick for downloading and streaming. In this long form discussion, the veteran musician reflects on nearly 40 years in the music industry.

Direct Link to Episode

Kiss' Gene Simmons opens his mouth (but keeps his tongue in)

By A.D. Amorosi/

Kiss play the Philadelphia market on Wednesday, September 19 at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, NJ.

The first thing to do when speaking to Kiss' Gene Simmons is to get to the truth of the matter. After nearly 40 years of being in the dressy demonic ensemble, the bassist, entrepreneur, and reality television star wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

Ask him what he thinks of partner Paul Stanley's 2009 statement to this writer that "democracy is overrated" in relation to the Starchild's production of that year's Sonic Boom, and Simmons chuckles. "Yes," he says. "Everybody can't have equal say. The good thing about Paul is that he was able to commit the time and the mental fatigue that it takes to stay in the studio for three months. I didn't have that. I'm way past that."

With Simmons pretending he's past that, Stanley produced Kiss' metal-marauding 20th studio album, Monster. "We're in the same car," Simmons says. "Paul just happens to be steering, and I'm happy he is."  Simmons should be: Monster is a beast, a richly melodic yet gut-punching work that rivals Kiss classics such as Dressed to Kill and Destroyer, the latter currently getting a polish with a recently remastered rerelease.

"There's always going to be a 15-year-old who hasn't heard the classics," says Simmons. "Seeing the kids dressed in our makeup on his father's shoulder - also wearing makeup, by the way - is the most emotional thing of a Kiss concert for me. That those same kids can hear Destroyer anew is equally emotional. We outrun the pre-planned obsolescence of pop. Not much music has that sort of timeless currency. I love Chuck Berry, and once upon a time his riffs were contemporary. So was doo-wop. Those things are gone. But Kiss not only stood the test of time, we've transcended it."

Read more:

KISS fan helps Sick Kids and snags autographed guitar

John R. Kennedy, Global News

Justin Benlolo holds a guitar signed by KISS members (from left) Gene Simmons;Eric Singer;Paul Stanley;and Tommy Thayer.
Justin Benlolo holds a guitar signed by KISS members (from left) Gene Simmons;Eric Singer;Paul Stanley;and Tommy Thayer.
Photo Credit: Dean Snowden , KISS
A Toronto area teen took home more than memories from Thursday’s KISS concert at the Molson Amphitheatre, Justin Benlolo also got a guitar signed by all four members of the iconic rock band.

“I’m never going to play it,” says Benlolo. “I’m going to put it in a glass case and let it sit in my room.”

Benlolo, a 15-year-old Vaughan high school student who performs as Tyler Rhodes, won the guitar thanks to his father Elliot’s successful $10,000 bid at a charity auction Wednesday night.

KISS donated the guitar to “Sylebration”, an event honouring the memory of Benlolo’s uncle Simon “Sy” Benlolo, who died of a drug overdose in Mexico last April. He was 40.

The event raised $54,000 for the Music Therapy Program at the Hospital for Sick Children.

“My uncle got me into KISS when I was seven or eight,” recalls Justin. “The first time I heard KISS, I was in his car and he put on the album Destroyer. When I heard the first song I thought, ‘Oh my God, I’ve got to do this.’ I asked my mom if I can play guitar and I started to sing.

“Ever since then I’ve been the biggest KISS fan ever.”

Read it on Global News: Global Edmonton | KISS fan helps Sick Kids and snags autographed guitar

Thursday, September 13, 2012

KISS' Destroyer:Resurrected Billboard Chart Action

KISS' remixed Destroyer:Resurrected has fallen from #168 to #187 on Billboard's Top 200 Album Charts. The album has spent a total of 82 weeks on the charts from it's original release peaking at #11 in 1976.

KISS and Motley Crue rock Blossom Music Center: Photo gallery

Rock and Roll All Night
EnlargeConfetti showers spill out across the Blossom pavilion and thousands of KISS fans2012 Kiss & Motley Crue gallery (15 photos)
Heavy metal rock legends KISS along with Motley Crue rocked the stage at Blossom Music Center Wednesday night in front of 10,000 fans.
From Michael Heaton's review:
"[Gene] Simmons played the tongue-wagging “Demon” to the hilt, e moting like some possessed, silent film actor. Stanley’s lead vocals, all raspy soul and swagger, kept the band rocking while his brisk, funky banter kept the crowd entertained. Simmons distinguished himself this time out not by spewing fire or blood, for which he is famous, but by being the only member of the band sporting a wedding ring."

Check out photos from the concert from contributor Ric Kruszynski.

No More Lines for KISS

Getty Images
Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of US rock group Kiss perform live on stage

By Alexandra Cheney/Wall Street Journal

The music has always been central to the success of rock’n'roll band KISS, but now more than ever it’s about the business.

The band, made up of original members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley and newer additions Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer, have sold more than 90 millions albums worldwide. Now they’re looking to increase their merchandising sales, tapping their in-stadium audience as well as their global fanbase.

Launching Thursday for the final five shows of their KISS Motley Crüe The Tour 2012, audience members will be able to purchase KISS merchandise directly from their seats. No more hazardous and frustrating lines around the merchandise tents but instead, a pay-to-play move that will result in a personalized purchasing experience — not to mention a VIP-style pickup.

Deemed KISS X-Press program, the in-seat purchasing program is in conjunction with Live Nation LYV +3.52%Merchandise, whose CEO Dell Furano said that KISS has sold more than a half a billion dollars in merchandise in the last 15 years.
Deemed KISS X-Press program, the in-seat purchasing program is in conjunction with Live Nation LYV +3.52%Merchandise, whose CEO Dell Furano said that KISS has sold more than a half a billion dollars in merchandise in the last 15 years.

This new program emphasizes the “hassle-free” nature shoppers have come to expect in the digital landscape of tablets and smart phones, according to David Lucatch, the CEO of Ortsbo, a real-time experiential communications platform. Working with each venue to alert audiences to the program via banners and signage, Lucatch said KISS X-Press has “evolved how entertainers can reach their fans.”

In an interview earlier in the summer, Simmons unabashedly admitted that KISS is looking to step up and expand their merchandising potential. “I want KISS to be a culture, not just a music show,” said Simmons.

The band has already teamed up with Ortsbo to create the KISS social hub, a platform equipped with an instant translation function that allows for fans worldwide to communicate with each other and the band in their native language. The platform is integrated into Facebook FB -1.04%, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Flickr and Vevo, to list a few, and is available in 66 languages.

“I talk to merchants and record labels in countries with languages I can’t even pronounce,” said Stanley.

KISS is Returning to Rock Argentina


KISS will return to rock Bueno Aires' River Plate Stadium on November 7.
Ticket information will be released soon.

The KISS ROOM Airs Friday 9/14

Next LIVE show . Friday, SEPTEMBER 14 . 3-5PM EST on MONTCO RADIO!

Streaming LIVE and WORLDWIDE on

Eric Carr tribute artist ERIC TODDOROCKS CARR!


"Super Fan" Andy's KISS KRUISE Kommentary!KISS Kruise Maniacs on Facebook! KISS Kruisers on Facebook!

10 year old drum prodigy DYLAN HAYECK!



ACE FREHLEY Working on new Album, Book & DVD

Ace Frehley (Formerly Of Kiss) Interview

By: Gus Griesinger/

The British invasion, including The Beatles first appearance on Ed Sullivan here in the US, influenced more kids to pick up instruments than ever before. Since that time, I believe former KISS guitarist Ace Frehley can be considered a close second. When talking to any guitarist since KISS made their mark in the mid 1970s, most will say that the original Spaceman was a major influence when it came to taking up the six string.

Ace has come a long way in the last handful of years. He is now celebrating over six years of sobriety. Ace is enjoying life at his own pace and not the rigorous touring schedule that other bands, including his former band, continue to enjoy.

While playing in Erie, Pennsylvania, last month, we had the rare opportunity for a one-on-one interview with Ace, right before he took the stage that night. We set up our equipment in his makeshift dressing room behind the stage as he finished the first part of his meet and greets. The second part of these meet and greets were delayed until after his show, so BackstageAxxess could have a few minutes with the living legend himself. The crowd was heavily chanting "Ace!" "Ace!" "Ace!" throughout the interview. In fact, we were so tight on time, I started the interview without a formal introduction from myself (Ace's manager told him right before we sat down who I was, but Ace forgot and ended up asking me again at the start of the interview). Ace was in great spirits and took the time to answer some questions about the possibility of a new CD and new book. We also talked about his relationship with the current KISS members.

We had an interview scheduled with Ace when his book came out last year, but due to his flight being delayed the day of the interview, we were not able to do it. It is with our pleasure to finally bring you our interview with the one and only Ace Frehley...


Message from Bruce Kulick

Had two exciting Kiss events that I wanted to share with you. I just returned from the NY/NJ Kiss Expo this past Saturday, and what a great turnout.
Photo:Bruce Kulick

MONSTER Picture Disc Available for Pre-Order


The full color KISS MONSTER picture disc LP features 200 gram vinyl and is housed in a full color album jacket. Only 2000 copies are available!

Click here to pre-order the KISS MONSTER Picture Disc now

Gene Simmons and Doc McGhee at the SOLID Breakfast in Nashville

2nd Monster Single to Come

KISS frontman Gene Simmons and legendary manager Doc McGhee attended an invite-only breakfast event in Nashville, sponsored by SOLID (Society of Leaders in Development), where they were interviewed by Ray Waddell of Billboard Magazine. The two talked about the history of KISS and more.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

ERIC SINGER: Heavy Metal Hometown Hero

With Kiss playing Blossom Music Center this week, we thought it would be a good time to catch up by phone with Euclid hometown hero and heavy-metal drummer Eric Singer. Singer, 54, has lived in Los Angeles for 30 years and has been a drummer for Kiss, on and off, for the last 21 years. He has also played with Alice Cooper, Lita Ford and on solo tours by Kiss' Paul Stanley.

Where are you now in the tour?

We played a sold-out show at the Minnesota State Fair last night. It's a 44-city tour. We just added Mexico City and Monterrey.

Where did you grow up in Cleveland?

Euclid. I graduated from Euclid High School in 1976.

When did you start playing music?

My dad was Johnny Singer. He had a society club band. They went from being a trio to a 15-piece band, depending on the gig. I started playing drums with him when I was 14. We played a lot of country clubs on the East Side. I was later in a band with Mike McGill that would become Beau Coup with the Amato brothers [Frank and Tommy] and Dennis Lewin.

Then you moved to Los Angeles?

In 1983 I moved out to the West Coast. The idea was to study music for a while, or take lessons. But within a year I was playing in Lita Ford's band. She was dating Tony Iommi from Black Sabbath and I got some gigs from him. I played with Gary Moore [Thin Lizzy], Brian May [Queen] and did 13 tours with Alice Cooper.

How did the Kiss thing happen?

I was hired for Paul Stanley's solo tour in 1989. I've been on and off with Kiss for 21 years now. For the last nine in a row.

How much of a pain is all the makeup?

Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining. But being in this band is a lot of work. All the makeup and costumes can be cumbersome. Especially when you play outdoors in Phoenix when it's 115 degrees.

Did you grow up a Kiss fan?

I saw them open for the New York Dolls at the Allen Theatre in 1974. I still feel like a fan to this day. Sometimes I see a kid at a show in the front row and I think, that was me. I've been blessed. Retaining that feeling of being a fan keeps me passionate about doing this. You need to be passionate to do this.

Have you ever met [original Kiss drummer] Peter Criss? Is it awkward?

We've met. He's fine. We don't socialize or anything. I realize that fans want their bands to stay together forever. But that's because they've never been in a band. Know how hard a relationship between two people can be? Imagine that with four or five people. Sometimes a band has to change to survive. Sometimes a guy has to leave a band as a survival tactic. Life happens. Things change. It's not a perfect world.

How do you stay healthy on the road and in the heavy-metal world?

I don't smoke or do drugs. I hardly drink. Maybe a glass of wine with dinner. I had one drink last night after the show. A vodka and soda on the rocks. I nursed it for an hour. Even that is rare for me. My way of staying healthy is getting rest and eating well. That's the key. I spend 22 hours of my day getting ready for the two hours onstage. I've never missed a show in my life.

By Michael Heaton/The Plain Dealer

KISS’s Tommy Thayer Talks Guitars, Influences and the Making of Monster

Tommy Thayer Talks Guitars, Influences and the Making of MONSTER

Neil Chrisley/

Following a full decade without a studio album, KISS made a spectacular return to form three years ago with Sonic Boom, a no-frills album that recalled the band’s mid to late ‘70s glory years. Incredibly, the group’s forthcoming new album, Monster, is an even greater triumph. Packed with explosive energy and the sort of guitar riffs other bands dream about, Monster seems destined for a prime spot among other KISS classics.
Even more so than on Sonic Boom, guitarist Tommy Thayer played an integral role on Monster, writing or co-writing ten songs and, alongside Paul Stanley, delivering half the band’s two-guitar punch. Clearly, he’s established himself as an indispensable cog in the current KISS lineup of Stanley, Gene Simmons, Eric Singer and himself. In the following interview, Thayer talks about the new album, his main guitar influences and why Gibsons are his choice guitars both on-stage and in the studio.
How did the band approach making the new album?
Generally, it was the same approach as Sonic Boom. We didn’t have an agenda. We just wanted to write great rock and roll songs and make a cohesive album. With Sonic Boom, it was more like testing the waters, seeing how things would go with this lineup and with the band as it is today. We came up with a great record, obviously, and we found that we could be effective and lethal in the studio. Monster takes those things to a new level, and ups the ante in terms of the songs and the production. It was similar, but it was new and improved as well.
Why was the band reluctant to make an album for all those years prior to Sonic Boom?
That’s probably more a question for Paul or Gene. It was before I was on-board. But my impression is that they didn’t feel comfortable trying to record a studio album because of the state of the band at that time. They didn’t feel it was healthy -- or that the band could produce, write and record a great rock and roll record. That said, the band has fused incredibly well in the last eight or ten years. There’s such great spirit and chemistry now, it suddenly became obvious – prior to making Sonic Boom -- that this band should make a studio album.

What guitars did you use on Monster?

Tommy ThayerPrimarily I used a Gibson SG – a 1961 reissue that belongs to Paul. It’s the same guitar I used on a lot of Sonic Boom. Normally I play a Les Paul, but for recording work I’ve found that the SG has a little more punch, and isn’t quite as full-bodied. Sonically, the SG fit well into the tracks. I did use the Les Paul on a few things as well. It was pretty much straight head: plug the SG into a couple of good amps, and keep it raw and ballsy.
What Les Paul models do you play?
They’re Custom Shop reissues of the ’58, ’59 and 1960 Les Paul Standards. I use those guitars on-stage as well. I also have one that’s customized – the Rocket Guitar, which has a rocket launcher mounted on the back of the headstock. I also have a couple of Explorers I take on the road. They have a silver-sparkle finish, the same finish that my new Epiphone Tommy Thayer Signature Les Paul will have. The signature model is similar to the Les Paul I often use on solos, which is a Les Paul Standard with a silver sparkle top. Epiphone will be releasing officially announcing that guitar in the next couple of months and it should be available in stores in early 2013."
Who are your main guitar influences?
My favorite bands when I was learning to play were Foghat, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, KISS, Aerosmith, Montrose – those types of bands. Probably my favorite guitar players were Ronnie Montrose and Jimmy Page and Peter Frampton. I’m still a big fan of Frampton. I also loved Pat Travers, Robin Trower … second generation mid ‘70s players. Mainly I learned by mimicking records, putting albums on the turntable and trying to figure out the chords and riffs. I probably didn’t learn them quite right, in the beginning. When you’re a kid, you’re kind of at a loss for how some of these things are done. Eventually I started learning some solos – again, by listening and studying what was on those albums.
Which era was the greatest for guitar riffs?
The early to mid ‘70s was a great time for guitar riffs. But at the same time, when you’re 13 or 14 years old, that’s a magical period in your life, when you’re first getting into playing guitar and first going to concerts and so forth. The riffs you’re listening to at that age tend to stay with you. A great rock album that still holds up today is the first Montrose album. “Rock Candy,” “Rock the Nation,” “Bad Motor Scooter,” “Space Station #5” … those are great rock and roll songs with incredible riffs. A great guitar riff is worth its weight in gold. Being able to come up with great riffs – and write that kind of stuff – isn’t as easy as people think.
What makes Gibsons so right for what you do?
A lot of it has to do with the guitarists I grew up loving. Most of them played Les Pauls or other Gibsons. The guys in Aerosmith, Ronnie Montrose, Peter Frampton and the guys in KISS all played Les Pauls. When you’re growing up, and you’re first excited about rock and roll and guitar players, you want to mimic that as soon as you can. Those players weren’t using those guitars by chance. When it’s combined with the right amp, you just can’t beat the sound and the beefiness of a Gibson.
(Check out Tommy’s impressive Gibson arsenal here)
Is being a guitarist in KISS different from being a guitarist in other rock bands?
It’s a whole other world. I could never imagine being in a regular band again. That would be a huge step backwards. Being in KISS is the ultimate in rock and roll performance and theatrics. I was thinking about that the other night. We were on-stage doing “Rock and Roll All Nite” toward the end of our set. Gene and I were going up on lifts – about 30 feet into the air – and confetti was flying and bombs were going off. All of a sudden a big smile came over my face. I was thinking, “How lucky can I be, being in this band, on-stage right now, experiencing this?” It doesn’t get any better.