News - 2009 : October

Oct 07 2009
By Steve Beebee

In 1996, KISS decided to reform their original line-up - make-up, stack heels, costumes, the lot - for one final pyrotechnic hurrah. It was a KISS many fans weren't old enough to have seen first time round, and burying the memory of their sometimes dodgy hair metal era, it was utterly spectacular. What most people (including original guitarist Ace Frehley) didn't realise was that KISS figureheads Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons didn't plan to stop there. Thirteen years on, and despite Frehley and original drummer Peter Criss being replaced by younger and fitter alternatives (Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer, respectively), the KISS nostalgia machine continues to crush all in its path.

Nostalgia that is, until now. Few believed KISS would ever follow-up 1998's Psycho Circus. What would be the point, given that they could tour on the fruits of their legacy into their dotage? The only way it could be anything other than a disaster would be to forget the excesses of the 80s, forget modern production paraphernalia and simply get back to the beating heart of what made KISS one of the greatest bands in the history of rock. Enter Sonic Boom.

Produced entirely "in house" by Paul Stanley himself, Sonic Boom is almost phenomenal, an achievement few would expect from a band so long withdrawn from studio activity and one that is, without question a piece of work that can be stacked alongside their best. It's not just the uncluttered production that brings everything into your face and eliminates any trace of flab, but also the style and tone and execution. It might sound trite to praise a KISS album for sounding like KISS, but having deviated from their intended path for so long in the 80s and 90s, this might make a few fans weep with joy.
Oct 07 2009
Thanks to Andy Moyen for sending these photos of the KISS M&M's display box!

Oct 07 2009
Here's another great fan-filmed clip - "King Of The Night Time World" from KISS' Boston show on Monday.

Oct 07 2009
Here's Gene on the cover of the latest issue of the French edition of "Rock Hard" Magazine.
Oct 06 2009
By Jonathan Perry Photo by Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff Nothing says family like fathers and sons (and a few daughters, too) in Kiss face paint. Kiss, which first spit flame to fame in the '70s as the fire-breathing, pyro-shooting, action-figure fantasy of teenagers everywhere, has stuck around for so many generations that Monday night at the Garden it was the parents who called their kids to tell them they'd be home late. These days, Kiss is as much a brand as a band, and still a lucrative one at that. This particular jaunt around the world is billed as the "Alive 35 Tour," in honor of the foursome's landmark 1975 live album, "Alive!" But to its credit, the band has a new product to sell. "Sonic Boom," which dropped yesterday, is Kiss's first album in over a decade. It's a return to the rock-and-roll-all-night-and-party-every-day formula of its heyday. "Modern Day Delilah," a surprisingly limber rocker from the new album, came early in the band's two-hour set. It held up well, alongside the band's "classics" that flanked it - "Got to Choose" and "Hotter Than Hell."
Oct 06 2009
The Aquarian
By Tim Louie Everyone has a childhood hero or at least someone that they idolized growing up. For some, it's a sports figure; some might even say a movie star or a relative. For me, I had my sports figure idols but mainly worshipped rock stars. As a child, I wanted to be Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue, Duff McKagan from Guns 'N Roses, or Gene Simmons from KISS, which would only make sense for me to become a bass player. Now, it's not every day that you get to meet or speak to your childhood idols, but I've been lucky enough to have that day happen a few times, already meeting Nikki and Duff. Today, I would get the chance to speak to the idol of all idols, the hero of all heroes - I wanted the best and I got it! Today, I was getting a chance to speak to Gene Simmons, the marketing genius, bass-playing reality show TV star Demon of KISS! Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Eric Singer, and Tommy Thayer, collectively known to the rest of us as the legendary KISS, recently released their first studio recording since Psycho Circus 11 years ago. Sonic Boom, a three-disc set performed by the current line-up contains studio recordings on the first, featuring the new single "Modern Day Delilah," while the other two discs include recordings from earlier this year. Sonic Boom is actually a Wal-Mart exclusive, which is something that AC/DC successfully accomplished back in June.
Oct 06 2009
KISS performs live on CBS-TV's 'Late Show With David Letterman' tonight to coincide with the release of the SONIC BOOM CD! The show begins at 11:35 pm ET/PT.
Oct 06 2009
To All,

Sonic Boom hits the stores today. This IS the album you've been waiting for and hoping for. We are all very proud of it and blown away by the incredible reviews it is getting worldwide. Many people have asked us how we managed to capture the fire and spirit that's in all the songs, in all the playing and in all the singing.

It's what happens when a band loves its fans, loves being together and loves making great rock and roll...

And we do.

Turn it up!

Paul Stanley
Oct 06 2009
By Edna Gundersen, USA TODAY
Photo by Dan MacMedan, USA TODAY

"Look at Kiss culture," says Gene Simmons, radiating pride. "People tattoo their bodies with Kiss faces, name their children after our songs, have Kiss conventions.

"This is Planet Kiss; we just live on it. The stage is holy ground, and what we do is electric church."

Holy hyperbole! The kabuki kibitzers of big-top rock are back in greasepaint and spandex, armed with a new album and a fresh stage spectacle to solidify a legacy built on thundering riffs, pyrotechnics, superheroic role-playing and hucksterism.

The singer/bassist, 60, and guitarist Paul Stanley, 57, are meeting in the Sunset Strip office of manager Doc McGhee to chat up Sonic Boom, Kiss' 19th studio album and first since 1998's Psycho Circus. The album, out today exclusively at Walmart, is a three-disc set with a CD of re-recorded hits and a DVD of a Buenos Aires concert packaged with 11 new songs. It's $12, "the price of a sandwich," Simmons crows.

The band began writing last spring, rehearsed tunes in May and recorded in June, wrapping up Boom by mid-July. Reviews have lauded the album's return to the crunch and muscle of '70s classics Destroyer and Love Gun.
Oct 06 2009
By GORDON DICKSON KISS is back with a new record, a concert tour and a promotional blitz coming to a Walmart near you. Yes, the guys are older now, but they're still wearing spandex, painting their faces and putting on quite a show. "The thing about KISS is, there's a real timeless appeal to it," lead guitarist Tommy Thayer said in a recent phone interview, before donning his "Spaceman" garb and playing a concert in Montreal. "The same thing that caught people's hearts and passions in the early 1970s is the same thing I see happening with kids today. Obviously, you have to bring kids into the fold for bands like KISS to keep reinventing themselves." The four-man rock band will unveil its first new music in 11 years as part of a three-disc set titled Sonic Boom that drops at Walmarts nationwide Tuesday. The $12 set, which includes a CD of new songs, a CD of classic hits and a DVD of live performances this year in Argentina, won't be the only value-priced memorabilia on display. Each Walmart will sport a KISS Korner in its electronics department, with KISS T-shirts, fleece blankets, M&Ms and even Mr. Potato Head figures.
Oct 06 2009
Check out this great interview with Gene and Tommy on New Jersey's WDHA 105.5!

Oct 06 2009
By Jed Gottlieb

KISS have always hid their danceable hooks in heavy-metal fire and face paint. Thankfully, the band's first album in 11 years is no different. Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, drummer Eric Singer and new guitarist Tommy Thayer induce more rump shakin' than head bangin' on pop anthems "Stand," "Never Enough" and the tambourine-and-cowbell-flavored "Yes I Know (Nobody's Perfect)." "I'm an Animal" manages one sludgy, heavy riff, but it's tucked between so much catchy rock, it barely distracts from the fun.
Oct 06 2009

Gene Simmons doesn't give a damn whether people buy the new KISS album.

Sure, it would be great for the Wal-Mart exclusive Sonic Boom to sell a couple hundred thousand copies and go No. 1 on the Billboard charts, but at this point in the band's career, touring is all KISS needs to fuel the Gene machine's quest for money.

The last album KISS put out was 1998's Psycho Circus, which was mostly ghostwritten by former members and other musicians and only had about two or three memorable tracks. This time around, the music is all KISS-written and -produced, which gives it more of an old-school feel.

Sonic Boom isn't exactly a direct throwback to the '70s heyday of the band, but rather a combination of sounds ranging from 1976's Rock 'n' Roll Over to 1992's Revenge. The album has enough solid moments to make die-hard fans happy, while showing the rest of the world that the band can still rock 'n' roll all night long.
Oct 06 2009
KISS' 19th studio album "Sonic Boom" is the first collection of new material since "Psycho Circus" 11 years ago. Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons are free to include as much ham-handed sexual innuendo as possible, elevated with power chords. This is KISS as they were in 1975, without studio trickery to mar the 11 new anthems. It's a back-to-basics effort that recalls the best of "Alive!" at moments, and might inspire you to dream about being "Starchild."

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