July 02, 2012
By Jørn Gjersøe

KISS' drummer and guitarist in KISS talk concerts, the band's farewell tour, and making the best album in years.

Saturday night Kiss was the last band on the final night of Kollen Sommerfestival. This was one of two concerts the band is doing in Europe this summer. Then, they're off touring the United States with Mötley Crüe. There are several reasons why Norway and London were the only stopovers in Europe.

"That's because you are special, we just had to play in Oslo," laughed Tommy Thayer. "No, it is a combination of several factors. Originally we were going to play at Sonisphere, but it was for some reason canceled. But then we had a partial event in London that were already planned, and we also got a surprise offer to play at this festival. So a lot was about the timing."

Fans who met up at Sommefestival did not hear the new single "Hell Or Hallelujah", which is the first track from the upcoming album, Monster, even though the single is being released next Monday.

"The main reason we came here was to make preparations for the upcoming single release in London, so we're going to play it when we get there. We can't play it until it is actually released on Monday," explained Eric Singer.

"There is some sense to that," Thayer added. "We don't want the new track's premiere to be from some cheap recording on YouTube."

Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer have different backgrounds for becoming a part of Kiss, where Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons are the only remaining original members. The two have had their lives turned on their heads after they were included in the traveling circus.

Eric Singer feels lucky that ended up in Kiss.

"Everything in life is to some extent influenced by it, but I feel very fortunate and lucky. I've been in the music industry for many years. I am 54 years old and I am sure that Tommy agrees with this -- we see a lot of friends that we started playing around the same time years ago, who are trying to do the same thing for a living, but never get the chance to play in a band. We have worked hard to get where we are today, but feel fortunate to have had this opportunity."

"Playing in Kiss, one of the world's most famous bands, feels in many ways like having found 'the Holy Grail,'" says Tommy. "But we are not here only because we have had good luck."

"We are here because we're successful, and we deserved it," Singer added. "It's easy for some people in the audience to say 'That's where I could be too", or "that's easy, I'm as good as him." It's easy to be a 'back seat driver' and believe that, but there is no way that anyone can do this. This is about so much more than the ability to play the notes. There is much more to being in a band and be a professional musician at this level."

- Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons have said that the chemistry in the band is very good, and that is also a big part of the reason why KISS made a new album two years ago that got so many good reviews.

For many years said they (Paul and Gene) that we weren't going to record some new music. But our tour in Europe in 2008 went so well. So when we came back, Paul and Gene said that 'this band is really amazing, so perhaps we should record a new album.' So it was actually pretty fast and out of the blue, "said Thayer.

-So you guys just did it?

-"Yes, they [Paul and Gene] decided it They are the people who make those decisions."

Eric Singer breaks in and tells of a saying he thinks is important in this context.

"I have a saying hanging on my fridge at home – I've had it there for many years. It is by John Lennon and says; 'Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans.' It is one of the very best quotes, and I try to always have it with me. For life is not always as you intended. And I think that also applies to Kiss. The band had a particular course, possibly on its way towards the end. But the chemistry and dynamic of the band changed and it caused another change. And that change created new music and creativity. Without the changes you would probably not have seen KISS turn around the way it has today," said Eric Singer.

- When Sonic Boom came two years ago, many people realized that Kiss still could make a good album. Many believe it's the best collection of songs the band has recorded since the late 70 's or early 80 's.

"Sonic Boom was in many ways a kind of experiment.We recorded an album together, and together they found out how it was going to work," explains Thayer. "The vision was to create a classic Kiss album, and we did, and I think we did well," he added, giving fans insight as to how the next album "Monster," is going to be.

"On this album we take it to a whole new level, and here I think you'll discover that we really have got wind under the wings. I think people are going to be surprised at what they hear."