August 21, 2012
CLICK HERE for more info on the KISS MONSTER Book

By Phyllis Pollack /

Kiss debuted their new Monster Book in Los Angeles today at the Viper Room for members of the media. The band arrived without their make-up on.

Over three feet high, it is the largest rock and roll book ever printed, and the priciest, at $4250.00 per book. “It’s not for everyone,” said Kiss bassist Gene Simmons, noting the price.

The band contended that it weighs about 40 pounds.

Simmons explained that it wouldn’t be fair to the people who paid so much money for the book to do a less expensive, smaller version of it later.

Quipped Kiss guitarist Paul Stanley, “Someone should have gotten my joke about Kiss midgets.”

“We understand it’s not for everybody,” noted Stanley. “But it wouldn’t be fair to the people that can afford it, and who will appreciate it, to not put it out. It’s something that is for a select few.”

The band said that quality was the reason why they went for a high-end book.

“If we didn’t make it so high end, we would be compromising it,” said Stanley. “Part of what makes this book special is the quality of it, and the size.”

Simmons said he had momentarily considered shipping the book in an anvil case with the Kiss logo.

Each copy was hand stitched-and-bound in Italy, by the same binder used by The Vatican.

Why did Kiss opt to have the same printing press that the Vatican uses? “We got a good deal on Holy Water,” Simmons joked.

“The Italians are known for great craftsmanship with leather goods,” said drummer Eric Singer.

“Each edition is hand made and hand bound, one at a time,” added Thayer.

“In all seriousness, I learned this from Tommy, who spent most of the time baby-sitting this project,” said Simmons. “So he’s the one that lifted all the heavy weight. Each book, because of its weight, has to be…There’s a binding process that’s different from other books.”

Simmons continued, “So a person has to be there physically so the weight doesn’t sort of dilute the pages. So it’s a very high quality product, and we’re very proud of it.”

"It’s nice of Gene to say what he said, but it was really a band project,” Thayer countered. “We all enjoyed picking through photos and selecting the best we could find that would look great in the book. We really did it together.”

There will be ten versions of the book, each representing a different country and its fans.

“Fortunately, we own an amazing catalog of photos and video,” Stanley pointed out. Discussing B-roll on television, he said, “Most of the photos you see on network TV showing Kiss footage, they come to us for.”

“We’ve got a vast library. The photos that we have in our library are unbelievable. So this is not even a smattering. This is a fragment of what we have,” elaborated Stanley.

“I think we wanted to find the most dramatic photos we could find that really capture the essence of Kiss live on stage, and the excitement. Not only with the band on stage, but the Kiss Army, the fans. There are a lot of photos of our fans in there, too,” Thayer pointed out. “That’s a very important element of the whole thing.”

Is it the largest book of all time? Simmons responded, “We’re told it might be. I’m making no claims. But it doesn’t matter. This is impressive any way you look at it.”

“The company that made this made the single largest book in the world,” said Singer.

“It’s literally about fifteen feet high,” added Simmons.

When at the Viper Room, the band also signed a book, which they are donating to the organization Wounded Warriors.

The band donated $200 thousand dollars, and Motley Crue, with whom they are currently on tour, gave $100 thousand to what Simmons called, “Those poor victims that were shot up in Colorado.”

Kiss also donated $250,000 to the Wounded Warriors project. “Our heroes aren’t in comic books,” he noted, before speaking about their support for soldiers.

Despite all the band’s over-the-top superlatives at their concerts, which include large immense of pyrotechnics and the band's iconic make-up, Simmons insisted the band is not about hype. “It starts with the songs.”

Despite the high price tag, Kiss has managed to sell more types of merchandise than any other band. One of the items they have marketed is Kiss coffins.

As far as an expensive book, “There was no way to do it without excluding some people, and also celebrating what we think is worthy of that kind of price,” the bassist explained. “Something that celebrates 40 years of victories.”

Those victories include selling more than 40 million albums U.S.; 20 million RIAA certified, and worldwide sales exceeding 100 million.

Although Kiss has had a forty-year career, and is one of the most successful bands in rock and roll, Stanley stated, “The music business is in shambles. If you’re doing it for any other reason than you must, if it’s your quest, if it’s something that you have no choice except to pursue it, then great.”

“But if you have any second thoughts, or are doing it to succeed, or make money, give it up. Because the chances of that are slimmer than ever. Most of the companies are in shambles,” he commented.

He then joked about the band’s label Universal Music Group, calling it a “phoenix rising from the ashes of the music industry.”

Simmons said of Universal Music Group, which has signed the band for a multi-million dollar deal, “They listened to 4 or 5 songs. We’re going to play 4 or 5 more for them today.”

He added, “Universal loves the songs. That’s why we’re in business together again.”

The band also discussed their Kiss Monster album will be produced released October 16. It will be their 20th studio release. “I can’t remember how many albums we have,” said Simmons.

“We spent some of the best months of our career doing this album. We’re very proud of it, and you will love it,” said Simmons. The album is produced by Paul Stanley. Rock and roll, pure and simple, from start to finish.

The songs are written by the four of us said Kiss drummer “No gender bender or power ballads said Tommy Thayer. "Rock and roll, pure and simple, from start to finish."

“I think the music will speak for itself,” said Stanley. “It’s not just a classic Kiss album, it’s a classic rock album.”

“All the performances on it, vocals, guitars, everything on it is stellar,” said guitarist Tommy Thayer. “It’s top grade, all the way. We’re really proud of it.”

Destroyer Resurrected was released today by their label.