SNEAK PEEK: NEW MONSTER MAGAZINE
June 26, 2012
Here's a sneak peek of the first two pages of Paul Stanley's interview from KISS: Monster—The Official Album And Tour Magazine, which hits newsstands everywhere today!

If Gene Simmons is KISS’ fire-breathing, Cro-Magnon wraith, Paul Stanley is its gallant dragonslayer. With his iconic, romantic makeup design, flamboyant costumes and seductive stage swagger, Stanley not only defined hard-rock glamour fantasy in the 1970s, he coupled that otherworldly visage with one of the greatest howls in music history, a primal scream of such depth, range and power that he is rightly regarded as a master.

But like the band whose thunderbolt block-lettered logo he has stood in front of KISS for almost four decades, Stanley has evolved—as a songwriter, an artist, a businessman and a human being. When KISS hit hard times at the dawn of the 1980s, when the band removed their makeup and tried to become something else, when Simmons’ attentions wandered to Hollywood and sold-out arenas became half-filled stadiums, it was Stanley’s passion for the baby he helped raise that kept its pulse racing.

And even in those darker times, he was still learning how to better use the brush, writing songs that were structurally even better than KISS’ output in their early years. Stanley eventually parlayed his persona into a successful stage career, playing the Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Toronto production of The Phantom of the Opera, and constantly pushed his own creative and personal boundaries. He even found himself the late-in-life father of four children, perhaps one of his
most challenging and rewarding roles yet.

So when KISS reclaimed the world with their 1996 reunion tour and then, after that classic lineup dissolved due to an unfortunate repetition of history, built a new empire with Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer, Stanley was ready to again evolve the KISS legacy. Stanley and Sim-
mons—the Lennon and McCartney of shock rock—once more went into the studio, but this time with Stanley in charge as producer. And under his rule, the new KISS lineup—arguably the absolute strongest to date—created the tough-as-nails rock epic Sonic Boom, a record that hit number 2 on the Billboard charts and, for the first time in KISStory, was positively reviewed and embraced by mainstream rock critics.

Now older, wiser and stronger than ever before, Paul Stanley, the Starchild, steers KISS into a new adventure with Monster, their 20th—and maybe best ever— record.

KISS MAGAZINE: Were you surprised by just how well Sonic Boom was received?

PAUL STANLEY: I think that on the heels of the numerous tours of this lineup, we built a solid reputation for pretty explosive shows and a consistency that hadn’t been there for a very long time, so the fans were ready and trusting that what they were getting on record was representative of what they had seen in concert. It was gratifying, but really, I wasn’t that surprised, because we had showed what we were made of. I just thought we could deliver what was evident in our live shows, and the early buzz from friends and people in the studio was very positive.

KISS: What was the creative climate like going into the production of Monster?

STANLEY: The whole recording recording sequence of events was interesting in that…Listen, one of the main reasons I had to do Sonic Boom was to make sure that our last album was not Psycho Circus, which was a disaster on so many levels. You know, you can’t make a band album without a band. We had two members who were somewhere between delusional and just AWOL, and you can’t make an album in a studio while you’re on the phone with attorneys.