By Jeb Wright / www.classicrockrevisited.com

Eric Singer is the long-time current drummer for the band Kiss.  He got the gig after being chosen to play drums for Paul Stanley’s solo band in 1991. 

When then Kiss drummer Eric Carr came down with a terminal illness, Singer was brought in as his replacement.  Singer later exited Kiss on 1996 when the band brought back original Kiss drummer Peter Criss for the Alive / Worldwide tour. 

Singer moved on and played several years with Alice Cooper’s band.  When Criss was asked to leave Kiss, Singer came back… but he was asked to wear the famous Cat makeup in 2001.

In the interview that follows Singer discusses making the choice to wear that makeup, as well as the upcoming Kiss tour and their new movie Kiss Rocks Las Vegas. 

Singer likes to talk.  He has a lot to say.  Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Singer tells it like it is.  He shares early memories of being a Kiss fan, discusses rock ‘n’ roll and even says why neither Nikki Sixx, Gene Simmons nor Paul Stanley’s opinions on Twitter matter much to him. (If you’ve seen him play, his drums do most of the talking.)

This is a real chat with a real rock star… who just happens to have remained a regular guy. 

Jeb: We are both Led Zeppelin fans, so I want to know about the first time you heard John Bonham play drums. 

Eric: I grew up in Cleveland and we had a great radio station WMMS, the home of the Buzzard.  Zeppelin was obviously played on the radio.  If a radio deejay started playing songs on the radio then people paid attention.  Radio programmers were very important to breaking bands.  They would pick up on stuff like this band that was getting played in Cleveland. David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen and many other bands were broken on that radio station in Cleveland.  Same thing with Rush.  Cleveland was the first station to play Rush.  They would play a lot of bands that others stations didn’t catch on to initially.  Zeppelin, in their formative years, got played on that radio station a lot.

I have an older sister, so her having those records made me aware of them at a young age.  When they first came out I was ten years old but my sister was fourteen and she bought those records and brought them home.   I was made aware of many bands because of my sister. 

I have a funny anecdote about Zeppelin.  In seventh grade my brother, who is a year older, took me to a party.  We used to have a lot of the same friends since we were only a year apart in school.  We were in the basement and I am sure kids were sneaking drinking wine and stuff. 

“Immigrant Song” was out and I remember hearing it really loud.  It was my first exposure to people partying and guys making out with their girlfriends.  Some of the guys were drunk and I will never forget the image I have.  The “Immigrant Song” was playing and this girl was sitting on a barstool in the basement… one guy was kissing the girl and the other guy was feeling her up while the “Immigrant Song” was playing.  I remember thinking to myself, “I guess this is what rock ‘n’ roll is all about.”  I swear to God that is my earliest memory of Led Zeppelin.  It is always that.  I was probably 12 at the time. 

Jeb: Sex, booze and rock ‘n’ roll. 

Eric: In reality, it was sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll… I like to keep the drugs out but yeah, back then it really was that. 

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