MESSAGES FROM ON NEW ALBUM
August 06, 2009
MESSAGE FROM PAUL
THIS IS KISS. CLASSIC KISS!
If you been reading KISSONLINE, it's no surprise to you now. We ARE done recording our new album.
What might well be a surprise is that at the least, the album is right up there with our best. As much as we may have tried at some other times to achieve this, the chemistry, line-up or lack of total commitment from everyone might have been cause for it being impossible. Not now. Not this time.
I know that when you hear it you will agree.
Before we began the album, I said I was only interested in doing it if I produced and we followed set ground rules; Total commitment by everyone, pure guitar driven KISS, no outside writers, no outside players and my opinion and say would always be final.
All said yes and I know we'd all say we've never had more fun together.
All four of us made this our priority. Everyone was involved everyday. From the first day of writing to the last day of recording everyone was there giving 100% to making this the album we knew we had in us. I've never seen Gene more selfless (yes...Gene!), focused or harder working. His bass playing, songs and overall contribution help to make this the album you've wanted for so long. Without his spirit, this wouldn't have been possible.
As far as Tommy's guitar playing, he took this chance at bat to consistently hit it out of the park. His playing is fiery and rooted firmly in our history, while making his own mark. Tommy's singing, writing contributions and total involvement made clear what's been missing for so long.
In the twenty years I've known Eric, I've never seen him this relaxed or creative. His playing is the foundation of our next step forward. Relentless and full of spit and swagger. Many lead singers don't have Eric's chops or range. He's singing great on his track and all over the album.
Wait till you hear what we've got for you.
Do I sound proud of everyone and what we've done together? I am, and I should be.
Eleven songs. Eleven winners.
This IS KISS. Classic KISS.
It's been a long time coming.
MESSAGE FROM GENE
BEST KISS ALBUM IN 30 YEARS!
Our new album (title of which you'll just have to wait a bit longer for) is just a few steps from being completely done. We're planning on re-visiting one of the eleven songs, to make sure it's gotten everything it deserves. Maybe re-arranging it one last time. Then, time to mix.
The entire writing and recording process of the album harkened back to an earlier, more innocent time. A time that produced albums such as ROCK AND ROLL OVER and LOVE GUN. And, the new songs have that feeling, I have to say.
It all started with a point of view Paul had. The view had to do with ignoring the times, ignoring the critics, not over thinking who and what we are...and that we had nothing to prove to anyone....nothing. We have been releasing albums and touring for 35 years and why wouldn't we want to do an 'honest' record. Just do it!!! And, he wanted to produce the album himself!!!
While it's true in the past we had produced KISS records together. And we had both produced other acts outside of KISS. But here was Paul saying he wanted to shoulder the responsibility and burden of steering the good ship KISS on his own.
He was serious. And, I saw it was real. I saw the commitment he was going to make to the album and the band... and I agreed. We all trusted each other and saw the same vision of the band...and perhaps democracy is overrated...and sooner or later, someone had to decide.
And I will tell you here and now, he's done a great job.
The process of writing songs involved both writing separately, but often, in hotel rooms and rehearsal halls, literally starting from scratch and throwing riffs and chords at each other. Then working on melody and lyric...starting alone, then bringing it into the rehearsal halls and even during recording, we would often critique the lyrics all the way down to the last minute.
Tommy really stepped up in the songwriting area....co-wrote some songs with us and actually sings his first song on a KISS album.
Eric, likewise was always encouraging and of course, provided his always dependable bombastic drumming style. But unlike other drummers, Eric is also a great singer. Wait until you hear him tear it up on his lead vocal.
What else, you ask?
Well, Paul and I trade vocals on a few tunes and had a lot to say about each other's songs...
Result? Maybe the best record we've done in 30 years.
Bold statement? You bet.
Wait till you hear it.
MESSAGE FROM TOMMY
YOU'RE GONNA LOVE IT!
Well the brand new KISS studio album is almost ready to go - actually more like ready to EXPLODE! We finished recording last week, with the exception of one tune that needs an hour or so more --- I have to tell you it KICKS!
Paul has done a fantastic job keeping everyone in line and the direction clear. As you might have heard, all the tunes were written within the band and recorded analog -- which means hot, heavy and rockin' in the classic sense!
We definitely didn't over-think it.
From the beginning stages of writing, rehearsing and arranging the tunes, to putting the trax down on tape, we went with our GUT... kept it raw and real. We didn't go more than two or three takes when we recorded the basic tracks, which by-the-way, we recorded with all four of us together -- which is a rare (or non-existent) occurrence with bands in this modern digital age. We had a laugh when we were tracking the 11th and very last tune and Eric said, we have to get this in two or three takes like all the others or it ain't no good!
The true test for how new tunes hold up is when you play them live. As everybody probably knows, we haven't played any of these brand-new songs in concert, but we did run a few of them at our sound check in Milwaukee last week. Yep, you guessed right... They SCORCHED! Our tour crew guys were like, HOLY S**T, what was that?!!
It's been a gas doing this record with Paul, Eric and Gene -- truly a collaborative effort! I told the guys the other day that in my humble opinion, this is by far the most cohesive sounding record KISS has made in a long, long time -- meaning that ALL the tunes are great, the sound kicks my ass, and it all fits together perfectly as an album.
IT DON'T GET ANY BETTER THAN THAT!
Can't wait for you to hear it... You're gonna LOVE it!
MESSAGE FROM ERIC
NO BALLADS, NO SLOW SONGS, NO FILLERS!
You Wanted The Best ?
Well the wait is almost over...
I have been hearing KISS fans say for a longtime that 'All's we want is NEW KISS music' ... Well, sometimes wishes do come true !
Last December Paul called me up saying he wanted to make a new KISS record. He seemed very keen and was very specific about the approach to our latest endeavors.
He basically said he wanted us to make a KISS record and music in the purest sense. Meaning No outside writers, the BAND plays on everything, and we use vintage equipment.
Guess what ?
The end result is everything I could have hoped for.
I have to say this has been the most fun and pleasure making a record I have ever been involved in. The chemistry and overall vibe really made for such a great atmosphere and the playing, sounds and songs just really capture what KISS is all about. Classic Rock & Roll.
As we were working up song ideas everyone was very in tune and conscious of our goals at all times. Gene and Paul would retrace their steps from the past and focused on paying tribute to their roots of the early styles of Classic KISS by paying close attention to the way they sang and the sounds of the instruments.
The camaraderie between everyone and especially Gene and Paul really made it easy for all to bring the best out of each other.
Paul took the reigns and headed up the project like the leader that he has been for over 35 years but, this time with a renewed, inspired and very patient style (he is a great dad after all). He really knew what he wanted from each of us individually and collectively.
We did the 11 new songs in small batches by getting into a rehearsal studio first to work up ideas. We then would move to the recording studio. The recordings would entail all of us playing 'live' together in the room. As we captured each performance we would then add extra guitar parts and usually put a guide vocal on the track so we could live with it for a few days and make sure the tempos and vibe was right.
By the way we used NO click tracks on this record I am proud to say. We really went for capturing the live feel and essence of each song. And, Paul, Gene, Tommy and myself are the only musicians playing these songs. A true band effort and performance !
As for the songs ?
Well, no ballads, no slow songs, no filler...
The band really has come full circle.
Just pure straight ahead Rock and Roll that has all the elements that made you love KISS from day one.
Everyone sings lead on a song (Tommy and myself) and even trade off vocal lines and parts throughout the record.
Believe me the wait IS over and well worth it !
I hope you all enjoy listening to it as much as we did making it...
More as it happens !
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