August 10, 2009
Here are some excerpts from a recent Deuce News interview with Michael Doret, designer of the classic "Rock N Roll Over" album cover. Michael's latest design, the brand new KISS Album cover, will be premiered soon on KISSONLINE!

(DN) I am perfectly aware that such definition is way beyond complete as You are among the best designers around and that your art can be seen everywhere, but...you know, we are so next to the D-Day to see the new KISS album title and cover revealed that...

(Michael) I would like more than anything right now to share with you what I did for the new cover. I am very excited about it because I think it is among the very best of my work. But an agreement is an agreement: I gave my word to Paul that I would not reveal anything before the "official" release of information, and I am a man of my word.

(DN) Together with the KISS project I saw you are working on The Jewish Zodiac where you created the images from photographs and then integrate them into twelve unique deli label designs. Did you follow the same process with the KISS album cover?

(Michael) Actually I did. (How did you know?) In both cases I was provided with existing photography that I needed to incorporate into the finished design. In both cases I felt that the photography was lacking a certain "graphic" quality that it needed to have for me to include it in my finished art. For the "Jewish Zodiac" pieces I developed a process where I reduced a photo to its various graphic components-breaking it down-and then putting it back together, but with a "twist". So I was able to take some fairly low contrast, fairly soft focus photos of Paul, Gene, Tommy and Eric, and transform them through that process I had developed into much more dynamic "colorized" images that I was then able to incorporate into my design.

(DN) We all know that this will be a Paul Stanley's creature as he is the only producer of the album; Gene Simmons said the album title came out from a Paul's idea/vision. Did he came to you with a clear indication or title to develop the cover or did you showed him some sketches to be worked out?

(Michael) Paul came to me with the title of the album. We talked about the "look" he wanted this cover to have. We talked about how the other cover I had done for them, "Rock and Roll Over", really had become iconic and now represented KISS' music from that early period. He talked about how he'd like the new cover to be suggestive of that look, because they wanted the music in the new album to be more reflective of that time and, of their roots in hard rock. He also stipulated that I needed to use existing photography of the four members instead of creating graphic caricatures (which is what I did in RARO). So that was my challenge: create another iconic cover that would also be reflective in some way of the previous cover.

When I did RARO I presented the group with one colored pencil drawing. With only a few minor comments, they approved it. After thinking about what I needed to do for this new cover, I spent a week or so creating sketches, then narrowed it down to one which I presented (very nervously) to Paul. Like the first time around, he immediately loved it. Then it was just a matter of refining the sketch, selecting the photos, working out a color palette, and presenting it all to Paul again. You will soon be able to see the result of this process.

Thanks to Fabio for sending us the interview!