In an interview with Jeff Napier of Nuvo, original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley discussed his recently completed new album, "10,000 Volts", which is tentatively due in February 2024 via MNRK Music Group (formerly eOne Music). He said: "It's probably the best record I've ever done. I'm very excited about it. It's the first time I ended up writing most of these songs with a good friend of mine, Steve Brown. He used to play in TRIXTER and has a group called RUBIX KUBE. Anyway, we live 40 minutes from each other, and my fiancée Lara hooked us up. I'd met him several times over the years, but just briefly, but she knew him when she was in her twenties, and she said, 'You've gotta get together with Steve.' He's a great songwriter and guitar player. He sent me a song, and there was one line that just jumped out from his chorus, and it was 'Walking On The Moon'. So I said, 'Listen, let's get together and rewrite this song, and the hook will be 'Walking On The Moon',' because it wasn't the end of the chorus he had prepared. So, we rewrote the song, and it came out great. We were actually gonna call the album 'Walking On The Moon' until we recorded a song called '10,000 Volts', which came out amazing. I got Anton Fig, my old drummer, who played on my original '78 solo album and most of my solo stuff, to play drums on that. So, working with Steve has made a huge difference in my playing and writing because when he and I put our heads together, it just clicks. If I'm at a loss for a chord or a verse or a line, he comes up with it and vice versa, and within three or four hours, we write a song.
"So that's how the record's been going," Ace added. "Then, once you record the basic track, you gotta do the overdubs and double and triple the vocals, harmonies, and stuff. He's an excellent engineer. So I didn't have to pay an engineer to engineer this record. So I saved money on that, working with Steve as well, which is nice."
Asked if making "Origins Vol. 2", the sequel to his 2016 collection of cover songs that inspired the former KISS guitarist, affected the way he put together the new record, Frehley said: "It's one thing doing an 'Origins' record because you don't have to write the songs. Basically, I was picking songs that influenced me that were written by other people. So it's a lot easier to do than when you do a regular studio record where all the songs are original. On this record, all the songs are original except for one. I did one cover of a song called 'Life Of A Stranger', written by a gal named Nadia. When she did the song, it was Europop, and it was very sparsely recorded. I listened to it and loved the melody, and I loved the lyrics. I played it for Steve, and he said, 'We could kill this song with heavy drums and power chords and stuff and keyboards even.' It came out great. All the other songs did as well. There's really not a weak song on the record. Most people do a record, and they concentrate on three or four songs that they think might be singles, and then the rest of it is a lot of filler. But every song on this album I can hear on the radio. I hope DJs agree with me."
Frehley previously spoke about the recording process for his new album this past March during an appearance on SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk". At the time, the 72-year-old rocker marveled at the amount of material he was able to complete, saying: "Within six days I had written and recorded five new songs, which is unprecedented for me."
Ace went on to say that he had also been working on his new LP with Peppy Castro of the BLUES MAGOOS. He added: "Back in the '60s, [the BLUES MAGOOS] had the big hit '(We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet'. I grew up with him in the Bronx. He inspired me to become a rock star. I remember going to Orchard Beach in the Bronx, and all of a sudden I hear Peppy's song on the radio. I go, 'Jesus Christ. If he can do that, I can do it. I'm better looking than him.' [Laughs] He actually taught me how to play bar chord in the basement of an apartment building… But we've been friends ever since, and we've followed each other's career. And he's been in my studio a half dozen times. And he also hooked me up with Tommy Denander. He wrote three songs for me that I'm probably gonna rearrange at least one or two of them and add vocals. But me and Steve have been doing a song a day. It's insanity."
Peppy previously collaborated with KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons as a songwriter and performed on Frehley's and Stanley's solo records.
Ace's next all-original album will be the follow-up to "Spaceman", which was released in October 2018 via eOne.
"Origins Vol. 2" featured cover versions of THE BEATLES' "I'm Down", DEEP PURPLE's "Space Truckin'", LED ZEPPELIN's "Good Times Bad Times", THE ROLLING STONES' "Jumpin' Jack Flash", THE KINKS' "Lola" and THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE's "Manic Depression", among others. A cover of the 1975 KISS tune "She" also appeared as a bonus track. Guests on the set included CHEAP TRICK's Robin Zander, Lita Ford and former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick.
Simmons co-wrote two tracks on "Spaceman", "Without You I'm Nothing" and "Your Wish Is My Command", the latter of which also features Gene's bass playing.