KISS Announce Formation Of KISS RECORDS, Prepare To Release 'Kiss Symphony: Alive IV'

May 9, 2003


New York, N.Y. – KISS, America's #1 Gold Record Award Winning Champion Group (RIAA - Group category) and Sanctuary Records Group are proud to announce the formation of KISS Records, a joint venture between KISS and Sanctuary Records Group, it was announced today by Merck Mercuriadis, Chief Executive Officer, Sanctuary Group Inc. and longtime KISS manager Doc McGhee, President, McGhee Entertainment. Merck Mercuriadis commented, "We wanted the best and we got the best. KISS are the barometer that everyone looks to for gold records, ticket sales, licensing income, merchandising sales and as a result are the perfect partners for Sanctuary's 360 model. Gene and Paul have lead the way throughout their career and continue to do so with the formation of KISS Records and this revolutionary deal with Sanctuary."

"After seeing what has been going on at the major record labels," Doc McGhee adds, "KISS searched for an innovative way to reach their audience. We looked mostly at new and up and coming independent labels. In doing so, we talked with Sanctuary Records and found what we were looking for. By forming KISS Records we can control how we appear, and with the great staff at Sanctuary Records, we feel we have the opportunity to create something very special in the 21st century. Both KISS and Sanctuary Group believe that if it's worth doing, it's worth over doing."

Debuting on KISS Records/Sanctuary Records on July 22, "KISS Symphony: Alive IV" is unlike anything recorded or released before by the Rock Icons. "KISS Symphony: Alive IV" captures one of the world's greatest performing rock bands with the prestigious 60-piece Melbourne Symphony Orchestra live before a sold-out crowd from Australia's Telstra Dome while on the 2003 tour. The energy-packed two-disc set promises to captivate and tantalize fans new and old alike with twenty-two newly recorded live tracks featuring ten classic KISS tracks backed by the 60-piece Melbourne Symphony, six never-performed-live acoustic versions of KISS classics and six raw classic KISS tracks sans orchestra. This spectacular concert event proved to be a memorable show highlighted by the Melbourne Symphony appearing in full KISS makeup and will be released as a DVD in the future.

KISS lead singer Paul Stanley states, "KISS Records is the continuation of the road paved by us for the past thirty years. Our first release 'KISS Symphony: Alive IV' ushers in a new era where we will exert uncompromising attention to detail, control of quality, and overall feel and direction from concept to completion." With a sly grin, Stanley adds, "With KISS Symphony, you are cordially invited to witness the unholy marriage of black tie and black leather."

"After 30 years, KISS has finally come home. KISS Records signals the end of one era and along with our perfect partners, Sanctuary Records, the beginning of a new one. You better believe it," comments KISS bassist Gene Simmons. As for the KISS Symphony, Simmons says, "KISS and The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, never have so many grown men and women looked better in KISS make-up."

KISS drummer Peter Criss comments, "I am moved deeply to know that after thirty years millions of people are still being touched by our music. It was an honor to perform with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. As a writer and performer it was truly a dream come true."

"As the new kid in town, I'm honored and excited to be part of the continuing KISS legacy. I know that 'KISS Symphony: Alive IV' will put die-hard KISS fans in the middle of the action like nothing they've ever experienced before. I was blown away by the immediate acceptance of the fans and the thrill of being onstage for a show as important as KISS Symphony," states new KISS lead guitar player Tommy Thayer.

Over their illustrious 30-year career, KISS has sold over 80 million albums, played thousands of spectacular SRO tours and continues to garner a succession of gold and platinum awards (they currently hold the RIAA record for No. 1 most Gold albums second only to THE BEATLES). The legend carries on with their upcoming North American tour with AEROSMITH, which kicks off on Aug. 2 in Hartford, CT.

Sanctuary Records Group is part of the Sanctuary Group, one of the world's leading developers of intellectual property rights (IPR's) in the fields of music, television and entertainment and the owner of the world's largest independently owned catalogue of music and visual rights. With an ever-growing recorded music repertoire of over 100,000 tracks, Sanctuary has distribution in all of the world's major territories. Sanctuary is also a major international artist management company, representing artists from GUNS 'N” ROSES, IRON MAIDEN, JANE'S ADDICTION, JIMMY PAGE, ROBERT PLANT, THE WHO, ADAM F and BUDDAHEAD, as well as 30 of the world's top music producers. Through its visual rights licensing company and Europe's largest live agency, Sanctuary can offer a complete service to artists. Other important areas of business include a television and DVD production division, which sells to over 100 countries worldwide and a burgeoning music-publishing arm. [end]

In other news, Stanley recently answered several fan questions regarding the band's upcoming tour with AEROSMITH and has responded to criticism over the band's three-tiered ticketing package for select shows, which reportedly includes a $1,000 "Platinum Package" that consists of a ticket in the first four rows and a chance to meet the band afterward.

The following are some of the highlights of Stanley's Q&A session from the group's official web site:

On the $1,000 Platinum Package:

Paul Stanley: "First of all, to put this in perspective the idea of the Platinum Package is for an extremely limited group of fans. To give individual time and attention to fans backstage means limiting the numbers greatly to ensure that level. That would mean a small handful, not 50 or more, that is why we are determined to keep the group small and the experience high. As far as cameras… it is to guarantee the participants a quality photo and a efficient use of time rather than somebody going home, developing the film only to find a blurry or unusable photo. That is why we are providing a high quality individual photo. Also any fan who purchased the Gold Package and is spotted wearing the Gold Package laminate could have a chance to go backstage and be part of the meet and greet. Because of the unique nature of this event we are not guaranteeing autographs, although we're not ruling them out. The problem in the past has been over-zealous fans showing up with multiple albums, photos, etc. and perhaps forgetting they are not the only fans there. As far as a 'rip-off'… I'm sure that all the fans that have snatched up the Platinum Packages immediately upon their being offered would disagree with you. Perhaps instead of dwelling on your anger at not being able to participate in this unique event, try focusing on the opportunity that countless fans (including you) have had and will continue to have to meet us… for free during countless events and circumstances.

"Let me add that the idea that everybody 'should' get a chance to meet us is to say the least unrealistic. With all due respect, your opinion that the Platinum Package should be $350 is probably based on what YOU can afford, am I right? Should that also include a ticket? I realize that this is a touchy situation for the people who will not be able to participate, but the reality for both you and I is there are numerous things which for many reasons we don't get to be a part of. Even if the cost were $350 as you said, the number of fans being able to participate would still remain so limited that we would be inundated with posts from the dissatisfied and unhappy fans that could not be a part of it. We are always sensitive to everyone's concerns while realizing that it is impossible to always make everyone happy."

On how the tour came about:

Paul Stanley: "Although the possibility had come up from time to time, I decided two years ago to personally try to make this happen and spoke with some of the AEROSMITH camp at a party I was at. It seemed to evolve from there."

On whether guitarist Tommy Thayer will be singing any of Ace Frehley's songs during the tour:

Paul Stanley: "Tommy will not be singing any of Ace's songs, although he will be singing loads of backgrounds in addition to burning up the fret board."

On how long each of the bands will be performing:

Paul Stanley: "Because of the nature of this show and the event, it would be impractical for the two bands to play two hours each. That being said I can assure you that this show will be everything you expect."

"Right now we are deep in technical planning with AEROSMITH to make sure all the fans get what they've come to expect. Obviously this is a huge undertaking, but it WILL be awesome!"

On why the tour is not hitting Canada:

Paul Stanley: "There are many cities both here, in Canada and abroad that we won't be playing on what we hope is only the first leg of this tour. If everything goes as smoothly as everyone expects we will extend the tour into arenas and probably see you then! I know we want to play for as many people as possible on this tour. That includes you! There are some great cities in Canada, including Toronto, Hamilton and Montreal. We'd like to play those, and more!"

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