PAUL STANLEY: 'I've Always Thought Of KISS As My Band'
June 29, 2019
Prior to KISS's performance at the Finnish festival Rockfest on June 9, singer/guitarist Paul Stanley spoke with Kaaos TV. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On performing in cities on KISS's current farewell tour that he may never visit again:
Paul: "How should I put it? I'm not sad, and I'm not nostalgic, really. I love everything I've done, but I also love everything I'm doing. I don't yearn for the past. I love the past, and coming to Helsinki [to play Rockfest], I want to think, 'Well, why won't I be back?' There's no reason I [won't be]. I don't need to bring 150 people with me to be able to come to Helsinki. The tour is amazing in that we get to spend an evening with people, some who have been with us for decades, and some who have been with us for days, but I think it's a victory lap. We get to go around the world with our fist up in the air, proud of what we've accomplished with these great people."
On authoring the books "Face The Music" and "Backstage Pass":
Paul: "The first one went very, very well in terms of the acceptance and the sales. Certainly, to have a book in six languages is wonderful, but for many, many years — probably decades — I had no interest in writing a book, because to write a book about who you slept with or that kind of stuff, it has no worth. At the end of the day, it's just bragging, and sometimes, it's not even telling the truth. It wasn't until I realized that I had an opportunity to write something that my children could read and understand what it took for their dad to become who he became... The first person who read my first book, 'Face The Music', was [Stanley's son] Evan, and he just had a big smile and went, 'It's you — it's your voice.' That was really appealing to me, and what I found was that many people were inspired by the book... I had no intention [of writing another]. I didn't know what I was going to do for a second book, how I would ever do a second book, but the first book, I think my philosophy [was], I don't want to have secrets. When you have secrets, you cut yourself off from people and you don't allow yourself to find out that you are much more like them than you think. I tried to tell who I am and what I've been through, and in that way, I think people see that we all go through the same things."
On finding the time to write books while juggling his musical and art careers:
Paul: "There's lots of time. It might be difficult for a lot of people, but this is how I've always lived my life. In the mornings, many times, I get up and drive my children to school. Then I go paint, so maybe I paint five days a week. Doing a book takes about eight months or a year, and you just make time to do it. There's ample time to do lots of things instead of saying, 'I have no time.' The time it takes you to say 'I have no time' was time wasted."
On the rigors of a KISS live performance:
Paul: "I hear people go, 'How can they do that?' You do that by not sitting in front of your television and eating dessert all day or snacking all the time. You do it by exercising, taking care of yourself. I'm not a health freak. I don't believe in not eating certain foods. If you like a food, you should be able to eat it — it's just how much and when. The show is very demanding, and I know that I couldn't do it if I wasn't in shape, so I have to be in shape. Once you're in shape, you can probably spend the rest of your life staying in shape. It may be a tough place to first get to, but once you're there, you just have to stay there."
On KISS's longevity:
Paul: "You have to have passion for what you do. If you don't have passion, as soon as things go bad, you don't want to do it. If you have passion, you want to save it, revive it, bring it to a higher level. I love what I do, so I could never imagine not doing it. The reason it's lasted this long is because I love what I do. I've always thought of KISS as my band. That doesn't mean anyone else can't think of it as their band, but it's that close to me. KISS has been the gateway to so many things. It opened up a door for me to explore life."
On whether there will be a KISS biographical film in the vein of "The Dirt" or "Bohemian Rhapsody":
Paul: "I can't speak to anything that has been out, because I haven't seen anything, but we've had offers for years and years. My philosophy is, you get one chance to do something right, the right way, and until I'm really convinced that it's going to be [good] and accurate, I wait. If now there is a bandwagon of people who [say], 'Oh, let's make a movie about this band or that band,' it's not new to us. We just haven't wanted to do it because it hasn't felt right."
On his future:
Paul: "I believe that more will come along that I don't even know about yet. That's what makes life fabulous. It's like when you read a book or when you watch a TV series — you don't know what the next episode is; you don't know what the next chapter is. That's what my life is like. Twenty years ago, did I think I would paint? No. Twenty-five years ago, did I think I would star in 'Phantom Of The Opera'? No. Ten years ago, did I think I would write a book? No, but opportunities come up, and then you decide whether they're interesting to you. We all have so many opportunities that we either don't take a minute to consider or we think we're too busy, but there's opportunities all around us."
KISS is currently performing in Europe as part of its ongoing "End Of The Road" farewell tour.