PAUL STANLEY Says Current KISS Band Is 'Much More Consistent' Than Original Lineup: 'We're Always In Sync With Each Other'
June 11, 2021
Paul Stanley spoke to Rolling Stone Germany about KISS's new official live bootleg series "KISS - Off The Soundboard", which launched today (Friday, June 11) with "Tokyo 2001", recorded by the band at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan on March 13, 2001. This marks the first in a series of upcoming live releases through UMe and is available as a 3-LP standard black vinyl set, a 2-CD set, digital downloads and available to stream. "Off The Soundboard: Tokyo 2001" — which features co-founders Stanley and Gene Simmons, with Ace Frehley on guitar and Eric Singer on drums — is also available as an exclusive 3-LP set pressed on crystal clear vinyl with bone swirl via the official KISS online store.
Asked how Frehley's guitar playing compares to that of current KISS guitarist Tommy Thayer, Paul said: "Tommy is very, very consistent. Tommy always hits the bull's eye, and there's never any question about that. And with Ace, I have to say, there was a certain amount of erratic playing. You didn't really know, night to night, what you were going to get, I have to say. So the band, as it is now, is much, much, much more consistent. We're always in sync with each other and always on point."
He continued: "I'm the first to say that the band wouldn't exist today without having had Ace and Peter [Criss, original KISS drummer] in the beginning. And I can also say the band wouldn't exist today if Ace and Peter were still there. So, things move on, and certainly Ace, his playing is part of the foundation of what we do."
Stanley also addressed the fact that "Tokyo 2001" was recorded during a challenging period for KISS after Criss decided to step away from the band over a contract dispute. (He rejoined the group in late 2002 and stayed for another year and a half before exiting for the final time.)
"Well, thankfully, Eric is a phenomenal drummer and had played with the band for decades, I think," Paul said. "So he was very ready. It wasn't a spur-of-the-moment happening that brought Eric into the band; we saw that coming. That was very obvious because of some of the tensions or lack of quality in Peter's playing at some point, frankly. So Eric was always ready to come in, and Aceloved playing with Eric. So, it was great. It was transitional; it was a time of transition. But we had fun, I have to say. I remember being in Australia, and we were all out to dinner, which was not anything that had happened for years before, and the four of us were out to dinner, and Ace was going, 'I love playing with Eric.' So, this board recording is really good — it's really, really good."
KISS "Off The Soundboard: Tokyo 2001" (2CD) track listing:
01. Detroit Rock City 02. Deuce 03. Shout It Out Loud 04. Talk To Me 05. I Love It Loud 06. Firehouse 07. Do You Love Me 08. Calling Dr. Love 09. Heaven's On Fire 10. Let Me Go Rock & Roll 11. Shock Me / Guitar Solo 12. Psycho Circus
01. Lick It Up / Bass Solo 02. God Of Thunder / Drum Solo 03. Cold Gin 04. 100,000 Years 05. Love Gun 06. I Still Love You 07. Black Diamond 08. I Was Made For Lovin' You 09. Rock And Roll All Nite
LP1, Side A
01. Detroit Rock City 02. Deuce 03. Shout It Out Loud 04. Talk To Me
LP1, Side B
01. I Love It Loud 02. Firehouse 03. Do You Love Me 04. Calling Dr. Love 05. Heaven's On Fire
LP2, Side A
01. Let Me Go Rock & Roll 02. Shock Me / Guitar Solo
LP2, Side B
01. Psycho Circus 02. Lick It Up / Bass Solo 03. God Of Thunder / Drum Solo
LP3, Side A
01. Cold Gin 02. 100,000 Years 03. Love Gun
LP3, Side B
01. I Still Love You 02. Black Diamond 03. I Was Made For Lovin' You 04. Rock And Roll All Nite
Digital track listing
01. Detroit Rock City 02. Deuce 03. Shout It Out Loud 04. Talk To Me 05. I Love It Loud 06. Firehouse 07. Do You Love Me 08. Calling Dr. Love 09. Heaven's On Fire 10. Let Me Go Rock & Roll 11. Shock Me / Guitar Solo 12. Psycho Circus 13. Lick It Up / Bass Solo 14. God Of Thunder / Drum Solo 15. Cold Gin 16. 100,000 Years 17. Love Gun 18. I Still Love You 19. Black Diamond 20. I Was Made For Lovin' You 21. Rock And Roll All Nite