The following in an excerpt taken from the Holiday 2012 issue of Guitar World. For the full story, pick up the issue on newsstands now, or in our online store.
“This isn’t ‘old-timer’s day,’ ” Paul Stanley says of Kiss in 2012. “If that’s anybody’s idea of what we’re doing, then that’s just morbid and ridiculous.” Indeed, the 60-year-old singer and guitarist has just one word for those who question whether there’s still a fire raging beneath Kiss’ pancake-makeup exterior: Monster. That’s the title of the band’s new and—zounds!—20th studio album, which is Kiss’ hardest-hitting effort since 1992’s Revenge. The collection’s 13 tracks are streamlined and direct, with a vibe that recalls their Seventies-rock heyday and a sound that is solidly modern.
Much of Monster’s effectiveness can be credited to Stanley, who in addition to writing or co-writing 11 of the songs—including the riff-tastic single “Hell or Hallelujah”—served as the album’s co-producer, with Greg Collins. “One of my jobs in that respect was to see that everybody in the band was 100 percent committed in time and effort,” he says. And Stanley appears to have pulled out some stellar work from his band mates, in particular Gene Simmons, whose stomping garage-rocker “Back to the Stone Age” and lecherously lighthearted “Eat Your Heart Out” rank among the disc’s highlights. In addition, guitarist Tommy Thayer helped co-write eight songs and sings lead on one, “Outta This World,” while drummer Eric Singer handles vocals for the Stanley-penned classic rocker “All for the Love of Rock & Roll.”
“It’s always interesting with Tommy and Eric, because people still think of them as the new guys,” Stanley says of the men who inhabit the roles established by Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, respectively. “But Eric’s been in the band over 20 years off and on, and Tommy’s been playing with us for 10 and part of the organization for about 25.
“So if it’s a question at all about Peter or Ace, we couldn’t be here today had it not been for them being in the band. But we couldn’t be here today if they were still in it. And the proof is in the music.”
For the full interview, plus features on Aerosmith, Soundgarden, Gary Clark Jr. and more, pick up the Holiday 2012 issue of Guitar World now in our online store. Aerosmith's new album, Music From Another Dimension!, is out now.