On November 1, Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley published his autobiography, No Regrets: A Rock 'N' Roll Memoir (VH1 Books).
Frehley talked with Examiner.com reporter Alison Richter about a possible Kiss reunion, recording and lessons learned. For the rest of this interview, head to Examiner.com.
So … you’re on the West Coast. Rumor has it you hate it out there.
Let’s just say I’m not particularly fond of it! Hate is a strong word, and I don't want to offend any of our West Coast fans. Although I am looking at property in Malibu because I do like the ocean.
Do you remember the precise moment you got “the call”?
It wasn’t like one call. We were negotiating. When Peter and I were co-headlining a sold-out tour of Canada, during the course of that tour Gene spoke to my manager, who at the time was also managing Peter, about a reunion tour. It was after MTV Unplugged, and on the success of that, wheels started turning. Paul and Gene still thought Peter and I were alcoholic drug addicts, but we came in on time, were professional, and they looked at us in a different light. They started negotiating, we made a couple of trips to L.A. and talked in Gene’s office, the lawyers ironed out the legalities of contracts, and next thing we were on the road.
Why was it important to tour before recording?
We had no idea we were going to do an album. All we were gearing up for was a reunion tour. There were no plans for an album until toward the end. We realized, as it was winding down, that it was so successful. Everyone kept saying we should do another album. One night, we were in the dressing room putting on makeup — that’s the only chance we really had to talk; we were like four women in a beauty parlor! — and we decided an album would be a good idea. I’m real happy with the end result. Most people say it surpasses expectations.
There are no sexual overtones on this album. Was that a conscious effort?
We’re all more mature. We have families, children, and I wasn’t going to write a song about getting high now that I’m sober. I cringe a little now when I sing “Cold Gin,” but it’s one of the most requested songs, so we still have to do it live. I feel a little guilty, so I take it with a grain of salt; I’m not putting a drink in anybody’s hand. Our musicianship, our writing and vocals are stronger. Paul’s range surpasses anything he had twenty years ago. By far, he has the best range in the group, but what’s really special about KISS is that there are four singers with their own following. That gives it strength. The four of us together is bigger than any of us alone. That doesn’t mean when it’s over I won’t do another Ace Frehley album, but as long as KISS is hot and kids want us, I’m still here and having fun doing it.