INTERVIEW AND PICTURES BY MARKO SYRJÄLÄ
Finally, there is some good news for all KISS fans in Europe. The band will finally return here on next spring when the “Sonic Boom Over Europe” -tour reaches our distant continent. The band did a series of press conferences in Europe in February. They first spent a few promotional dates in Germany and then a couple more the U.K. In London, we had an amazing chance to interview the band’s lead vocalist/guitarist and founding member Paul Stanley. Topics covered included the upcoming tour and the latest album but some other interesting information as well… read on.
You are here in London to promote the upcoming SONIC BOOM OVER EUROPE -tour. What can the fans expect from you this time?
The stage is the same one that we used in the States with all the video screens. It’s that stage with some new bells and whistles added in, and there’s a new set list for Europe.
It’s great to hear that there are changes in the set list. So have you already decided how many SONIC BOOM songs will be on the set list?
My guess is there’s got to be four.
How about the 80/90’s material. There are lots of fans in Europe who are huge fans of the eighties and nineties KISS material. Will there be songs included from that period as well?
I’m sure that “Crazy Nights” will be in the set and also “God Gave Rock & Roll to You.” It’s really hard to cover everything from the beginning. So it means we have to leave out some songs. We can’t just keep adding songs. It’s great when people say “how about doing this one or that one” so ok then, what will be taken out of the show then?
Everybody remembers that THE ALIVE 35 tour was hugely successful here in Europe. What kind of expectations do you have for this upcoming tour?
I think if anybody thought that was great, and it was, then this will be greater. It wasn’t a fluke; it wasn’t by chance that the last tour was great. The band is great!
Once this European leg is over you’re going to continue this tour in the U.S. Do you have plans to continue this tour after those shows? Perhaps Japan or Australian tours are also on the way?
Not sure…there’s talk that after we do Europe we go back to do the States again, but I really don’t know? We’ll have to see. There are so many offers to play, but I also want to be home. There are little ones in my house that want daddy home, and that’s a priority.
It’s a great thing that you’re now going to play a club gig here in London. Is it completely out of the question that you would do more shows like this in the future, in kind of the same vein as what you did with the KISS IN YOUR FACE shows some years ago?
It’s very difficult to be able to do them. The fact is we were over here, and we’re not in touring mode, we haven’t even started rehearsals for the tour. We’re just basically going up there and playing. But when we’re on tour, days off are very important for us to take it easy. You can’t go out there and exert that amount of energy and kick that amount of ass and have a day off and go “hey let’s go play a club.” That’s ok if you are playing 90mins a night or if you’re playing two shows a week, but we don’t do that. So a day off is a day where we take it easy.
Well… After this SONIC BOOM tour is completely done, what KISS will do next?
As of now, I really don’t know. There’s nothing hidden that we haven’t announced.
Overall, how satisfied you are for the sales numbers and overall feedback what you’ve received of SONIC BOOM? Was there anything surprising there either positively or negatively?
I’m thrilled because it’s a great album. I said from the beginning whether it sells 10million copies or 1million copies, it’s all the same to me. At this stage of the game it about making a great album, anything else is just a bonus. In America, we had the album available exclusively at one place which has a good side and a bad side. The good side is they support it, the bad side is, it’s the only place you can get it. So there are plusses and minuses, but I wouldn’t want a better album, I couldn’t imagine a better album.
The reviews for the album have been very positive all the way.
That’s right. The reviews for SONIC BOOM have been really good. It’s great to do an album which is undeniably good, right? “laughs.” Thank you.
This time you decided to produce the album by yourself. From your view, what was the biggest difference to produce this album vs. your latest solo album LIVE TO WIN?
It was entirely different. LIVE TO WIN wasn’t a KISS album. It was me trying not to do a KISS album. If I wanted to do a one-person KISS album, I would do ANIMALIZE. To do a KISS album I wanted all the elements that make great KISS; everybody is contributing, Gene and I are writing together, and there are no outside writers. Those all are things that over the years fell away for reason or another. It’s easy to make an album when you don’t write the songs, and someone else writes them for you. It’s easy to make an album when you let someone else play your instrument. It’s easy to make an album when you say I have to have four songs on the album whether they are good or bad. It can be easy to make an album, but it’s not the way we should make an album. This album was made following certain rules, somebody was in charge, and it is much easier with someone in charge. The band will tell you it was the easiest album that we ever made because we had great guidelines.
You’ve stated many times that this is the best line up of KISS ever. Now after finishing your first studio album with this lineup, do you still agree with that statement?
I totally agree with that statement. There aren’t nights when the band isn’t in top form. Like I’ve said before, we’ve now got a band with four people who are all saying, “How can we make the band more famous?” instead of, “How can I make me more famous?”
Although it was stated that all material on SONIC BOOM is brand new, actually there are a couple of songs which were originally written a long time ago, like “Nobody’s Perfect” by Gene. Would you tell us something more about those songs and how you decided which material was used for this album?
I never heard another version of that song. Was it called “Nobody’s Perfect”?
Yes, and there are some early tapes where you can hear the rough version of that song…
I don’t know? Most of the songs he has rehashed I always know about because I hear them year after year. That song sounded really good. Most songs that have not been used usually haven’t been used for a reason. We tweaked that song so… Can’t I say?
Many fans criticized, especially here in Europe, that there wasn’t enough promotion made for it. Was there any certain reason why you didn’t do a promo tour like this when the album was coming out?
Probably because we are busy. Also, its great to do promotion but someone has to pay for it. If someone isn’t willing to pay for the promotion, I am not a charity. I give you a great album, and if you want more than a great album, then you need to buy me a ticket and find me a place to play.
Well because our time is soon coming to an end here is the very last question. Is SONIC BOOM going to be the very last KISS album ever?
I don’t think so. I think that within the next twelve months we are doing another album.
Yeah. I think it will take twelve months to eighteen months.
That’s something to wait for. Thanks for your time and have a good show tonight.
Thank you and have a good time.
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LIVE PICTURES FROM THE SPECIAL VIP/PRESS ONLY SHOW IN 02 ACADEMY, LONDON MARCH 02, 2010