SROMaginc.com recently conducted an interview with former ACE FREHLEY bassist Anthony Esposito. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On what it was like working with Ace Frehley:
Esposito: "It started out really amazing, really great. We were really good friends, close friends. [We did] everything from riding Harleys together to going to Yankee games and stuff like that, just hanging out, being bros kind of thing. And we started working on the music for [2009's] 'Anomaly' [album], and then I put a band together for him and did a few gigs. And then we decided to record 'Anomaly'. And we were really, really close friends, and it was great working with him. He's a very talented guitar player and great songwriter. But over a period of time, different people come in and out of the circle, and so it kind of got stretched and twisted. But he was a really close friend of mine for a while."
"When I met him, I think I had 14 years or sobriety, or 13 years of sobriety, and so a lot of it was based on [the fact that] he wanted to quit drinking at that time. So I guess he [needed] a good influence to put him on that path. But he did a lot of it on his own. He was pretty adamant about quitting."
On whether it is true that he quit Frehley's band:
Esposito: "Definitely not. I did not quit. When I first joined, we were gigging out and we were touring, and gradually, over a period of time, it got less and less. [We did] not [play any shows] in 2013, and we played five shows in 2012 and 15 shows in 2011. It was a gradual decline in the amount of touring that we were doing. So I reached out to him… He didn't use me on [this year's 'Space Invader'] record, which I thought was kind of hard after 'Anomaly' did so well and so many people liked it and I was really instrumental in that record, in putting it together and the riffs and the sounds of it and helping Ace put it together; I was around a lot for that. And I was surprised that I wasn't asked to be a part of this record ['Space Invader']. So I kind of saw that [coming]. He kind of moved to California, and I kind of got left behind. And when the record ['Space Invader'] was done… There were a lot of KISS fans that were posting [messages online asking me] whether I liked it or not. And I was getting blasted with messages on Facebook and texts on my phone, 'Are you gonna tour [with Ace]? Are you in [Ace's] touring band?' So I reached out to Ace. I was, like, 'Hey, Ace, I don't know if you're gonna go out and support this new album [with live shows], and I don't know if I'm in the touring band or not in the touring band.' And, basically, 'I'm getting all these messages and I would like to know how I should answer them.' And he texted me back and he was, like, basically, 'I'm gonna go in a different direction with West Coast musicians. Chris Wyse from THE CULT is my new [bass] player.'
"I was in the band for seven years. And I kind of did a lot more than just play bass; I was the tour manager, stage manager, merch guy, I would settle all the money with promoters… I mean, [I was involved in setting up] the blue plexi backline, the walk-on music, he would always ask me about setlist questions. It was more than just a hired-bass-guy sideman. And I was kind of shocked that I was just tossed away. But I guess that's the nature of the job…
"I just got asked to [make an appearance] September 13 at the KISS convention in New Jersey, so I'm bringing all of my [road gear and personal merchandise collection] and I'm just gonna sell it all off. Really, the way it ended left a bad taste in my mouth and I just wanna get rid of it. I feel kind of dissed. [But] what are you gonna do? It is what it is."
On whether he would rejoin Frehley's touring band, if asked:
Esposito: "No. A lot of things would have to change before I went back, and don't think they're gonna change, so I'm not interested in going back. The whole thing is, I tried to make the whole thing a pro organization with the selection of musicians and the way that every penny was accounted for. I appreciate that he trusted me to do all that, and I accounted for every penny, I accounted for everything."