John Corabi has defended KISS against criticism over the band's recent live performances, saying that Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley deserve a lot of credit for putting on great, energetic shows even though they are almost 70 years old.
When KISS kicked off its European tour earlier in the month in Barcelona, Spain, a number of YouTube videos surfaced online of Stanley clearly struggling to hit the high notes in many of the band's classic songs. This prompted renewed calls for the group to finally call it quits, with some KISS detractors insisting that Paul hasn't been able to deliver the band's material with conviction for many years.
Corabi, a former member of MÖTLEY CRÜE and THE SCREAM, whose current band, THE DEAD DAISIES, spent several months on the road in 2016 as the support act for KISS, addressed Stanley's vocal issues during a brand new interview with Mariskal Rock TV. He said (see video below): "I think a lot of the fans forget… 'Cause I've been hearing different things about… They're, like, 'Well, Paul didn't sing,' or, 'Gene's not singing that well,' or, 'Paul's not singing that well,' or, 'They didn't play very good.' Every band has an 'off' night once in a while — that's gonna happen. The other thing, too, is I don't think a lot of people take into consideration that they are almost 70 years old. And I've gotta be honest with you. We were on tour [with KISS] last year or the year before, and just for the hell of it, I said to one of the wardrobe girls… I just wanted to pick their boots up. And Gene's boots, honestly, it's probably 15 pounds each boot; they're heavy, heavy boots. Same with Paul's. And I just sat there and I put it in perspective."
Corabi, who previously played with KISS drummer Eric Singer in the ERIC SINGER PROJECT (ESP), continued: "I did another interview in New York, and the guy was talking about… he was complaining about KISS. And I go, 'How many 70-year-old men do you know who can't even get off the couch, let alone go up and do a two-hour set in boots that each boot weighs 10 pounds, or five kilos, and they're running around, jumping and doing all this stuff for two hours every day — and singing. It's not easy to do… And I just sit there and I go, 'Okay, this is like my dad…' I mean, think about it — he's 70 years old. It's your dad putting on, like, 30 pounds or 40 pounds of gear and running around for two hours and singing and performing. I personally don't know a lot of people at 70, other than those guys — [and] Steven Tyler — but the fact that they're still doing it at 70, I've got nothing but props for that. you've gotta give 'em credit for that."
Back in 2011, Stanley blamed his voice troubles on singing "through sheer willpower" to "cram in" as many shows as possible.
The 66-year-old frontman, who underwent surgery on his vocal cords seven years ago for a recurrent problem with his throat which left his voice "cracking," admitted that more than 40 years of performing with KISS left him struggling to sing, and he worked his voice too hard as the band attempted to fit in as many concerts as possible.
He told the Hollywood Reporter: "[I was singing] through sheer willpower... [to] cram in as many shows as possible to maximize profit... The nature of rock singing is a strain on the voice and when you compound that with that amount of shows, you're not giving yourself time to recuperate and the problem is compounded... I was finding myself working harder and harder to do what was once effortless, and having already passed through puberty, I was surprised to hear my voice cracking."
Stanley added that many artists ruin their vocal cords by partying too hard, explaining: "If you're going to mix alcohol, cigarettes and drugs with singing, you've got a combustible combination that can only get you in trouble.
"When I was starring in 'Phantom Of The Opera', I found I couldn't drink a glass of wine the night before because it affected my vocal cords the next night, so people who are staying up till all hours, snorting this, smoking that and drinking the other, turn over the sand timer and when the sand runs out, your number comes up."