PAUL STANLEY: GENE SIMMONS' 'A**hole' Is 'Not The Album I Would Have Hoped He Made'

Cameron Adams of Australia's Herald Sun recently conducted an interview with KISS guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley. A few excerpts from the chat follow:

Herald Sun: You're touring your first solo album in 28 years, "Live to Win". How is it playing without wearing make-up and no special effects?

Paul Stanley: Surprisingly for some, there's arguably more power than some of the arena shows we do with KISS. There's nothing there to confuse anyone as to what the source of the power is. It's deadly good fun. This whole tour has reconnected for me why I got into music in the first place. I remember going to concerts as a kid, seeing JIMI HENDRIX or LED ZEPPELIN playing for a couple of thousand people. It wasn't about big-stage presentations, it was about big belief in music.

Herald Sun: The setlist contains a handful of solo songs and many Kiss songs.

Paul Stanley: There's so many great songs to play it'd be foolish to deny myself or the fans all the great tunes I've written that KISS does. You hear all those songs the way they were supposed to sound. I wasn't interested in changing "Love Gun" into a reggae tune.

Herald Sun: You're refreshingly honest about KISS fans not wanting to hear new material when you play. How have they reacted to hearing new Paul Stanley songs on this tour?

Paul Stanley: It's gone down tremendously. People come knowing they are going to get a night of me. I believe this is a very intimate, but very potent evening. I don't know who's smiling more, us on stage or the audience.

Herald Sun: Your solo band is the house band from the two series of "Rock Star". Is that the closest you'll ever get to doing a reality-TV show?

Paul Stanley: Oh God, I'd rather take a bullet in my head. You can either have reality or you can have TV, the two cannot co-exist. I have no desire to have my life played out to the public. I'm very happy to have my life for myself and also have my life on stage. They both make each other possible.

Herald Sun: Have you seen Gene Simmons' reality show "Family Jewels?

Paul Stanley: Honestly, I haven't. People say it's very good. He's happy. That's part of his personality and not mine.

Herald Sun: You've said you believe the number of things Gene does outside KISS lessens KISS's impact.

Paul Stanley: I think so. But he has every right to do them. I think some of his choices are questionable, but so what? God knows we've earned the right to go and do what satisfies us.

Herald Sun: What's the status of KISS?

Paul Stanley: We turned down a summer tour - for some reason it just wasn't that appealing. Truth be told I wouldn't mind going out and continuing with my solo band. But KISS absolutely will be out on tour again. It's inevitable.

Herald Sun: Gene came to your solo show. What did he think?

Paul Stanley: He was blown away. From what I heard, he posted something to that effect on his website. It's undeniable. It's as good as anything out there and better than most.

Herald Sun: What did you think of Gene's solo record "Asshole"?

Paul Stanley: It's not the album I would have made. It's not the album I would have hoped he made, but I'm only accountable for what I do.

Herald Sun: You've also had hip-replacement surgery. How's the new hip?

Paul Stanley: All I can say is I've been scoring knockouts every night.

Herald Sun: Is it true you spent the last few years of KISS tours in pain before the operation?

Paul Stanley: I'm a firm believer that when people pay for tickets they don't need a disclaimer from anyone on stage about their health or limitations. If you have to do that, you'd be better off giving everyone their money back. People don't come for excuses or to hear about your circumstances. I was in pain for years, it reached a point where it was literally difficult to get up the stairs to the stage. There was not much choice to become a little bionic.

Read the entire interview at this location.

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