Original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley was interviewed by rock journalist Mitch Lafon for a recent edition of the "One On One With Mitch Lafon" podcast (Facebook page). You can now listen to the chat using the Spreaker widget below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On getting KISS frontman Paul Stanley to sing on Ace cover version of FREE's hit "Fire And Water" for the upcoming "Origins Vol. 1" collection:
Ace: "It was really, actually, rather easy. And I originally had been trying to get Gene [Simmons, KISS bassist/vocalist] on the record, and he never got back to me; I guess he was tied up with one thing or another. But, you know, I said to myself, 'Let me give Paul a call.' And I called Paul, and he picked up the phone right away, and I told him what I was doing, and he was very receptive from the very beginning about getting on the record. He said, 'Oh, that'll be fun.' And it took a while to figure out what song we were gonna track. It came down to two songs: we were either gonna do 'My Generation' by THE WHO or 'Fire And Water', and we both agreed 'Fire And Water' would be a better song. And we just tracked it. It all came together. I didn't actually see Paul, 'cause I was busy mixing and overdubbing, and he was very busy at the time, so we just forwarded him the basic tracks, and him and his engineer threw on the lead vocal, and while he was doing that, I was doing something else. And then we got it back, and I took it home with me and threw down the guitar solos. And it just kind of came together. It's amazing how quickly and painlessly you can work these days with e-mails. You just fly stuff into Pro Tools and it pops up on the screen, and you're good to go, as long as you know what you're doing."
On whether Paul's appearance on "Origins Vol. 1" opens up the possibility of Frehley rejoining KISS in the future:
Ace: "We haven't discussed that at this point, but I'm not ruling it out. I've always said that, you know, I always leave the door open. I know the fans have been… there have been rumors and stuff, but there hasn't been any talk of us getting back together. Right now it's just the excitement of this record, and I'm very excited about 'Fire And Water'. There's a good chance that we're gonna release that as a single, maybe. Paul's really happy with the way it turned out, I'm very happy, the record company's very happy, so we're just moving forward in a positive way. And whatever happens in the future, it happens, or if it doesn't, it doesn't."
On rejoining KISS for the "Kiss Unplugged" album in 1995 and the subsequent reunion tour:
Ace: "It was a little nerve-racking. We weren't sure how the fans were gonna receive it. I know there was a lot of excitement around the whole thing. But, you know, when we actually taped the show, the fans just went crazy when me and Peter [Criss, drums] walked out. It was just one of those moments in time where everything solidified, and Paul and Gene realized that they couldn't even put out the record that they had just recorded with Bruce [Kulick, guitar] and Eric [Singer, drums]; they had to scrap it and move forward with me and Peter, because the fans wouldn't have it any other way."
On the KISS reunion tour, which kicked off in 1996:
Ace: "It was a lot fun in the beginning, but as the years progressed, it got a little weird. Paul and Gene know how to push my buttons and Peter's buttons. Some of the things that we had talked about in the initial outset of the reunion tour… things started changing, the rules started changing, decisions were being made without consulting me, and I started feeling like I was a hired gun instead of part of the creative process, which is what I wanted. So when that started going down, I realized I had to move on with my own career and put KISS on the backburner, which is what happened."
On the making of KISS's 1998 album "Psycho Circus" on which Frehley and Criss were used only sparingly:
Ace: "It was my feeling… I felt it would have been a better album if me and Peter had played more on it… [Why that happened is] really a question you need to ask Paul and Gene, because they were the ones that made the decision. I was living in L.A. at the time — I had gotten an apartment — and they were calling the shots, which kind of rubbed me the wrong way. 'Cause initially I was an equal partner, and here I am kind of like a hired gun and not getting the respect I felt I deserved. And that was kind of the beginning of the end, I think. People make bad decisions, and there's repurcussions that are gonna take place."