Original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley spoke to Australia's "Today" show ahead of his upcoming tour of the country. You can watch the chat at this location.
Speaking about why he chose to leave KISS the first time, Frehley said: "I quit because I started abusing substances and alcohol. And I also wasn't agreeing with the direction of the way the band was going. You know, we had that big hit 'I Was Made For Loving You' and I'm more of a blues-based rock guitar player."
He continued: "When I left, there was a sigh of relief, because I just felt like I was on a collision course with… I just thought I was gonna end up being a statistic."
Frehley added: "By the grace of God, I'm here today, clean sober eight years, and life's never been better."
Asked if it's hard staying sober, Frehley responded: "The first year or two is hard. Now it's like… When I look at photos of me when I'm all bloated and I think about the days when I was looking at being in trouble with the law for drunk driving and all that crazy stuff… And health reasons too."
"Space Invader", the first new solo album from Frehley in five years, sold around 19,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 9 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD arrived in stores on August 19 via Entertainment One Music (eOne Music).
Ace's previous CD, "Anomaly", opened with around 17,000 units back in September 2009 to debut at No. 27.
"Space Invader", which was made available in Europe on August 18, 2014 (three days earlier in Germany and Scandinavia) through SPV/Steamhammer, includes 11 brand new original songs as well as a cover of Steve Miller's "The Joker".
Frehley's touring lineup includes none other than Richie Scarlet, who rode shotgun performing rhythm guitar and vocal duties on Ace's "Trouble Walking" platter in 1989, and is doing so again on stage. Richie toured with Ace in 1984 and 1985 and periodically from 1989 through 1995 and was also known for touring with Sebastian Bach.
On bass and vocals is Chris Wyse from Queens, New York. Previously recording with Ozzy Osbourne and playing on Mick Jagger's 2001 solo album, Chris is well known as the bass player from THE CULT since 2006. Chris can also be heard on Frehley's new album, "Space Invader", on select tracks. He also covers bass duties in his current band OWL.
Finally, Scot Coogan is behind the drum kit for Frehley's tour. Coogan played with Frehley for five years until 2012 when he left Ace's band to focus on other projects. He has since toured and recorded with LYNCH MOB and sat behind the kit for Lita Ford on the 2012 "Rock Of Ages" tour with DEF LEPPARD and POISON.