GENE SIMMONS Says New KISS Album Is 'One Of The Top Three Records We've Ever Done'

KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons spoke to Billboard.com about the band's recently completed 20th studio album, "Monster", which is scheduled for release in July. The follow-up to 2009's "Sonic Boom" was again produced by KISS fronman Paul Stanley and was described by Simmons as "either the best or one of the top three records we've ever done. It's like 'Revenge' meets 'Destroyer' — just guitar and drums, nothing else. No keyboards, no little boys' choir, no strings, no nothing. Band-written; literally we'd get in and strum guitars like the old days."

"Monster" will be accompanied by an over-sized art book containing paintings, drawings, photos and other impressions by various artists, inspired by KISS. According to Simmons, the book "should weigh 100 pounds or more" and come with its own stand. "It's something you can't put on your coffee table, 'cause it'll crush it. It IS the coffee table," he said.

Songtitles set to appear on "Monster" include "It's A Long Way Down", "Back To The Stone Age", "Shout Mercy", "Out Of This World", "Wall Of Sound" and "Hell Or Hallelujah".

Speaking to VH1 Radio Network's Dave Basner following the March 20 press conference at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, California to officially announce details of KISS' summer co-headlining tour with MÖTLEY CRÜE, KISS vocalist/guitarist Paul Stanley stated about the band's new CD, "'Monster' is really the culmination of everything this band has been in the past and where we're going. When we did [2009's] 'Sonic Boom', it was a big task for us because we were saying, 'How do we define who we are today without losing who we've been?' So, that was a tall order for us, but once we got that under our belts, we wanted to go back in and 'Monster' is far, far beyond anything we've done in terms of 'Sonic Boom' and yet it's right up there with some of the best stuff we've done. It's KISS."

In a 2011 interview with Classic Rock magazine, Stanley stated about the band's decision to return to the studio so soon after releasing "Sonic Boom", "I wasn't interested in making an album unless I was in charge and no one agreed to it half-heartedly. The band's all there, all the time, and we cut the tracks all facing each other in the same room. Chemistry and camaraderie, that's essential. That's what made 'Sonic Boom' so great, and this album is thunderously better."

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