Paul Gargano of LiveDaily recently conducted an interview with KISS guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
LiveDaily: This ["Live to Win"] is your first solo record in nearly three decades. Does the material span that time period?
Paul Stanley: Everything I wrote on this album was written for the album. I've never believed in recording old material, it's kind of like giving people old news, you know? I've always believed that, when you give somebody an album, it should be like a fresh newspaper, where you get ink on your fingers. It's today's news. So, for me, it's where I'm at now, things in my life, my perspective on my music as an individual.
LiveDaily: You've got a core base of musicians on the album, but the lineup changes slightly, from song-to-song.
Paul Stanley: When I thought about doing the album, I wanted to approach it, partially, as the director of a film. Producing an album, for me, meant casting each song. As opposed to writing songs for a specific group of musicians, it was bringing in the right musicians to play on the songs. I had a core group that was really awesome and connected really well with me, and there was no reason to change the menu on every song. So the core remained the same, but it's a lot easier to stay true to form when you don't have to consider anyone else's opinion. I was very interested in what everybody had to say but, quickly and ultimately, it was about what I wanted to do, and my vision. What was really cool for me was that everybody who worked on the album not only understood the vision, but was fired up by the songs and what was coming out of the speakers. It was a labor of passion, and something where I was only concerned with turning out the album I heard in my head, without regard for having glitz and star power from other sources. It was purely about making the album I wanted to make. This was purely a labor of love.
LiveDaily: With the overblown largeness of KISS, and the "Star Child" character, does it feel good to be able to express yourself outside those parameters?
Paul Stanley: Well, KISS is a facet of who I am, but it's not all of it. There is undoubtedly more freedom in doing something under my name and without either the politics or the dynamics and personalities of a band.
LiveDaily: After decades of compromise in the band setting, did this album become a necessity?
Paul Stanley: Nobody should confuse being in KISS with compromise. It's a different format and calls for a different type of participation. It's not compromise at all. I wanted the freedom to explore my own abilities and boundaries, or break any boundaries I had and basically do what I wanted without any of the advantages or burdens of the history of the band. This was about me being free to not consider other people, not consider a balance of material from a band, not consider any type of equality, not to consider feelings of other people, just to make music. That's something you can only do under your own banner. This isn't about taking KISS fans someplace they haven't been, although everyone's invited along. This is really about me doing an album for me. First and foremost I had to please myself. I'd like to believe that, if I please myself, I'm going to please some other people. If you try and second guess the public or your fans, and you fail, you're filled with the sense of, "Why didn't I follow my heart?" I'd rather do things without any compromise, and if I fail, I still have that comfort.
Read the entire interview at www.livedaily.com.