Kiss

Tue
17
Mar

Producer Toby Wright Looks Back on KISS’ Carnival of Souls

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Famed producer Toby Wright guests on the Decibel Geek podcast for a 2 part Albums Unleashed special covering KISS' controversial 1997 release Carnival of Souls.

Recommended by producer Bob Ezrin, Wright remembers his initial meeting with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, which took place at A&M Studios: “They kinda put it in my ear why I was there. They wanted to follow a little hip trend going on at the time called Grunge music. The bottom line was, like all artists, they wanted to sell records. Y’know, they want to be on top of the pile. Gene has a big competitive personality so he’s all about being on the top of the pile and whatever it takes to get there.”

Then-guitarist Bruce Kulick was a large creative force during the making of the album. Wright shares his memories of Kulick’s importance as well as a directive from him during pre-production meetings about how to get the most out of Simmons and Stanley for this very different album for KISS. “Bruce and I got really close during that whole record because he played most of the record. Without Bruce, this record wouldn’t exist, ever. During those initial “nobody’s around” conversations, I got inspiration from Bruce and instructions from Bruce that were like “You are gonna have to push the fuck out of these guys (Simmons & Stanley). Don’t be afraid.”

Other advice came from Ezrin who had worked with KISS on their previous album Revenge, “Bob’s told me some stories about Gene. He’s like “Watch out. One fucking smell of weakness and he’ll be all over you.” I’ll always remember that comment. So, I was like “Okay. I’m never gonna show any fear whatsoever that I’m in a room with one of my heroes. He’ll never know that.” He’ll take advantage; big time. He’ll smell fear in your eyes, it’s over for you as far as having any kind of control over a situation; especially in a producer situation where I’m in the studio co-producing with he and Paul (Stanley) and it’s the three of us “making decisions.” Who has the last say? Depends on what the issue is. If it’s something sonically, it’s usually me. If it’s something musical, it’s usually them. It just depends on how the conversation was going and who was the bolder lion that day (laughs).”

Wright was tapped to produce Carnival of Souls, in part, due to his previous work with Alice in Chains. In this 2 part special, Wright details how he pushed the members of the band to attempt harmony vocal takes that mirrored the Seattle quartet’s and how it, ultimately, would fall short in comparison, “It’s just an effect that I use, harmony vocals. I hear all the harmonies in my head like Layne (Staley) did. I do that on a lot of records I produce..Layne and JJerry (Cantrell), they had something special with it because they used notes that people don’t use, typically speaking. Layne and Jerry, theey just did it. That was a part of their art just like Van Gogh picking up a fucking paintbrush. That was their sound. With Gene and Paul, that’s stuff that’s songwriter-forced.  There’s more movement in what Layne and Jerry would’ve done instead of these guys (Simmons & Stanley).

While loved by a core group of KISS fans, the album overall was not embraced by the KISS Army stylistically. Wright remembers, “To be brought into a situation where I’m trying to make someone sound unlike themselves is difficult. I would have rather had this KISS album be entirely them and just do what you do; because that’s what you do. I think a larger number of their fans would have embraced it instead of fighting about “that sucks” or “that’s good.”
While in production, the band were very excited about the prospects of this change in sound and, according Wright, putting a lot of eggs into the Grunge basket, “I was already slated to produce the next one ..It was in my contractt. If this one had shipped platinum, I was to produce the next KISS album.”

As many now know, everything came to a halt one day in the studio when Simmons and Stanley called a meeting with Wright and the rest of the band to make an announcement that would have a major impact on the album as well as two of the band members, “We were about done with the record. Gene got the call. Somebody offered him 100 million to put back on the makeup with all the original members. And that announcement in that room; holy shit.We all knew right as the words came out off his mouth that we were done.“\Paul didn’t really look aroundd much. Gene, he was Paul Revere. He was the messenger that should’ve gotten shot (laughs).”

Carnival of Souls would soon thereafter leak on the internet and become a widely distributed bootleg album, with KISS fans snatching it up online as well as at KISS conventions. Rumors swirled that a member of the band may have been responsible for leaking the album. In this 2 part discussion Wright reflects, “I do remember getting questioned, big time. Who knows who did it? I have great ideas on who did it. If it was a band member, I’d just say it was for his personal gain and I’m sure he made a lot of fucking money.”

The album would finally get a proper release in October of 1997 when it was issued by Mercury Records with very little fanfare. Wright remembers the experience being very bittersweet, “I was thinking that I’m working on another multiplatinum album, and it should’ve been, and then all of a sudden they shelve it. 2 years later, now they’re releasing it and didn’t put any marketing push behind it and it’s like “Why did you bother?””

Parts 1 and 2 of Albums Unleashed Carnival of Souls with Toby Wright can be heard using the links below:

MP3 Links:
Part 1: http://traffic.libsyn.com/dbgeekshow/Albums_Unleashed_Carnival_of_Souls_1.mp3
Part 2: http://traffic.libsyn.com/dbgeekshow/Albums_Unleashed_Carnival_of_Souls_P.mp3

 
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Thu
12
Mar

KISS Australian Tour Announced, Dead Daisies As Support

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KISS have announced their Australian tour dates. The press release goes as follows:
 
"Ready for one of THE greatest bands in rock’n’roll history with one of THE most spectacular shows Australia will see this year?
 
Ready for a stage production called ‘The Spider’, moved by 38 computer controlled winches, featuring 220 automated lights, weighing in at 43,000 kgs, incorporating 900 pieces of pyrotechnics and powered by 400,000 watts of sound?
Add in showmanship that continues to thrill audiences around the world, some of the best damn rock anthems in music history and there’s only ONE band we can be talking about....... KISS!
Get your face paint ready Australia because Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer are on their way Down Under in October as part of their 40th Anniversary world tour. Kicking off at the Perth Arena on Saturday October 3, then to Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, for the first time ever Newcastle and with New Zealand to be announced next week, it’s the news the rabid KISS army fans have been waiting for!
 
Paul Stanley said: "I've loved Australia since the very first time I visited. It is one of the greatest secrets on earth and probably better to keep it that way. The food, wine and women are all extraordinary and everyone has always welcomed me and made me feel like it is home."
KISS has just completed a Japanese tour, which coincided with the release of a collaboration single with the country’s famous all-girl group Momoiro Clover Z. The song “Yumeno Ukiyoni Saitemina” (Samurai Son) – composed by Paul Stanley – hit #1 on the Japanese charts introducing KISS to a whole new generation of fans. The tour ended with a show for 40,000 fans at the Tokyo Dome last week, featuring the Momoiro Clover Z girls joining KISS for the encore.
With countless timeless hits like ‘Rock’n’Roll All Nite’, ‘I Was Made For Loving You’, ‘Detroit Rock City’, ‘Love Gun’, ‘Shout It Out Loud’, ‘Lick It Up’ and ‘God Gave Rock’n’Roll To You’, the KISS legacy continues to grow, generation after generation.
A KISS concert is like no other, and with tickets starting from just $98, it’s an extravaganza that everyone needs to experience!
 
Special guests are The Dead Daisies, a powerful musical collective created by a rotating line-up that features some of the world’s best rock musicians. This tour features Richard Fortus (Guns N' Roses, The Psychedelic Furs), Marco Mendoza (Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake), John Corabi (Mötley Crüe, RATT), Dizzy Reed (Guns N' Roses, Hookers & Blow), David Lowy (MINK, Red Phoenix) and Brian Tichy (Ozzy Osbourne, Billy Idol). The band supported KISS on US dates last year and will also join them for the European tour in June. The Dead Daisies are currently recording their second studio album in Australia to be released in June 2015.
 
ABOUT KISS:
 
KISS remains one of the most influential bands in the history of rock and roll. As one of America's top gold-record champions, KISS has released 44 albums and sold more than 100 million albums worldwide. Decades of record-breaking tours around the globe have included high-profile appearances at Super Bowl XXXIII, the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, the Rockin' The Corps concert dedicated to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and special guest appearance on the 2009 American Idol finale that boasted 30 million viewers and a 2010 Dr. Pepper Super Bowl commercial and advertising campaign in support of their Hottest Show On Earth tour. KISS is currently featured in major advertising and marketing campaigns for John Varvatos and Google Play. In 2014, KISS launched their inaugural Arena Football League Season with the LA KISS Football team bringing professional football back to Los Angeles. The unparalleled devotion and loyalty of the KISS Army to the "Hottest Band in the World" is a striking testament to the band's unbreakable bond with its fans.
KISS is celebrating two major milestones, their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April of 2014, as well as the band’s 40th Anniversary. KISS 40, a new album celebrating 40 years of Rock ‘N Roll is available now.
 
AUSTRALIAN TOUR DATES
Saturday October 3 PERTH Arena
Tuesday October 6 ADELAIDE Entertainment Centre
Thursday October 8 MELBOURNE Rod Laver Arena
Saturday October 10 SYDNEY AllPhones Arena
Monday October 12 NEWCASTLE Entertainment Centre
Tuesday October 13 BRISBANE Entertainment Centre
 
Tickets on sale - Thursday March 26 at 2.00pm from www.ticketek.com.au & 132 849
 

 

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Mon
09
Mar

KISS Australian Tour Announcement Due

Artist: 
 
KISS are set to announce their Australian tour dates as early as this week if leaked dates are anything to go by. News was posted at respected Aussie music hub Noise11.com - http://www.noise11.com/news/kiss-to-tour-australia-with-whitesnake-20150304
 
Initial reports had the iconic band teaming up with WHITESNAKE as a killer double bill. But my sources indicate that while that was the original plan, the deal to include Whitesnake fell apart a couple of weeks ago. And that was still true as of 2 days ago.
There is no word yet on just who might accompany Kiss or if the Snake deal can be resurrected.
 
Rumored dates:
 
October 3, Perth
October 5, Adelaide
October 8, Melbourne
October 10, Sydney
October 12, Newcastle
October 13, Brisbane
October 16, Auckland
 
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Fri
28
Nov

'Sealed With A KISS' – Revised & Expanded Book by Lydia Criss on Sale

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Get Kissed This Christmas Day!
CYBER MONDAY SALE!
 
“Sealed With A KISS” – Revised & Expanded Book by Lydia Criss
A deluxe hardcover collection of over 1,500 rare and
unpublished photos, memorabilia and memories
from the early days of the most successful theatrical
rock band of all time…
 
1 Day Sale (December 1st) available at: www.LydiaCriss.com
 
 
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Mon
22
Sep

One On One With Mitch Lafon - BRETT BOUCHY (L.A. Kiss)

Artist: 

http://www.spreaker.com/user/talkingmetal/one-on-one-51-brett-bouchy

Episode 51 of One On One With Mitch Lafon features an exclusive chat with the L.A. KISS managing partner and co-owner, BRETT BOUCHY. This episode was co-hosted by Talking Metal's Mark Strigl.

In this episode's only interview, L.A. KISS' Brett Bouchy discusses the Arena Football League's team inception, the working relationship with KISS' Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, the team's on-field performance and the AMC show 4th And Loud. The show takes you inside the day-to-day dealings and drama of the L.A. KISS. From the early triumphant declarations that Los Angeles' newest team was championship bound to the quick realization that the team was going to need a lot of help to win even just one game. KISS' Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons are not used to losing and being the owners of a 3-15 team (having lost their last six) seemingly did not sit well with them. AMC's 4th And Loud exposes their and the team's management frustrations. Catch all the tension, drama and decision making every Tuesday night at 10PM (9PM central) only on AMC

You can watch Mitch's chat with Brett Bouchy exclusively here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7azphRp-pRw

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Thu
18
Sep

KISS Announce 'Love Gun' Deluxe Edition Out October 28

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Universal Music are proud to announce the next stage of KISS' 40th anniversary celebrations, with the release of a Deluxe Edition of the 1977 U.S. platinum album, Love Gun, on 2CD and digital formats.

The band's sixth studio recording, Love Gun was the first album to feature lead vocal performances from all four original band members, and the last studio album with the original KISS line-up. Love Gun has since gone on to sell more than four million copies worldwide.

The 2CD / digital edition includes the complete original album re-mastered on the first disc, featuring such classics as the title track 'Plaster Caster', the song inspired by Cynthia Plaster Caster, the groupie famous for taking casts of rock star genitalia; 'Shock Me', written about Ace Frehley suffering an electric shock during a concert in Lakeland, Florida; 'Christine Sixteen', and 'Then She Kissed Me', the band's cheeky, gender-switching cover of the Crystals' 1963 hit penned by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector.

The second disc is made up of rare, previously unreleased Love Gun demos of 'Plaster Caster', 'Then She Kissed Me', 'Tomorrow and Tonight' and 'Much Too Soon'. Also, the first four lines of the demo 'I Know Who You Are' eventually evolved and became the song 'Living In Sin'. A glimpse into Paul Stanley's creative process is demonstrated in 'Love Gun (Teaching Demo)' with Stanley talking through the various chords of the song after writing the song with the next version ' 'Love Guun (Demo)' ' being the complete demo performance. 'Reputation', the only previously released demo, was originally included on this year's KISS 40 compilation.

Also included is a 1977 interview with Gene Simmons, as well as three never-before-available live tracks from the KISS show at the Capitol Centre, Landover in Maryland U.S.A. from December 20, 1977 ' 'Love Gun', 'Christine Sixteen' and 'Shock Me'. The package also includes liner notes written by Def Leppard's Joe Elliott, currently on tour with KISS.

CD ONE - Original Album:
1. I Stole Your Love
2. Christine Sixteen
3. Got Love For Sale
4. Shock Me
5. Tomorrow And Tonight
6. Love Gun
7. Hooligan
8. Almost Human
9. Plaster Caster
10. Then She Kissed Me

CD TWO - Demos, Interview & Live:
1. Much Too Soon (Demo)*
2. Plaster Caster (Demo)*
3. Reputation (Demo)
4. Love Gun (Teaching Demo)*
5. Love Gun (Demo)*
6. Gene Simmons Interview (1977)*
7. Tomorrow And Tonight (Demo)*
8. I Know Who You Are (Demo)*
9. Love Gun (Live in Largo, MD 1977)*
10. Christine Sixteen (Live in Largo, MD 1977)*
11. Shock Me (Live in Largo, MD 1977)*

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Mon
14
Jul

Decibel Geek Podcast - KEN BARR (Kiss Road Crew)

Artist: 

KEN BARR (KISS ROAD CREW) GUESTS ON DECIBEL GEEK PODCAST

Former KISS crew member Ken Barr talks to the Decibel Geek podcast this week for an in-depth discussion of a very transitional phase in the Hottest Band in the Land's career. Ken was a drum tech/guitar tech/carpenter for KISS from 1992 - 1996. His tenure included the Revenge tour, Alive III, the 1995 convention tour, MTV Unplugged, Reunion tour rehearsals, and the 1996 KROQ Weenie Roast. Lots of stories about the personalities behind the members of KISS, stories from the road, and Ken's thoughts on what the band is doing today.

Listen here:

http://dbgeekshow.blogspot.com/2014/07/conversation-with-ken-barr-ep145.html

 
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