KISS Frontman PAUL STANLEY: ‘There’s No Substitute For Collaboration Within A Band’


 

Legendary rockers KISS will release their 20th studio album, “Monster”, on October 9 through Universal Music Enterprises. Described in a press release as a “12-track, straight-ahead rock ‘n’ roll album,” the CD features collaborations among all four members — including co-founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons and longtime members guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer — in an album that shows the band at the top of its game.

“Monster” is the group’s first studio album since the band’s 2009 smash success, “Sonic Boom”, and was also produced by Paul Stanley with Greg Collins at Conway Studios in Hollywood, California, and The Nook in Studio City, California.

Speaking to RollingStone.com, Stanley stated about his decision to produce the CD himself: “Democracy in the studio is overrated. What you wind up getting is compromise on everybody’s part, which means that nobody has their way, and that means nobody wins, including the fans. I thought it was really important, and in my mind it was a deal-breaker — if I wasn’t going to produce the albums, we weren’t going to do albums at this point. Somebody had to set parameters and boundaries and voice expectations. To make sure everybody was committed, some things had to be spelled out.”

He added: It didn’t change anything. I think we had more fun. All the cards were on the table and everybody knew what the game plan was. We’re more productive. I never thought being the producer was being the dictator. It means being the director and being the coach. It’s a way of keeping everybody focused on the goal, and also having final say. Everybody can be in the same car, but somebody has to drive.

“It’s important to make sure [KISS] is everyone’s primary focus. One way of doing that was to say ‘no outside writers.’ We recorded everything facing each other in a room. There’s no substitute for collaboration within a band. We all like each other and enjoy each other’s company and respect what each other is capable of doing.

“I didn’t get the producer role by default. I read some comment from Gene [Simmons, bass] that he doesn’t have the patience anymore, so he was happy to have me do it. The truth of the matter is, there wouldn’t have been any albums if it had been any other way.”

Asked what his plan was for “Monster”, Stanley said, “I wanted to make an album that really harkened back to why I got into this in the first place. I was lucky enough as a kid to spend most of my weekends at the Fillmore East. On a great night, that was like a Holy Roller evangelical church. When rock and roll is done with that fervor, it’s close to gospel. That’s what I wanted to go for with this album — passion as opposed to perfection. James Brown wasn’t perfect. Motown, THE BEATLES, THE [ROLLING] STONES, [LED] ZEPPELIN, early Elvis — I wanted to maintain the essence of it, getting a first, second or, if you really had to push it, a third take and record on analog tape and capture the intensity of what you’re doing, and not compromise it.”

 

“Hell Or Hallelujah” official lyric video:

 

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