KISS Celebrates 35 Years In Music With A Sonic Boom

Written By: Ken Hulsey
Source: BBC News

It may be hard to believe, but the iconic hard-rockers, "KISS", a band that many have written off as a novelty act, are still making music after 35 years. That's right! 35 years! To mark this hefty milestone, the band has released it's first studio album in nearly decade entitled "Sonic Boom."

"Sonic Boom" reportedly hearkens back to the classic sound that the band produced back in it's early years, way back in the 1970s. Though the bands members, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer, are excited about the album, they initially had reservations about stepping into the studio again after so many years.

"Gene and Paul were a little ambivalent about doing a record," says guitarist Tommy Thayer, "but the live shows were going great, and we thought it would be cool to do something to acknowledge our growing resurgence of fans."

"We've got so many teenagers coming to our gigs now," adds Simmons, "as well as people in their 40s and 50s and we wanted to give them all some classic Kiss."

"This is about four guys playing and writing their own songs, and not worrying about fads or fashion or what's hip, " comments Simmons. " This is about pure rock and roll."

'We didn't listen'

"There was no pressure of outside influences, "says Thayer.

"We wrote songs we felt great about, we didn't listen to management or agents, and no one was trying to write a hit single or a ballad."

KISS originally formed in New York city in 1973 from the ashes of the band "Wicked Lester" which included present day band members Simmons and Stanley, plus former drummer Peter Criss. Guitarist Ace Frehley joined the band after responding to an add in Rolling Stone and the rest is Rock and Roll history.

Though KISS's music was often times underrated, it was their live show theatrics that brought them fame and hordes of KISS Army members (the name of the band's fan club).

"Kiss started as a dream of ours," explains Simmons, who also doubles as a reality television star along with his family on "Gene Simmons Family Jewels".

"All the bands we ever saw on stage played the hits we wanted to hear, but were devastatingly poor in their visual live performance."

"We made Kiss, with our look, all the pyrotechnics of our live show, the epitome of everything we wanted from a band," Simmons adds.

The band even made their own television movie, with the help of cartoon makers Hanna-Barbera, called "KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park". The film featured several live performances and each member of the group was given super-hero powers through a magical talisman, in which they used to fight monsters and other baddies. Though the ratings for the film, were decent, it was truly an awful affair.

Though Criss and Frehley left the band in the early 80s, KISS continued to draw fans and release albums. In the mid-1990s the duo once again joined the group for a new album, "Psycho Circus" and a reunion tour, then a farewell tour, which to this date has never stopped to say 'farewell'.

With Simmons and Stanley both pushing 60, KISS continues to 'Rock-and-Roll All Night'.

Simmons concludes, "I think we've released one of the best records of our career."


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