With Paul Stanley

Q & A

October 26, 2006|By Kevin Eck | Kevin Eck,Sun Reporter

Having spent more than three decades as the starry-eyed frontman for Kiss, Paul Stanley is among the most recognizable figures in pop culture.

These days, however, Stanley, 54, is hitting the road sans his signature face paint and 7-inch platform boots for a 17-city club tour in support of his just-released solo album, Live to Win.

Stanley, who plays at Rams Head Live tonight, spoke with The Sun last week from his home in Los Angeles.

Live to Win is your second solo album, but your first since 1978. Why did you choose to do another one at this time?

I've always seen myself as the caretaker for the band in the sense that, if everybody was running off doing side projects throughout the years, then we might all come back to an empty dock where there was once the Good Ship Kiss. There were times when somebody needed to be bailing water, and I volunteered. It has reached a point where the band has achieved kind of an iconic status, and it's pretty solid. And there comes a time when you just have to say, "It's my turn."

Were there things musically that you wanted to do on this album that wouldn't have fit into the Kiss sound?

I really never thought of it like that. When I write for a Kiss album, I write for the strengths and weaknesses of the band and the musicians. When I do a solo album, I write the songs and then bring in the musicians that are best suited to play the songs. I think there are certain things that perhaps wouldn't be appropriate for Kiss.

Will Kiss tour and record again?

Kiss will tour. Even if I wanted to destroy Kiss, I couldn't. It has a life of its own. We're very fortunate that people still want to see us. Will we record? That's a question that I'm not really sure about, mainly because Kiss songs at this point are much bigger than music. They're snapshots of a time in a person's life. No matter what I write today for Kiss, no matter how good it is, people will hear it and go, "That's really great. Now play `Detroit Rock City.'" And I understand it. ... I don't know that I really want to put so much effort into something to know that it probably will fall short in terms of acceptance.

Last August, a couple hundred Kiss fans protested outside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame because the band has yet to be inducted. What are your thoughts on the snub?

Honestly, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a joke, and it always has been. I think they should be ashamed and embarrassed by some of the people that they've inducted. It's a popularity contest for a small group of judges or whatever they want to call themselves.

They induct bands that they like that have sold less albums in their careers than I've sold in a week, and that have influenced a handful compared to what Kiss has done. ... So if they choose not to induct us, I'm not sure it's a club I want to be a member of.

Paul Stanley plays Rams Head Live, 20 Market Place, Baltimore, tonight at 7:30. All ages admitted. Tickets are $35. Call 410-244-1131 or visit ramsheadlive.com.

Go to baltimoresun.com/mixqa to read the complete Q&A with Stanley.

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