Legendary Rock Icons KISS Celebrate 40th Anniversary with “Monster Tour” Stop at Hard Rock Live on Sunday, August 18
Tickets on Sale Saturday, June 15 at 10 a.m.
Hollywood, Fla. – Legendary rock icons KISS will celebrate 40 years of musical mayhem and top hits when they bring their “Monster Tour” to Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Sunday, August 18, 2013, at 7 p.m. The anniversary tour supports Monster, the 20th studio album in their historic career that was released last October. Tickets go on sale Saturday, June 15 at 10 a.m.
January 2013 marked four decades since Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, then members of a band called Wicked Lester, joined up with drummer Peter Criss and guitarist Ace Frehley to form KISS. Forty years later, having racked up 28 U.S. gold albums along with 40 million U.S. and 100 million in world sales, Simmons and Stanley, with longtime members guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer, return stronger than ever.
The 12-song (plus bonus track), straight-ahead rock ‘n’ roll Monster album features collaborations from all four members in an effort that shows KISS 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, CA, and The Nook in Studio City, CA.
“We weren’t interested in making just a great KISS album, but a great rock album that lived up to the bands we loved growing up,” explains Stanley, “the ones who got us to play music in the first place.”
Monster represents KISS’ nod to the music that first inspired them to pick up their guitars and flame-throwers and don makeup to entertain millions. The group goes back to their own beginnings with the Who-like “Freak,” while Gene lives up to the title track’s declaration on the raucous prehistoric punk-rock of “Back to the Stone Age” and the bludgeoning, self-referential “The Devil is Me.” “Take Me Down Below” is one of KISS’ classic sexual double entendres in the mode of “Love Gun” or “Lick It Up.”
The album’s first single, the full-throttle rocker “Hell or Hallelujah” outlines the group’s long-held “take no prisoners” philosophy, what Stanley calls “a battle cry that encapsulates the entire record… one way or another, we’re going to do it our way.”
With the same lineup that also played on 2009’s Sonic Boom, Monster is a true KISS band effort, with all four contributing to the writing and everyone getting a turn at lead vocals. This is an album that immediately does for the new century what great KISS discs like Destroyer did for the ’70s, Creatures of the Night the ’80s and Revenge the ’90s.
“My goal was to use everybody’s skills in whatever combination would make for the best songs,” says Stanley. “Writing credits are not a right, they have to be earned. It makes everybody up their game and turns us into a team. There’s a healthy chemistry and camaraderie in the band that is unmistakable. Everyone is committed to making the whole better.”
Guitarist Thayer, who has been with Gene and Paul more than 20 years, shines, whether it’s via the Led Zeppelin/Chicago blues/“Helter Skelter” riffs in “Wall of Sound,” the wah-wah solo in the “Honky Tonk Woman”-meets-AC/DC fireworks in “Eat Your Heart Out,” the Chuck Berry rave-ups in “Shout Mercy” or the energy of his own “Outta This World.”
“This is by far the most involved and integrated in the KISS recording process I’ve ever been,” says Thayer, who co-wrote 10 of the album’s 13 tracks. “I had a lot more freedom to be myself on this album. You don’t hear a band that’s been around as long as KISS making a rootsy, honest record like this.”
Drummer Singer, who first joined Paul’s solo band 23 years ago, and has been with him ever since, sings the lead on “All for the Love of Rock and Roll,” a song Stanley wrote with him in mind.
“My motivation is the music,” says Singer, who has also played with Brian May and Queen, Gary Moore and Alice Cooper in his long career. “I’m a blue-collar guy in that way. I approach playing drums in KISS as a job, no different than a fireman, a school teacher or someone who works in an office. I think I’ve earned Gene and Paul’s confidence and respect, but it took some time.”
“We’re about authenticity,” says Simmons, the mastermind of not just the band’s music but a multi-million-dollar merchandising empire that includes everything from coffee table books to coffins. “The KISS Army is ruthless. They’d skewer us if we put out records that weren’t great. We pushed ourselves on this album, to make not just ourselves but our fans proud. We try to hit a home run every swing we take. If we’re going to win, win big.”
It doesn’t get bigger than Monster, or KISS for that matter; 40-years-old and ready to kick the asses of any young rock pretenders out there.
Tickets cost $169, $129, $99 and $79*; all seats are reserved and available at all Ticketmaster outlets online at www.myhrl.com, www.ticketmaster.com or charge by phone: 1-800-745-3000. Doors open one-hour prior to show start time. *Additional fees may apply.