KISS Paul Stanley: ‘Ace’s erratic playing and Peter’s poor quality is why they had to go’


Kiss founding members Stanley and Gene Simmons have been giving a series of on-camera interviews as the band gears up to resume the tour on August 18 in Mansfield Massachusetts. Fans by now are very aware of the various divisions and departures that plagued the glam metal band during the Eighties, Nineties AND Noughties. They usually revolved around the other two founding members – guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss. But Stanley made it clear in the latest interview that, in his opinion, the splits weren’t just about personality clashes and were also rooted in performance. WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW BELOW

He spoke to Rolling Stone Germany firstly about the differences between current guitarist Tommy Thayer and Ace.

Stanley said: “Tommy is very, very consistent. He always hits the bullseye and there’s never any question about that.


“With Ace, I have to say, there was a certain amount of erratic playing. You didn’t really know, night-to-night, what you were going to get, I have to say.

“So the band as it is now is much, much, much more consistent. We’re always in sync with each other and always on point.”

Asked about drummer Eric Singer replacing Peter Criss, Stanley said: “Eric is a phenomenal drummer…


“It wasn’t a spur of the moment that brought Eric into the band. We saw that coming, that was very obvious, because of some of the tensions or lack of quality in Peter’s playing at some point, frankly. So, Eric was always ready to come in and Ace loved playing with Eric, so it was great. It was a time of transition but we had fun.”

But Stanley was also quick to stress the importance to the band of Criss and Frehley, while declaring (again) that they had to go.

Stanley said: “I’m the first to say that the band wouldn’t exist today without having had Ace and Peter in the beginning.


“And I can also say the band wouldn’t exist today if Ace and Peter were still there.

“So, things move on, and certainly Ace, his playing is part of the foundation of what we do.”

Confusingly, Criss was replaced by two different Erics over the decades.


Eric Carr took over when Criss left the band in 1980 – accounts differ with Stanley and Simmons saying he was fired and Criss insisting he quit. He was followed in 1982 by Frehley.

Carr died of cancer in 1991 and was replaced by Eric Singer.

But then the mid 1990s saw the revival of the band’s original line-up.


In the tangled next ten years, Criss and Frehley both then rejoined in 1996. Frehley departed in 2002.

Criss left again in 2001 over a contract dispute, returned in 2002 and then finally left for good in 2004. Eric Singer filled in between all the dramatic comings and goings, and has been the main Kiss drummer ever since.

There has been intense speculation that, if this really is the band’s last-ever tour, Criss and Frehley might make guest appearances at some point.


What does Stanley think about that?

Asked about potential guest stars, he said: “If I knew today it wouldn’t be a surprise.

“I have no idea. It needs to be special. There is no shortage of Kiss fans who are in other bands that might be interesting… We have a long way to go before that final show.”


The current line-up of tour dates needs on July 21, 2022, in Amsterdam.



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