Artist Michael Doret looks back on making covers for KISS albums ‘Rock And Roll Over’ and ‘Sonic Boom’
World renowned artist Michael Doret was recently interviewed by Metal Mike for the 80’s Glam Metalcast podcast. Doret designed the covers for the KISS albums Rock And Roll Over (1976) and Sonic Boom (2009).
Wikipedia summarizes Doret‘s professional career as follows (with slight edits): “Michael Doret is a designer, lettering artist, and illustrator based in Los Angeles, California. He has created logos, album covers, magazine covers, and art for various brands in media, advertising, and sports, including Wreck-It Ralph, the New York Knicks, MLB, TIME, Playboy, Wired, TV Guide, Kiss, Capitol Records, Columbia Records, Walt Disney Imagineering, and Universal Studios. He also designed American Eagle postage for the United States Postal Service.”
In terms of creating the album cover for Rock And Roll Over, Doret indicated on the 80’s Glam Metalcast podcast: “There was very little direction. I didn’t know what this group was about, their make up or anything like that, so there was a bit of a learning curve. Since there wasn’t much direction on what they wanted, I took it upon myself to come up with something. I took the words “Rock And Roll Over” and made it a play on that…something that revolved. They loved what I came up with. There were a few concerns about the faces though. The changes I had to make were to Gene [Simmons] and Paul [Stanley]. Originally, I had rendered Gene too similar to “The Joker” from Batman. I was surprised how big this image became. For me it was just another job…I had no idea how big this group was getting.”
With respect to the album cover for Sonic Boom, Doret stated: “It was quite a different experience. I mostly worked with Paul. He was the one who directed it. With “Rock And Roll Over”, the design was left up to me. I don’t know if I would have came up with what I did without his direction. They really wanted to revisit “Rock And Roll Over” and just do a little differently. They wanted to recapture some of the excitement of the early days. It think it worked out pretty well. Doing something like this after the original, everybody has critiques of it. It almost puts me in a no win situation. I kind of had to repeat myself a bit. If Paul had left me to my own devices, “Sonic Boom” would have looked quite different. If I just would have been able to make it up with nothing to refer to, that is what I like to do. Having to do a new piece that’s derivative, I knew I was going to have all sorts of problems.”
You can listen to the interview with Michael Doret on the 80’s Glam Metalcast podcast below: