News Segment


October 22, 2006

Paul Stanley might be best known as the spandex and platform boot-strapped guitarist for Kiss. But the man who co-wrote hits like “Rock and Roll All Nite” and “Detroit” shows a more sensitive side on his second solo album — and first in 28 years — “Live to Win.” Working with an all-star cast of collaborators whose previous clients include Britney Spears, Bon Jovi and Aerosmith, the singer and occasional Broadway star delivers a set of songs that are likely to make his longtime fans cry — by either design or default. We caught up with Stanley by phone at his Los Angeles home, where he was dividing his time between interviews and watching over his 2-week-old son. Stanley plays the Fillmore on Nov. 13.

Q: It’s been 28 years since your first solo album.

A: Hopefully, it won’t be another 28 years. If this one’s called “Live to Win,” that one will be called “Pray to Live.”

Q: Why is it so short?

A: Why is it so short?

Q: Yeah. Didn’t you have more to say after 28 years?

A: It’s funny. I made the album that I thought is what it should be. Would it be better if I made the solos twice as long?

Q: Duh. I guess half an hour is better than nothing.

A: Hopefully, if something is great then you feel really satisfied. I’ve heard some albums that are just eternal. Just because you have 45 minutes of music doesn’t mean people don’t want you to stop after 25.

Q: Yes, but you haven’t got to express yourself for almost three decades.

A: Well, I always got to express myself through Kiss. The only difference is when I write for a band you know ahead of time the strengths and weaknesses, so you tailor it for that. But for a solo album it’s kind of like I get to be a casting agent for a film. We’ve got a script, we’ve got the songs, then we cast each one and I get to direct it. It’s much more free. It means I don’t have to dilute what I’m doing.

Q: So how are you going to fill your shows?

A: I’m going to play the songs really slow.

Q: Are you going to have to pull stuff in from your Broadway repertoire?

A: The beauty of doing this tour is that I’ve got a first solo album, I’ve got “Live to Win” and I’ve written some pretty cool songs for a band called Kiss.

Q: Wait a minute. Have you cleared that with Gene Simmons?

A: I didn’t give it much thought.

Q: He’s going to take all your royalties.

A: I doubt that. “God of Thunder” was written by me.

Q: And you think you can do it without the makeup?

A: Yeah, the show’s going to be all the songs I feel like playing. There are going to be some great Kiss classics and then there are going to be some songs that either didn’t get the attention or have never been played live. I think people can expect a pretty cool evening.

Q: Plus, you’re touring with the CBS “Rock Star” house band.

A: They’re a great band. Arguably, they might be the sole reason to watch that show.

Q: This could easily be a four-hour show.

A: Well, not if I can help it.

Q: That’s right. You have a new baby at home. What’s your bedtime?

A: Um, I’ll let you know. It’s not bad. Then again, it’s my wife that has to get up and feed him.

Q: How likely is someone to see “The Starchild” on the street with a Baby Bjorn strapped to his chest, pushing a buggy?

A: Well, you know, I tell people, “You won’t see me at the Viper Room, you’ll see me at the diaper room.”

Q: That’s funny — and gross!

A: Yeah. Life goes on. It’s rockin’. My life is everything I could imagine it to be.

Q: Will you ever wear the makeup again?

A: Which makeup?

Q: I guess you’ve worn a lot. The makeup!

A: Of course. I’m sure Kiss will go back on tour within the next year. There’s too many people who want us.

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