News Segment


May 5, 2004


New York, N.Y. – SIMMONS RECORDS/Sanctuary Music Group is pleased to announce the release of the highly anticipated solo album from GENE SIMMONS entitled, ASSHOLE, on June 8. This release will mark the second solo album from the “God Of Thunder” since his self-titled platinum solo album in 1978.

GENE SIMMONS, co-founding member of KISS, America’s No.1 Gold Record Champions Of All Time (RIAA – Group Category), has rock and rolled all night and partied every day for over 30 years and is nowhere near hanging up his platform boots. The band recently proudly released its KISS SYMPHONY – ALIVE IV on the KISS Records/Sanctuary Music Group imprint. The double-platinum DVD debuted at No.1. KISS has broken box office attendance records set by Elvis Presley and the Beatles and is the juggernaut of the licensing merchandising world, with over 2,000 KISS toys and games — from KISS Visa Cards, KISS comic books and KISS Caskets!!! Not one to rest on his laurels, the next GENE SIMMONS epoch continues, stronger than ever.

Produced by SIMMONS, this forward thinking, genre splitting effort, is an ambitious musical tour-de force through SIMMONS’ psyche, revealing yet another side to the multi-talented artist. “Doing a solo record is important because I write so many different kinds of songs. I literally have hundreds of songs that are demoed up that aren’t right for KISS, and some songs that weren’t used on KISS records I still like, like ‘Carnival Of Souls’ and ‘Sweet & Dirty.’ In assembling the album, I went and reviewed over a hundred songs that I had lying around, and then it was by process of elimination I determined what would go on the record. But at the end of the day, above and beyond style, I had to like the songs.” stated SIMMONS.

Like his 1978 self-titled solo album, ASSHOLE is a model of versatility, drawing together an eclectic swath of styles including hard rock, blues, thrash, neo-psychedelia, Beatlesque pop, rap, prog-rock and even power ballads. “My taste is eclectic and all over the place. I love all kinds of artists, from Patsy Cline to the Beatles, Motown to Hoobastank. As for the record’s stylistic diversity, I’m a child of The Beatles. They created this sort of hybrid white version of American music. They could do it all– Little Richard, country, pop, soul, psychedelia. They had no rules. That had a major effect on me and that influence comes through on the record.” SIMMONS said.

Transcending genres and confounding expectations, ASSHOLE resounds with a surprise at every turn. Like the artist’s self-titled solo effort, a number of musical luminaries join in on the fun. BOB DYLAN and GENE co-wrote the album’s “Waiting For The Morning Light.” FRANK ZAPPA and GENE share co-writing credit on “Black Tongue” and the ZAPPA Family, DWEEZIL, AHMET, MOON, GAIL and FRANK ZAPPA himself sing and play guitar on the song . Other guests featured on the album include DAVE NAVARRO, ex-KISS members BRUCE KULICK and ERIC SINGER, new SIMMONS RECORDS/Sanctuary Music Group signing BAG, as well as GENE’s longtime live in SHANNON TWEED and their two children, SOPHIE and NICHOLAS.

Track listing is as follows (order subject to change):

1. Asshole
2. Carnival of Souls
3. If I Had A Gun
4. Weapons
5. Waiting For The Morning Light
6. Whatever Turns You On
7. Sweet & Dirty Love
8. Beautiful
9. Dog
10. Now That You’re Gone
11. Black Tongue
12. I Dream A Thousand Dreams
13. Firestarter

Drawing together over three decades of record making, ASSHOLE is a grand, and swaggering portrait of SIMMONS in the 21st Century, a brave musical statement from a man unafraid of pushing the envelope and exploring new boundaries.

Eleanor Blattel courtesy of Sanctuary