April 2004
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18th April 2004  Hear clips from Asshole
Some small clips from Gene's new solo album 'Asshole' are available now from http://www.musicbay.se/jukebox/bmg/genesimmons/ 
New US tour dates
KISS have just announced several dates for their forthcoming US 'Rock The Nation' tour stating June 10th. Poison will be supporting KISS this time round:-


June 10 San Antonio, TX Verizon Wireless Amphitheater 
June 11 Dallas, TX Smirnoff Music Center 
June 12 Houston, TX Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion 
June 15 Denver, CO Coors Amphitheatre 
June 16 Albuquerque, NM Journal Pavilion 
June 18 Phoenix, AZ Cricket Pavilion 
June 19 Los Angeles, CA Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre 
June 20 Concord, CA Chronicle Pavilion 
June 22 Portland, OR Clark County Amphitheatre 
June 23 Seattle, WA White River Amphitheatre 
June 26 Minneapolis, MN FloatRite Amphitheatre 
June 27 Kansas City, KS Verizon Wireless Amphitheater 
June 28 St. Louis, MO UMB Bank Pavilion 
June 30 Detroit, MI DTE Energy Music Theatre 
July 2 Nashville, TN Starwood Amphitheatre 
July 3 Indianapolis, IN Verizon Wireless Music Center 
July 4 Pittsburgh, PA Post Gazette Pavilion 
July 6 Cleveland, OH Blossom Music Center 
July 7 Milwaukee, WI Marcus Amphitheatre 
July 9 Chicago, IL Tweeter Center 
July 10 Columbus, OH Germain Amphitheater 
July 11 Cincinnati, OH Riverbend Music Center 
July 13 Camden, NJ Tweeter Waterfront 
July 14 Darien Center, NY Darien Lake Performing Arts Center 
July 16 Boston, MA Tweeter Center 
July 17 Atlantic City, NJ Trump Taj Mahal 
July 18 Hershey, PA Hershey Park Stadium 
July 20 Holmdel, NJ PNC Bank Arts Center 
July 21 Wantagh, NY Tommy Hilfiger at Jones Beach 
July 23 Scranton, PA Ford Pavilion at Montage Mountain 
July 24 Washington DC Nissan Pavilion 
July 25 Virginia Beach, VA Verizon Wireless Virginia Beach Amphitheater 
July 27 Raleigh, NC ALLTEL Pavilion at Walnut Creek 
July 28 Charlotte, NC Charlotte Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre 
July 30 West Palm, FL Sound Advice Amphitheater 
July 31 Tampa, FL Tampa Bay Amphitheatre 
Aug. 3 Birmingham, AL Oak Mountain Amphitheatre 
Aug. 4 Atlanta, GA Hi Fi Buys Amphitheatre 

14th April 2004  Gene on Radio2
[From: Sean]
Gene was interviewed on Radio 2 yesterday with Johnnie Walker. Probably recorded the other week when he was over here. He played a new song off Gene's 'ASSHOLE' cd, "waiting for the morning light". It was quite good, definitely in the vein of The Beatles and even Kiss' "we are one". Lots of la la's going on.
As for the interview. He banged on (again) about Kiss gold records, how rich he is (near, but not quite 100m he said), sex money and kiss book. He just generally repeated himself as he always does about the same things. No mention of a Euro tour. The response to the interview was varied, but, according to the text messages radio 2 received, most were convinced that Gene was indeed an asshole who made crap music and was a typical American.

Good old Blighty eh, no wonder they aint been for years.
Sean in Halifax.
Oh, one last thing. One text message said..."who's Gene Simmons". 

K'UK note: Interview can be listened to over at the BBC.

Bruce rocked with Wig Wam
[From: WWM Norway]
Legendary  Kiss axeman Bruce Kulick rocked Norway Sunday  April 11th 2004 and proved yet again his skills. A packed Rock In, Oslo, finally got a chance to experience songs Kiss never played live such as King of the Mountain, Who wants to be lonely, I?ll fight hell to hold you, Uh All night, When your walls come down, Turn on the night,  Jungle and we could go on forever. Kulick also played several songs from his new album 'Transformer'. At the end of his set  Bruce also made a special appearance with Wig Wam frontman Glam, doing a stunning version of Lick It Up, which set the Kiss fans on fire. Glam sounding very similar to Paul Stanleys vocal range made Bruce go back to his hey-days with Kiss. Bruce and Glam later announced their coming collaboration on Kiss Army Norways Kiss Tribute album from the stage. The Norwegian glamrockers Wig Wam and Bruce Kulick WILL be recording a brand new version of Kiss classic 'I was made for loving you', both single and video is expected to be launched this summer. Wig Wam opened the event with a short live-set which included a brilliant version of  'I was made 
for loving you'. Wig Wam are currently touring Norway with their "667 Tour", promoting their comeback album "667... The Neighbour of the Beast" out now on Global Music. For more band info, check out Wig Wam HQ on the web - www.wigwam.no  
DTK in Spain
[From: UK Space Ace]
Dressed To Kill are to play the following dates in Spain.
May 21st MADRID
11th April 2004  Peter blasts Gene
[From: MSN Entertainment]
Kiss drummer Peter Criss is blasting Gene Simmons for implying Criss is on drugs. Criss writes on his Web site, "Some people love hearing themselves talk. Gene Simmons is one of them."

Criss takes issue with interviews Simmons gave to the press in Iowa and in Germany in which he claimed Criss was too unhealthy to tour with the band. Criss denies that, saying he is in excellent health. Criss says he's never been so happy in his whole life and that he surrounds himself with people who love and respect him.

Criss says the original band is over and he is not shocked that Simmons and Paul Stanley have turned "a legendary band into a cover act for just plain profit."

Criss says he is excited to finally "be free to be an artist again." He says he was proud to be part of something that was once great, and he ends by saying, "God bless and good-bye to that part of my life."
7th April 2004  Gene interview in Daily Mirror
Todays Daily Mirror featured an interview with Gene taking up the entire centre page. Gene talks about Asshole and also about the possibility of asking The Darkness to open for them this summer...

"I WALK into the room and he hugs me like a randy uncle. Gene Simmons from KISS, the most outrageous member of that most outrageous band, is hugging me - and dancing like your dad...

The American shock rocker, famous for his extraordinarily long tongue and bizarre stage make-up, is hip-thrusting away in a room at St Martins Lane hotel in London and insists on playing me every track from his solo album, charmingly entitled A**hole.

It's going to be a long afternoon."

Click here to read the full interview at the Daily Mirror website
 or here if it's been removed.

Thanks to Chris Metters for the article.

4th April 2004  Gene Asshole Report
[From: Joop van Pelt, KISS Kollector]
Gene Simmons is a real Asshole

When Gene was in Cologne, Germany on March 31 to do interviews all day long to promote his upcoming solo album, KISS Kollector Fanclub caught up with him to find out what's going on in Gene's world these days. Despite a gruelling schedule (instead of two days in Cologne, there was only one day because the next day he had to be in the UK) Gene found time to invite KISS Kollector into his interview suite for almost an hour. Gene posed for photos, played songs from his album on a very high volume and had a huge photo of the possible album cover displayed next to him, and of course updated us on what's going on in the world of Gene and KISS.

For more than 30 years Gene Simmons has been known for one remarkable body piece: his tongue. But now, KISS' leader wants people to be aware of a completely different body part: his Asshole! Gene thinks this is the right time to admit to the world he is a real asshole. And beware, the man is proud of it too! When more and more KISS fans were blaming Gene for the fact that KISS isn't touring with original guitarist Ace Frehley and original drummer Peter Criss anymore and accused Gene of being an asshole, he decided to change the title for his forthcoming solo album into Asshole. The reason he doesn't want Ace and Peter in his band anymore, is because - as he puts it - they have been and forever will be drug addicts who have a problem showing up on time for rehearsals, flights and concerts. According to Gene, fans don't want to hear this and instead blame things on the firebreathing bassist. Well then, says Gene, if it has to be like that, indeed I am an asshole, a real asshole!

The title track of his album, due May 17 on Simmons Records/Sanctuary Music, repeats this statement with a lot of pride. The catchy, uptempo bubblegum rock tune - reminiscent of Avril Lavigne's recent hit Skater Boy - has a great singalong chorus that goes: "How does it feel to be a real Asshole?" The song originally was part of a demo sent to Gene Records by Norwegian band Shirleys Temple. Gene loved the song so much that he contacted componist Frank Tostrup in Norway in order to buy the track. Gene then slightly changed the lyrics and arrangement and thus the first single off his second solo album was born.

Asshole, the album, is an ecclectic mix of rock, pop, grungy psychedelia and bluesy tunes. Just like his 1978 solo album, it varies from uptempo rockers to Beatlesque ballads. One of the highlights is a song called Sweet & Dirty, which Gene originally wrote in 1977 but re-wrote over the years and even recorded with KISS in 1998 but it never ended up on an album by the group. For his solo album, Gene recorded the tune again, this time with Bruce Kulick and Eric Singer. Bruce and Eric also recorded another track on the album, Weapons.

The song Carnival Of Souls sounds like it's been copied from KISS' 1997 album with that same title - the last KISS album featuring Bruce and Eric as more or less official band members, it reminds of Hate in particular. The song was also recorded by KISS in '98 for the album that became Psycho Circus but it never made the final selection of the album. Gene co-wrote the song with Scott Van Zen (who worked with Gene on several KISS songs in the late 90s) and recycled the song for his own album. Ritchie Kotzen plays lead guitar on the track, and Gene - who admits he stole the instrumental part from the song 7 & 7 by a band called Love - had his son Nicholas sing backing vocals. Gene also recycled an unused guitar riff by the late Frank Zappa, and built a song around it titled Black Tongue. Zappa's son Dweezil plays guitar, while the rest of the Zappa family (including his widow Gail) sings backing vocals.

Gene co-wrote two songs with Bag, a multitalented musician who happens to be the first new signing on Simmons Records. Bag is responsible for the main parts of the songs Dog and If I Had A Gun. Whereas Gene obviously takes care of the lead vocals, Bag played all instruments on both songs. With Bob Dylan, Gene co-wrote the song Waiting For The Morning Light, a wonderful ballad that only features keyboards, keyboardbass and drumsamples next to Gene's voice. Just like the title track, the song Whatever Turns You On (Turns Me On) was part of a demo that was sent to Simmons Records. Gene contacted the singer of the band, Dave Williams, who wrote the song, and obtained the rights to include it on his solo album. Gene altered the lyrics a little bit, and had his longtime girlfriend Shannon Tweed and her mother sing backing vocals. Beautiful is a song written by Nina Singh and Mark Addison from Kitty Gordon. The last cover on the album is Firestarter, originally a big hit for The Prodigy and written by their singer Liam Howlett.

Gene also recycled a track titled Now That You're Gone, which he co-wrote in 1977 with Bob Kulick. The song's bridge came to Gene when he was working on overdubs in the studio. His father had passed away two years earlier, and the lyrics deal with his feelings towards his father's passing. Gene's daughter Sophie and two of her friends sing backingvocals. The last song on the album is I Dream A Thousand Dreams, which Gene had originally written for Shania Twain. For his own album, he turned the country song into a very Beatlesque tune. For a while, he didn't know how to end this song, until he was reminded of his 1978 solo album of which the closing track is his alltime favorite Disney classic When You Wish Upon A Star, which ends with a falsetto note. Then it connected to him, and he had found the perfect ending for his second solo effort.

Gene is currently putting the finishing touches on his album and its artwork. So far, the album cover is going to be a photo of Gene dressed in a black suit looking like some kind of gangsta rap pimp with a lot of black eyeliner, and surrounded by women of all sorts, shapes and ages - ranging from young and beautiful, to big and old. Exactly the way Gene like his women. While KISS will be on tour for the rest of the year, Gene is planning Asshole parties on off-days during the tour. To attend these parties, you'd need an official pass that says "I'm a real Asshole".

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