Thanks to Kymm over at 60 Cycle I was
very lucky to get the opportunity to interview none other than the Space
Ace himself. With Anomaly officially launched in the UK yesterday Ace
has some very exciting news for UK fans!
AF Hey Paul! How you doin?
PF Hi Ace, I'm not bad, how are you?
AF I'm great!
PF I don't know if you're aware of
KISSin UK, but it's one of the few UK KISS websites around and we have a
lot of Ace fans over here on the site who have been patiently waiting
for your album. I've been listening to Anomaly and have to say I love it - it feels like it's a continuation of your previous work. What was it like completing your first album in almost 20 years?
AF Oh, I'm not a stranger to the
studio you know, but it was a wonderful experience, you know, as I had
complete creative control. I wrote all the songs pretty much, produced
it, played all the guitars and sang all the vocals so it was nice you
PF Its a great album, why did you
choose Fox On The Run as a cover?
AF Oh well you know, I was trying
to come up with a good remake to throw on the album
and a friend of mine came up with Fox On The Run and everyone I shared
it with just thought it was a great idea, so me and Marty were mixing it
together one afternoon in about 4 and a half hours and it was
PF Can you tell me about 'A Little
Below The Angels'? Is that Monique on vocals with you?
AF Yeah, I had Monique do the
voice-overs for A Little Below The Angels, the song is a little
autobiographical about my struggles with alcohol but that's no secret.
And you know, a friend of mine put it very bluntly and said Ace it's the
most honest song you've ever recorded [laughs].
PF How did Genghis Khan come about? Is it about anybody in particular?
AF Well Genghis is probably my
favourite song on the album, probably because I worked the hardest on
that track you know, that developed over several, several years and I
added the guitar solo much later on, then the other guitar sections and
the break down section. It really
developed from something really simple to this giant machine of a song
with over 100 tracks and I'm really thrilled with the end result.
PF It's a fantastic track, no
doubt about it. I noticed you've got a lot of acoustic work on the
album, is that something you'd like to do more of?
AF Yeah I mean, I've always loved
playing acoustics but I'd rather use 10 different acoustics and blend
them all together as well as Les Pauls and Fender guitars and old amps,
old microphones, old pre-amps. You know I'm really happy with the end
result, I think it has the feel of an analogue album even though it was
recorded pretty much all digitally.
PF It does feel really back to
basics, I think the balance is just right. With
regards to your band, what was it like working with Anton again?
AF Well working with Anton is
always a pleasure you know, we've done so many albums together he's one
of the best studio drummers I know. So what I love about working with
Anton is that I kind of give him a sense of what I'm looking for and
pretty much he just delivers. You know it's sometimes like he can read
my mind I don't have to tell him much about the song, just play him a
rough demo. A lot of times I record something with just a click track
and verbally tell him what I'm looking for and 9 times of of 10 he just
nails it with the first take.
PF What about the album cover,
where did that come from?
AF Well I started to design that
cover almost a year ago and it went through a lot of, you know,
evolutions and the end result came out really good.
PF It's great that you decided to publish the album on iTunes, what are your thoughts on digital distribution compared to traditional cd's?
AF Well yeah, the internet has
changed the music business radically, you know when I finished making
the record the meeting I took wasn't with a record label it was with
iTunes. I flew up to San Francisco and sat down with the guys
from iTunes, got their feedback, got their ideas and told them I wanted
to work hand-in-hand with them. That was the first meeting I took
PF The shows last year in the UK were fantastic, many
people have asked me if you are planning on returning to the UK?
AF I just found out yesterday that
we'll probably be hitting Europe on a limited run... before the end of
PF That's fantastic news, do you
know if that will include the UK?
AF, Yeah, I would imagine it
PF I don't know if you remember,
last year you had a "midget" (Ace's words at the show last
year) pulled out from the front and let him sit at the side of the
stage? He said to say hello, he's a huge fan, great guy and helps out a
lot with the website.
AF [customary Ace Frehley cackle!]
I remember! Give him my best and tell him that that I hope to see him when
we return to merry old England.
PF So what's next for Ace Frehley,
apart from the Europe tour and other future projects?
AF Well on October 15th I'm
running over to Japan for a festival, and then I've got to shoot
down to Australia to do a few shows and then come back to America, do
some dates on the west coast and maybe some dates in the mid-west and
then I believe we're shooting over to Europe.
PF What was it like returning to
Donington after 10 years?
AF Oh, that was great. You know I
was originally supposed to play the same day KISS performed [laughs] and
I got stuck
doing a show in another country and we ended up having to move it to the
following day. I realise in retrospect that a lot of the fans that were
there to see KISS had to leave after that day. It would probably have
been better if I'd played the same day as KISS as I would have had a
better audience, but you know it was still a lot of fun and I'm looking
forward to coming back.
PF Yeah, I of know a few people
that had to miss your show as they were following KISS but a lot of
people did stay 'till the next day just to see you too.
PF What do you think of the current trend of Guitar Hero/Rock Band style games? Have you played
them and would you like to use it to get your own music on one? I think
they're really missing an Ace Frehley track.
AF On Guitar Hero? Well we're in
the process of changing that I took a meeting with those guys too and
we're in the process of developing an Ace Frehley song, so we'll see
PF Brilliant, about time they for
Ace on there! Can you tell me about your new signature Les Paul and how it will differ from the old one?
AF Well the first one was released
in '97 and it was a Cherry Sunburst and this new one's gonna be a
Blueburst and will have different pick-ups and some different knobs and
slightly different hardware and different inlays in the neck. I believe
the Anomaly cd cover is gonna be on the head stock. It's gonna be
another unique Les Paul from Gibson and Ace Frehley!
PF I understand Anomaly was
released in the UK on CD yesterday and the feedback I'm getting is that
the fans are loving it, I hate to bring it up but several people have
said they like it more than Sonic Boom.
AF I didn't know Sonic Boom was
PF No, but as usual some people
have managed to hear it before they should...
AF Yeah right, well obviously
people will always compare me with what KISS is doing and that's gonna
happen all the time, and there's nothing I can do about it. I don't want
to get involved with it but I'm sure KISS will put out a good album and
I've put out a good album so let the fans decide!
PF Can you shed any light on the
"Ace Into Space" project that was kicking around last year?
AF Absolutely no, I can't shed any
light on that 'cause I had nothing to do with it! [laughs]
PF Yeah, that's exactly what I
PF Loads of Ace fans visit KISSin'
UK every day, have you got any message for them?
AF Well I mean I want to
thank all my English fans for great support over the years, when I was
in England last year it was just amazing and it made me wanna come back
soon. And like I said I believe I'm gonna be coming back to England
before the end of 2009. So look for me then and keep up with that
continued support. I mean I made this record for you guys, I made it for
my fans, by design I put out a record I felt my fans were gonna want and
so far, so good, everyone thinks it's all they wanted and more.
PF Big thank you for you time Ace,
if there's anything you want us to do to help promote the album, just
let me know.
AF Thanks so much, people can
always go directly to http://www.acefrehley.com
and find out exactly what's going on with me and for up to date touring
plans, new dates should be posted shortly. Looking forward to coming
back to Europe at the end of this year so we'll keep you posted.
PF Thanks Ace, thanks for your
time, can't wait to see you back over here.
AF Thanks so much for all the
support, we'll see you real soon. See you buddy.