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Ace Frehley Interview

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 know.

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 effortless.

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.

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 actually.

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 the year!

PF That's fantastic news, do you know if that will include the UK?

AF, Yeah, I would imagine it would!

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 that soon.

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 released?

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 thought.

AF [Laughs]

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 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.