BBC Radio One
Friday 8th May,1992.
Transcribed by Jason Pawlin
TV (Tommy Vance): Last Sunday
morning I caught a 'plane all the way to Atlanta in Georgia and spent the following three
days on the road with KISS. From Atlanta then to Baltimore, Philadelphia and then on
to New York. Great people to be around, they really are. They're professional
people. They've got an excellent album out, it's called 'Revenge', and Paul Stanley
talks about it. After a bit of this: cue "God Gave Rock 'n' Roll To You
II" (the Revenge version)
TV: Paul Stanley, welcome to the Friday Rock Show.
PS: Hi, it's good to be with you.
TV: The last time we actually was Donington.
PS: Yeah, and a rainy, exciting Donington it was too. Actually, it was the last one of that magnitude and that size. It was, gosh, 1989 I think it was (1988! - Jason). It was fabulous, and there's nothing quite like that kind of spectacle, and so many people getting together for the same cause.
TV: Okay, let's talk about the songs that you were involved in on the album. Hardly any of the songs were written by you and Gene together. You know, you seem to be independently creative, and let's talk first, if we can, about 'Take It Off' which is track 2 on the CD.
PS: Well, interestingly enough, although there's only one song I think that Gene and my name appears on, this was very much a collaborative album, not just between Gene and myself, we did it just very much as we did our best albums - which is, someone will come in with a song, and then we'll go into rehearsal if it passes the approval test of everybody liking it. And with everything on Revenge it had to be unanimous that people liked the song or it got ditched. If everybody's names went on the songs for what they added it would look like a law firm!
cue: 'Take It Off' (all songs from now on start at the beginning but stop at Bruce's solos...)
PS: Take It Off was a song that was started fairly on in the project. I don't know what the scene is over here right now in the UK, but in America there are these fabulous 'titty bars', as they're called, and there's some of the most absolutely stunning women in these places. And music plays and they're dancing around without their clothes on. It's quite fun! In some of the places they would strip and dance to songs like 'Heaven's On Fire' or 'Highway to Hell' or 'Lick It Up', and I just felt that if I could be a part of somebody taking off their clothes, then I'd be doing my job. 'Tough Love' started off as a riff that Bruce had, it was a really good riff and it was just a case of figuring out where it would go and you know, writing the rest of the song around it.
cue: 'Tough Love'
Tough Love is just basically a one on one kind of thing and saying to somebody we have a special kind of relationship that's not just the norm, but we do things that other people think are kind of taboo. We like to do the things that others fantasise, and for me love is more than just soft, you know, give me tough love, give me love with a little more edge to it. The great thing about Revenge was that nothing was done until it was mixed, and almost up until mix time we were making sure everything was right, and sometimes we would be making changes or reducing vocals or changing lines of the song or adding or taking away. I saw Jimi Hendrix twice and so did Bruce, and if you can imagine the impact that he has today just from listening to tapes and CDs, to have seen him live was monumental, and of course, people remember himdoing 'Star Spangled Banner'. So Bruce nicked a little piece of this, and interestingly enough, if anybody plays it on guitar you immediately think of Hendrix.
cue: Hendrix's solo NOT Bruce's!!!
TV: This one is 'Heart Of Chrome'.
PS: It's an interesting song to me because, so much in the UK you have your tabloids that print some of the most amazing things, you know, about people and their relationships and what goes on behind closed doors. We have them in the States too, and it's always very interesting to realise that there really are no secrets if there's two people involved. Should you do something, you must realise that the other person has the power to expose it. There's nothing sacred that goes on in the bedroom if one person chooses to divulge it, that's basically what the song is about. It's about being betrayed and telling the other person "I'm still gonna be able to get one up on you and show you".
cue: 'Heart Of Chrome'
TV: "Everybody knew you used me / I was just to blind to see / You taped our
sexy conversations / And sold them to the BBC."
PS: Yes! (laughs)
TV: Why single out the BBC?
PS: 'BBC' is so proper sounding, and I guess it's my way of tipping my hat!
TV: The track 'Everytime I Look At You' - again a collaboration.
PS: "Everytime I Look At You"; to talk about it as a ballad kind of does it a dis-service because there's this whole genre of songs they call 'power ballads' that I think are like extremely whimpy, sappy, and most of them are nothing more than uptempo songs that have been slowed down to this funeral durge tempo (and no, he's not talking about 'I Finally Found My Way' - but he could be!! - Jason.). Whereas somebody in the uptempo version is singing about jumping on some woman in the back seat of a car, now they're singing about 'missing' her. Unlike some other ballads or power ballads, or whatever you would call them, it maintains a certain integrity I think that the album has.
cue: 'Everytime I Look At You'.
TV: How come Vinnie Vincent is back in the frame, but now as a writer? You did fire him didn't you?
PS: In no uncertain terms he was fired, booted out twice, and was told that the door only swung one way, and that was out. We were very much again driven and committed to making Revenge the best KISS album in - I don't how many years. You know, we realised on our last tour with this enormous show we had, and with these 23 or so songs we were playing, how much we had accomplished as a band, and the legacy that we had and the history that we had. And if we couldn't match our finest moments then maybe we shouldn't be doing this anymore. Although in the past we may have felt good about what we had done, it's almost like when you're training, you need somebody sometimes to push you to do those few extra sit-ups or whatever, and maybe we didn't push ourselves or maybe we didn't have anybody there to push us, and we lost sight of something. With this album the total goal was to make a great album, and it didn't matter who wrote, how many songs, who had the most, who had the least, or who else was involved. So Vinnie Vincent was thrown out of the band, is certainly somebody who has had, and may continue to have a lot of problems in his dealing with people, and that won't change, but I don't see any reason to turn the knife.(!) We've written some good songs together and it was an opportunity to possibly write some things that the album could benefit from. And then who wins is KISS and the fans. Ultimately, if the fans win then we did a great job. Our writing together was good and it made sense for us to give it a shot.
TV: Is it easy to continue a relationship, on your part and his, that ended so acrimoniously?
PS: Well, not to be catty, but he certainly could use it. He declared bankruptcy and all other kinds of things happened.
cue: for some unknown reason "Thou Shalt Not" (the first of many appearances!)
PS: In the beginning we had so much notoriety, the first three albums through KISS, HOTTER THAN HELL and DRESSED TO KILL, when in fact we were beyond broke. I mean, if you showed us a dollar somebody would take it away from us, we owed so much money. I remember somebody saying to me in an interview 'How's it feel to be rich and famous?', and I said "I can tell you how it feels to be famous, but...", because I was living in a furnished flat, you know, and my neighbours didn't even knew what I did because I was hardly ever there. We borrowed and put everything on our manager's credit card. I mean, we were so deep in the hole that even once we had become massively successful, we saw no money. I mean, we had spent so much money that we were always one step ahead of the creditors. It was amazing, but if you don't believe in yourself that much how do you expect everybody else to?
TV: Today we're in Atlanta, tomorrow we're going to be in Baltimore. Tomorrow in Baltimore you're going to receive from the Mayor the keys of the city. Is this not KISS being elevated to the level of absolute establishment?
PS: Well (pause), actually it's bewildering to me because - I was making a joke before - let's see if this guy gets re-elected! 'Cos the idea of guys like us the keys to the city is pretty strange because we're probably the antithesis of everything that politicians stand for and, um, it's beyond me. I find it (pause), I can't say that I'm flattered or honoured... I'm puzzled, but at the same time you only live once, and if somebody tells you 'tomorrow you have the opportunity to meet an alien'(!) I'd probably say "Yeah, I'll do that too!". It's interesting but (pause), I'm baffled. Life is very strange, and if we're lucky enough we get to experience some of these very bizarre moments. Key to the city? I'd imagine they'd change the lock!
cue: 'Unholy' and end of interview.
TV: KISS come to this country very very shortly. Check your local press for details. They're bringing over an enormous great stage-show that's never been seen in Europe before. I went to see them in a small club, they're on a small club tour that's on in America just for the hell of it, though they did rehearse for a full month before they did it. They were in a small club in Baltimore, just a thousand people, and they can cut it and cut it so finely that band, and they're committed to what they are doing. Check them out when they come here, I'll see them at least three times. That was Paul Stanley, next week we'll have the voice of Gene Simmons. That's KISS, an excellent outfit.
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