GUITARIST ACE FREHLEY DICUSSES HIS NEW ALBUM, THE ROCK HALL INDUCTION AND HIS FORMER KISS BANDMATE’S AUTOBIOGRAPHIES

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Acefrehley400 Greg Prato of Bravewords spoke with original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley. Excerpts appear below.

BraveWords: Why did it take five years to follow up Anomaly?

Ace Frehley: “I was talking to two or three different labels and I just wasn’t happy with the deals that were being presented, and I was still writing songs. Three years ago I moved cross country from New York to San Diego, so that was a big operation, and that kind of set everything back. I had to set up my studio in San Diego. So that all took its toll. But, better late than never, y’know?”

BraveWords: Is it true that you used your 1978 solo album as a benchmark for Space Invader?

Ace Frehley: “Yeah. I’ve listened to it two or three times over the recording process. I tried to take some elements from that record – all my fans cite that as their favorite record.”

BraveWords: What are some of your favorite tracks on Space Invader?

Ace Frehley: “Space Invader, Past the Milky Way, Inside the Vortex, Toys. A lot of the songs were surprises for me. For instance, Immortal Pleasures and Change, those two songs are a big surprise to me, because I collaborated with my fiancé, Rachael Gordon, on those two. She wrote most of the lyrics and the melody for those. It’s kind of a departure from the way I write melody and lyrics. But I think it shows a different side of me – so that was a real positive experience. Also, Past the Milky Way and Space Invader were written the last two weeks of mixing. They were basic tracks with no lyrics or melody, and I wasn’t sure what was going to be the instrumental. Obviously, Starship won out. But those two songs didn’t have anything. The record company said, ‘We need a title track!’ So I said, ‘OK. I’ll write it.’ And I wrote it one afternoon, went into the studio with Warren Huart, and we threw down the vocals and solo. He actually sang on the choruses with me. And that was a real special experience. The spontaneity of that song I think comes across in the mix.”

BraveWords: Now that it’s been a few months since Kiss’ Hall of Fame induction, what are your thoughts on it?

Ace Frehley: “It was a fun experience. I had a great time, and it was really exciting being involved with all the other great musicians and celebrities. I mean, only after the fact did I realized how many movie stars…Steven Spielberg was sitting right near me and I didn’t even see him. Bill Murray was sitting right in front of me, an old friend – I used to hang out with him and John Belushi. It was just a star-studded group of people. It was a lot of fun. My only regret is that we didn’t perform.”

BraveWords: I also thought it was cool that you talked about your sobriety during your speech, because that may inspire others or give them hope.

Ace Frehley: “I try to be a power of example today, but I don’t like to preach. I don’t like to tell people not to drink or not to take drugs. What I like to do is just be a power of example. And obviously, I’m in a much better place than I was ten years ago. I’ll be celebrating eight years September 15th. But my biggest joy is when I’m meeting fans, doing autograph sessions, and a fan will come up to me and whisper in my ear, ‘Ace, I’ve been sober six months’ or ‘I’ve been sober a year. It’s all because of you.’ And that just makes my day.”

BraveWords: What can fans expect from your follow-up to your autobiography, No Regrets?

Ace Frehley: “I’ve already written a few chapters. It’s pretty much going to be a continuation of my last book. I don’t have any axes to grind. I don’t want it to be negative. I don’t want to answer some of Paul Stanley’s negative statements in his book, because I want my book to be entertaining. I want people to after reading the book to be laughing. There’s tons of humorous stories that haven’t been told. A lot of stories from me growing up in the Bronx. I didn’t touch too much on the Frehley’s Comet years in the first book, so I’ll focus more on that. And a ton of Kiss stories still to be told, and maybe some advice to young musicians, advice on women, advice on sex – crazy stuff, who knows?” (Laughs)

BraveWords: Did you read Paul’s, Peter’s, and Gene’s books?

Ace Frehley: “I skimmed through Gene’s. Peter’s…a little fantasies going on, exaggerated stuff. And the same thing with Paul. But you know, when you hear a story, there’s his side of the story, there’s my side of the story, and then the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. Because a lot of that stuff happened 30/40 years ago. And my memory isn’t as great as it should be, but everybody’s got a different take on it. I mean, the biggest comment I can say about Paul’s book was I’m really shocked at how he bashed Peter. He really attacked Peter’s…not only his performance, but his personality. I thought that was really uncalled for. And he kind of threw Gene under the bus a lot, too. Surprised.”

BraveWords: What are the touring plans for Space Invader and who will be in the touring band?

Ace Frehley: “We’re planning on doing some shows in the fall. Matt Starr who played drums on this record will be my touring drummer, and I’m going to be using Chris Wyse from the Cult – as long as he’s available – and I’m not sure on who is going to be second guitar. I’m still auditioning guys.”

Read more at Bravewords.

source: bravewords.com

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  • Lee on

    Ace failed to pay his city tax two years ago not to mention his house payments, he shined both…bank accounts empty. He filed Chapter 7 just before the reunion tour and left every poor schmo who was even owed $267 to take a hike….I’m to bet he’s ready to do it again but Doc has plans in Vegas. He needs lots of Chillah conventions and Kiss conventions like the Bogata traveler does with his book. Ace’s autograph is the coolest, all Kiss signatures are cool.


    • Eddie on

      I didn’t sell one book in Bogota and the trip wasn’t about that. Shocking, you seem to know everything about everybody and got that one wrong?


  • JMVK on

    After hearing Ace’s new album I can Tell you he’s the genuine article.
    On the last KISS album Thayer’s solo’s where seasoned by ACE style licks. Sorry but there’s only one original, no disrespect to Tom but Ace is the Original.
    And Gene Simmons?
    Well he said it himself in a song HE wrote! “I’m an Asshole!” KISS sadly is running on empty, but I think we are gonna see alot of great stuff from Mr. Frehley!


    • Joe Pensanti on

      Yes, KISS is so desperate now that they have to keep telling everyone on their website that every show is a “packed house”. They played Hartford on the 10th and I knew people who were trying desperately to unload tickets for 15 and 20 bucks a pop.


    • Mike B on

      Yes…there’s always scalpers trying to make extra on tickets and then lower their prices later.


    • George on

      Oh, well that settles it…two people you know selling cheap tix…well obviously that means the tour is a complete failure…DO SOME OF YOU PEOPLE EVEN READ THE HORSE CRAP YOU OUT OUT???


    • schocoman on

      While I think that most venues were sort of sold from what you can see on fan footage on YT it is interesting (or conspicuous) to notice that they really keep talking and posting about it, I do not remember this back in the day when they really did sell out every show and in much much larger venues, so it falls into place: they’re constantly priding themselves (while Ace is relaxed). I do not understand why. They have accomplished everything possible. they do not need to use cheap propaganda/public realtion tools. I do not know of similarly important bands that are still around, like Purple or The Who, doing the same kind of lame self-aggrandizement. They still let the music do the talking. It is unnecessary. On the other hand, there are ever fewer clips put on the official site, why? A video tells us who maybe should have bought a ticket more than all the propaganda efforts can achieve. Maybe because Paul’s voice is no longer fit for that self-aggrandizement? Those who want to still see them will go, others will stay at home, you won’t make those who do not like the current lineup go buy a ticket by having nothing more interesting to post on your website than “massive crowd at ….”. And hey Mike, I will leave the milk crate at home and go see them here in case they come again, I will also buy a ticket for Ace’s show, which must be a terrible surpirse for you, right?!?


  • George on

    And BTW, Kiss has been showing the crowds on their website for years and thanking them for coming…Why are you their site when you have nothing but crap to spew?? Embarrassing…


    • Mike B on

      True…The crowds look pretty big. They do show the crowds, but I suppose the naysayers here will say that its all Photoshopped.
      You know, I actually wish Kiss and Ace could do a tour together. Ace would open of course, but what a great night that would be right? Its funny how so many great bands tour as festivals but Kiss does a double bill with Motley and Def Leppard and suddenly they are not a good draw?? How silly.


    • George on

      Excellent points…they all are doing it with the exception of very few…


    • schocoman on

      The venues seem to be filled, but do not forget what they put on their website uses the means of camera angle and image section to make it look as big as possible …. if you look closely and also watch some clips on YT some venues are not even big enough to enter from above or have Gene fly and sing on the platform because the stages are way smaller with lower ceilings than in recent years. So it is true, the double bill is succeeding in almost selling out these (smaller) venues – which is OK – but still they are talking like it was when they themselves could fill an arena (which is what many of us cannot stand anymore because it is … silly).


    • George on

      My eyes when I was at shows was not a camera angle, the place was packed…mostly Kiss fans coming out for this, not Def Leppard…


    • Mike B on

      George,
      Schocoman lacks the perspectives we have–he doesn’t seem to realize that our economy is still recovering, that rock and metal are not the most popular music in the states anymore, that Kiss have been touring for years (so many people have already seen them that its not surprising that only die-hard fans go to the shows regularly), and that people go away from the shows completely blown away by the current lineup. That doesn’t fit in with his agenda. It would not surprise me if he is standing on a milk crate outside the Kiss show (near Germany) telling everyone not to go because HE thinks Kiss sucks! By the way, the arena I saw Kiss in (with Motley) was packed–no doubt about it. I admit that I don’t know if the last two seats were sold, but–well, those two seats means everything to the critics (oh! The Kiss show was not sold out!)


    • schocoman on

      Economy recovering? You DO live in a fantasy world, Mike, half of your country is already owned by the Chinese, so to speak. You make me sad because YOU obviouly are full of yourself and YOUR agenda of ridiculing everyone here who is not “totally blown away” by the current Kiss lineup. I wonder why do you use the website of someone who clearly is as ciritical about the current lineup as myseklf to follow YOUR agenda, why do you not go to a camp where you find people to your liking?? I see, because you need this to feel good.


    • schocoman on

      George, you completey missed my point. I am in no doubt the tickets sold comparatively well. I was talking about the refined tools the people working for the official website use to create the impression that Kiss is still as much “on top” as they were more than a decade ago. You learn it at school, it is called picture analysis. So when Mike B is again upset about me thinking a bit deeper than what “eyes” can see and he can manage to understand you should maybe think about the word “perspective” again, especially when it comes to marketing, profiling and selling your product – he also misses the point that Kiss themselves have a clear agenda and that is using all the above mentioned tools to tell everyone they are the number one show still and that you should go buy it. Hm, I can remember a much bigger show but would have to go see other bands for that today. Which does not mean to show is bad. The point about so many posts here is that once you try to be a bit more complex with your arguments you are thrown back into the black-and-white scheme because people like you Mike are not able, or at least not willing to accept that there is something like a different opinion.


  • George on

    And since this is an article about Ace and his new album and nothing to do with current Kiss, where is your comment on Aces album?? The album is surprisingly great…why don’t you talk about the album and article?? Oh thats right, it’s just another opportunity for morons to take shots at current Kiss…


    • schocoman on

      Only a true “moron” will call others a “moron” because he knows no better and therefore will draw conclusions about others based upon his own poor self. Ace’s album btw is on heavy rotation on my “turntable”, you didn’t expect that, did you??


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