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

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

  1. I have a lot of respect for Ace. He seems to have had the odds against him. Like he said from all that stuff that happened 30/40 years–the truth is probably in between. I like the fact that he has chosen to look forward in his life. Very classy choice. Everybody has skeletons in the closet if you know what I mean
    Good luck!

    1. Yes, while Paul and Gene seem to live off the past, even attempt to rewrite Kisstory just to make themselves look good, and probably feel good and important too. Ace is looking forward, that is about the best thing one can do in life. Besides, he does not use this interview as an opportunity to shoot back at G and P, he actually never does that, I call this class, something G and P are missing.

  2. It’s not hard to tell the biggest problem is between Ace and Paul, not Ace and Gene. I’m really looking forward to Tuesday when I get to hear the album in its entirety.

    1. Agreed. I think, if one had to make out which member /musician in Kiss was the most influential, it clearly has to be Ace. Gene coming in second because his demonic stage presence has clearly inspired heavy rock artists that came after him. But Paul? Well, he was (!) a great singer, he has written great songs … but maybe Paul is so desperately and continuously shooting at Ace and also trying to make all other members look small beside him, including Gene!, because he knows that Ace above all Kiss members willl be remembered for his musical influence on a legion of teens and young players and Gene/Gene’s character and make-up design will always be THE image you have in mind when mentioning the name Kiss, so Ace is the one who is the core rock sound of Kiss (and was an influence on many players inlcuding some of the megastars of rock business today) and Gene’s face and tongue is the epitome of the Kiss image and show. I have not heard a famous rock singer or guitar player name Paul amongst his influences … and given the fact that the money cannot count anymore because they are millionaires many times over, the bashing of late must have different, i.e. personal reasons (putting aside advertising the current product, i.e. tour for a moment as another potential reason). Coming to towards the end of one’s professional career, why would stars be different from us who all want to be remembered and recognized for something we achieved?

    1. To a degree and I like that….but then he’ll turn it around and bash Tommy (whom I don’t care for myself) for replacing him. Complete failing to acknowledge that he himself left. So what were they supposed to do. I think Ace’s problem with Tommy goes far beyond the makeup…just don’t think those two get along. I’ve never heard Ace bash Bruce for example.

      Sobriety has done Ace well but he’s taking the low road many times himself. Anybody that cannot admit that hasn’t been paying attention over the years.

      Further I think the rift between Paul and Ace goes goes back to when Ace left costing the band millions….nobody can deny Paul tried to keep the guy in the band, he’s also never bashed Ace for his contributions to Kiss in the early years…on the whole Paul has praised him. That’s always told me that he appreciated him as a guitarist and musician. Further…he was paid better than Peter on subsequent tours after the Reunion. And by Ace own admission he enjoyed playing in the band with both Eric’s. Clearly something went down that I doubt we’ll ever know the whole story.

      1. Clearly, if a member of an original and very successful band leaves, for whatever reason, the band and their fincances will suffer (for some time). That has happened a thousand times so no need to critisize Ace especially for that. Ace himself suffered the same loss, so that’s not really an argument. Moreover there were other important reasons for the beginning of the decline of Kiss in the early 80s, like Kiss moving towards “rock disco” with songs like “I was made …” and then “Shandi”, songs written by Paul, the rise of MTV and a new way of marketing music and a band’s image etc. – and we all know that Paul and Gene had more than a 50% share in the decision which songs to put on an album. Then there was “The Elder”, so here we have a number of decisions made by Paul and Gene (to which, as you know, Ace objected) that I think in their impact on the status of Kiss in the 80s go far beyond Ace leaving the band. We also do not know why Paul actually tried to keep Ace, was because he liked the guy or was it because he knew he would be hard to replace and the band would lose money? From most of the decisions and choices as to the position of the lead guitarist, with the exception of Bruce maybe, it seems that the latter might have been more important.

        1. Schoco, I don’t need to be educated on Kiss, been a fan since 74… was merely pointing out that while Ace does take the high road (and I appreciate that) he’ll then turn around and do the opposite. Further in response to James above, there is a lot of bitterness between and Ace and Paul…which at one time was not there as to the reasons I pointed out.

          1. Schocomon,
            Doesn’t sound like he’s taking anything personally. He’s just disagreeing. Good grief, you are evasive when challenged! You’re as slippery as a squid to avoid answering questions! You’re just no fun! Btw–this is not a fantasy world.

          2. Mike B come to think of it you are just an i… sitting in front of your keyboard wasting your time thinking about other people’s shortcomings, you are really a poor man.

  3. YOU’VE GOT SOME ABOUT YOU.
    YOU’VE GOT SOMETHING I NEED.
    DAUGHTER OF APHRODITE.
    HEAR MY WORDS AND TAKE HEED.
    The Bronx is a great place to grow up. I like FREHLEYS COMET so that’s cool. I hope SPACE INVADER is great. The funniest rock bio is I AM OZZY. The sexy banana and going to a bar high on a horse are classics.

      1. For me, it’s music first. The other stuff is fun to comment upon. I’m a pro-Gene guy but I know Ace is musically the most interesting of the original 4. I’ve always backed Peter and I love his book and the ALIVE BLACK DIAMOND is KISSes crowning achievement. I enjoy KISS. not aspects of the band.

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