Richie Wise, who fronted New York metal outfit Dust between 1969 and 1972, assisted behind the desk when Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley and co recorded their 1974 debut record and its follow-up, Hotter Than Hell, the same year.
He tells KissFAQ, “Ace and Peter had no focus. They were hired hands as far as I was concerned. I knew they auditioned for the band-and the band was Gene and Paul, period.
Ace, I understood exactly what he was doing. He listened to Page and Clapton and all those guitarists that I listened to, so I understood him well.
Peter was, at best, a poppy adequate drummer. But he was solid; he really didn’t get in the way and laid down the proper fundamental beat.”
And Wise believes the musical abilities of Simmons and Stanley have been overlooked throughout the band’s career.
“Gene wasn’t a traditional bass player, playing with his fingers,” says the producer. “He was more of a guitar player bass player. But he played with a lot of melodic sense, like McCartney in a way. Paul was excellent behind the mic. They had, right out of the box, good technique. They worked well together. I worked well with them.
The first album was six days, and then some mixing, I think a total of 13 days. It went very well. And I think it was very organic and real.”
Criss recently suggested there was less musical integrity to the current KISS lineup, featuring guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer. He told our own Eddie Trunk, “Although Gene and Paul are the major members in the band, Eric and Tommy, to them, it’s a job.
He’s playing Ace Frehley licks to a tee; Eric’s playing my drum licks to a tee. They’re still playing the same songs that we made famous.
There’s a whole new generation of kids that are clueless about what KISS is all about. They go to see them now, and they think, ‘That’s KISS.’”
additional source: classicrockmagazine.com