Marko Syrjälä of Chaoszine spoke with original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley, highlights from the interview appear below.

Chaoszine: You have mentioned in several interviews that, in your opinion, 10,000 Volts is your best album to date. I’m curious to hear what you think sets it apart and makes it better than Trouble Walkin’, the debut of Frehley’s Comet, or the 1978 solo album – which happen to be my favorites from your catalog.

Ace Frehley: You know it when you have it (laughs). Having Anton Fig back on board for three songs felt great. He played drums on 10,000 Volts, and he just killed that song. That’s why the song has such a driving feel. When he plays fills, he does them effortlessly. I’ve been working with Anton Fig since 1978…Hopefully, on Origins Volume 3, which will be my next album after this one—I can’t believe I’m jumping ahead—there will be a lot more of Anton Fig’s playing because, as far as I’m concerned, he’s one of the best rock drummers in the world.

Chaoszine: One significant period came to an end when KISS played their final concert at the legendary Madison Square Garden on December 2nd. Contrary to fans’ expectations, neither you, Peter Criss, nor Bruce Kulick appeared at the show. Now that over a month has passed, what thoughts and emotions does that evoke in you?

Ace Frehley: I don’t really understand what happened six or seven to eight months ago when [frontman] Paul [Stanley] and [bassist] Gene {Simmons] were in the midst of the End of the Road -tour. They were saying really nice things about [original drummer] Peter [Criss] and [former guitarist] Bruce Kulick and me. They were saying, “We called Ace, we called Peter, and they’re going to be on stage with us and play a few final songs,” you know, “brotherhood” and all that bulls-it. And then, the last month, once the show was sold out and they didn’t need our help to sell out any more tickets, Paul Stanley went on the Howard Stern show and said, “Well, if Ace and Peter got up on stage with us, you might as well call the band Piss.” That was completely opposite from what he was saying 6-7 months ago, and I don’t know why he said it, but it pissed me off, and after hearing that, I decided I wasn’t going there. Even if he had invited me and given me a personal invitation after he had hit us below the belt with that comment, I would not have gone there. You know, I can play rings around Paul Stanley on guitar. I can even sing better than him and don’t have to use backing tracks (laughs).

Chaoszine: It became earlier quite clear what you think of Paul Stanley, but what kind of relationship do you have with Gene Simmons nowadays?

Ace Frehley: Me and Gene are still very close. When I heard that he collapsed on stage in Brazil, I was concerned because I’ve known Gene since 1973. I immediately emailed him and said, “Gene, are you OK?” And miraculously enough, he got back to me in 5 minutes and said, “Hey, so I’m doing fine. We were playing in the jungle. It was 106° and very high humidity, so I wasn’t prepared for it and wasn’t hydrated enough. And once I sat down and got hydrated, I was able to finish the show.” And I just wrote them back, “Well, that’s good to hear. I’m glad it wasn’t anything more serious.” But you know, that’s the kind of relationship I have with Gene.

Chaoszine :...I have one final question for you. I know you have plenty of shows coming up in the USA, but I’ve also heard a rumor that Ace Frehley won’t be playing any shows in Europe this year due to some passport issues. Can you provide some information about the current situation regarding that?

Ace Frehley: Well, there’s a good chance I can make it to Europe in late summer if I get my passport renewed. I’ve been having issues with renewing my passport because I have some problems with the IRS (Internal Revenue Service), and it’s not really the passport bureau but the IRS. Since I owe the IRS a couple of hundred grand, and they just instituted a new law that if you owe more than $50,000, they won’t renew your passport. Luckily, I have some really smart attorneys working on it, and there are ways around it, so hopefully, I might be able to get my passport within two or three weeks. If that happens, I will be in Europe this summer. If it doesn’t happen, I will be in Europe next summer. But I’d love it to be this summer because it’s been too long since I did all the festivals there.

Read much more at Chaoszine.

For more details about Frehley’s forthcoming album, 10,000 Volts, and to listen to the title track, please go here.

6 Responses

  1. I don’t think so. Paul and Gene are pretty shady. I can easily see them doing that to sell tickets. Ace is doing his own thing and is happy. I’ve been a fan for 4 decades and I can’t think of a single time Ace said anything bad about them first. It’s always been the other way around. Not trying to argue with you or anything just wanted to put my two sides of the coin in!

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