DRUMMER ERIC SINGER ON KISS’ HIERARCHY, “NOTHING HAPPENS IN [THE BAND] WITHOUT PAUL STANLEY SAYING, ‘YAY.'”
John Jeffrey of Rock Music Star spoke with KISS drummer Eric Singer. Excerpts from the interview appear below.
RMS: …You’re not only an accomplished drummer, but a great vocalist as well. Although you first started singing with KISS, why did you never sing backing vocals with Alice Cooper?
ES: I actually did sing with Alice during one of the last runs I did with him. Mainly because the other guys in the band weren’t very good singers. That particular lineup wasn’t one the vocally stronger bands, or versions of Alice. So I said, “I think I need a mic,” so I could start helping out because things didn’t sound the way they were supposed to sound. So I just took the initiative to do it. I think I said something to Alice about getting me a mic, so I could start singing. So I did sing (once), but I normally did not with Alice at all. I just played drums. That’s what I loved about it, that I could just play more physical, and get into just being a “rock drummer.”
RMS: Do you feel you play less “physical” in KISS?
ES: In KISS, I always have a responsibility with singing, and to be honest with you, that makes it harder for me – the workload of all the singing. I really have to pace myself, how I play and how I approach the drums in KISS, because of the vocal aspect. I can’t play as physical and as hard, because it ends up putting strain on my voice.
RMS: And for people who don’t sing, most people don’t realize that sitting down while you’re singing, makes it even harder to do.
ES: When you’re playing drums and singing, you’re sitting down, which is not an ideal position for singing. You’re almost pinching your diaphragm by being in that position. That’s why I put my microphone up higher, which forces me to sit very upright, and almost makes me slightly reach for the mic.
RMS: Well, let’s say if you get to a point where you either don’t wanna play anymore or (hopefully not) get to a point where you physically can’t play anymore? What is the “Eric Singer musical bucket list?”
ES: I have to say that I’ve been pretty blessed, playing with a lot of cool people. I’ve played with some people, that I probably never expected to happen, in some regards – to be honest with you. So again, I have to have that I’ve been pretty blessed. The only thing I can think of that I’ve still yet to do, is play with some other people, like Jeff Beck for example, but that’s probably never gonna happen, unless it’s a jam or some kind of situation like that.
RMS: There’s always been a lot speculation over the years, but for the record, who has the final say with KISS?
ES: People always think it’s Gene. Respectfully, Gene and Paul do the thing together, but I always tell people, it’s not what you think. Nothing happens in KISS without Paul Stanley saying, “Yay.” There’s some times when Paul doesn’t care about something, and says, “Yeah, I don’t care. Whatever.” Put it this way, if Gene wants to do it, and Eric and Tommy want to do it, and everybody else…if Paul doesn’t want to do something, we’re not doing it. If Paul wants to do it and Gene doesn’t, Gene usually says, “Okay, whatever.” Gene usually just wants to play. He just wants to keep doing whatever we do. So, there is that….
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Paul will always be my favorite front man… Eric is a very underrated drummer and a good singer. His songs on Monster and Sonic Boom are both strong. Unfortunate that a lot of KISS fans will never accept him because of the make-up issue.
hey paul has been there all the time,someone had to steer the good ship kiss,and i think he has done a very good job…and i just bought a kiss toilet seat to match my kiss shower curtian