paulstanley400 Brian Aberback from NJ’s Steppin’ Out magazine recently spoke with KISS’ Paul Stanley. An excerpt can be read below.

Steppin’ Out: What is the main message you want people to take from your book?

Paul Stanley: I wanted to be able to write a book that shows how you can go through unsettling times and turmoil and come out on top. There’s no substitute for determination and drive. My life has a happy ending. I thought my story was something people could benefit from. My 19-year-old read the book and I got the response I hoped for. He thought it was fabulous and very inspiring.

Steppin’ Out: From the very beginning you were faced with obstacles. You were born with microtia, a birth defect in which part of your right ear is missing, and you’re also deaf in that ear. How did that affect your musical ambitions?

Paul Stanley: It never affected my music. It affected my social interactions, how I was seen and sometimes ridiculed. Music became my refuge. Although I may not hear music the same way that someone who has hearing in both ears hears it, I never missed anything because I don’t know what things would have sounded like otherwise.

Steppin’ Out: You’re the last of the original members of KISS to write a book. Have you read the other guys’ books?

Paul Stanley: Gene’s book is understandably written from him being in the center of everything, because that’s what he’s like. The other two [by guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss] go from being questionable to absurd. When people’s recollections are tainted by substance abuse they’re not usually people an attorney wants to put on a witness stand. The few bits I read were so ridiculous that it was frightening to think that either of them believe it. For a lot of reasons I feel I’m more objective.

Steppin’ Out: You’re being inducted into the Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame, and you’re furious with the Hall. Why is that?

Paul Stanley: They are only inducting the original members. It’s disrespectful. We never could have started without [original guitarist and drummer] Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, but this band has a 40-year history that should not be ignored. The Hall of Fame people said that inducting other members who were in the band for decades and played on multi-platinum albums like [guitarist] Bruce Kulick and [late drummer] Eric Carr was a non-starter. That’s not how it has worked with other bands. There’s a commune of Grateful Dead members in there including a writer who never played an instrument and a bass player in Metallica who had only been in the band for 7 years when they were inducted. We are in the Hall of Fame not because those people want us there but because it began to look absurd not having us there. To have a band that many pop bands site as an influence and to be ignored year after year takes a lot of effort. They also wanted to strong arm us into playing with the original guys onlhy in gear and makeup and that was a nonstarter. I’ve been doing this 40 years with total pride and confidence and it would be rolling the dice.Whether it’s official or not I will be there to celebrate 40 years of this band.

The entire interview runs April 9th at

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  • shannon patrick mehaffey on

    Wow, you guys sound like a bunch of broken records…..Kiss was so off the wall when they came out, they got mercilessly ridiculed, and they were just very, very different, visually, and musically from anybody else. Alice Cooper was a theatrical performance, Kiss was post modern deconstruction; sure Alice influenced Kiss but the two couldn’t be more different. When they entered the 1980s, Kiss had to adapt and they lost most of their uncanny character, they looked and sounded like the normative status quo (not to be confused with band of same name). Ace and Peter just took to the rock and roll lifestyle, completely. They are just different breeds than Paul and Gene, which is why the chemistry those guys had was more potent than, not only any other lineup, but just about ANY band out there. Having said this, Ace and Peter’s books could just as well be called “how to get yourself fired from a multi-million dollar band.” I mean, being plastered onstage, not showing up, and my favorite…just not playing in the middle of a song and walking off stage in front of 20,000 people. I’m laughing just thinking about it. But you gotta hand it to Ace, he did walk away from a multi million dollar contract, he put his soul before a huge paycheck. Internally, if that means he just wants to be a couch potato, or go sniff glue…I mean it’s his life, who are we to judge?

  • Geno on

    Of course Paul its ridiculous, to think that someone else may have a different view than yours and maybe, JUST maybe, its accurate or even lord forbid MORE ACCURATE must be ridiculous!!! What a completely ridiculous narcissist ass!! Between he and Gene they are completely destroying my opinion of this band!!

  • shannon patrick mehaffey on

    You guys should all know that while we go to these expensive concerts, and at least Kiss gives bang for the buck,; I mean, I love Paul and Gene, they are Capitalists, but they are also rock and roll musicians, and those two are not mutually exclusive, no matter how people try to spin the fallacious argument that they are. They are the social outcasts who outplayed the ‘beautiful people,’ they are one of us, so anybody accusing them of being someone who is merely a venture Capitalist, that is a very misguided conclusion. But anyway, while all of this is going on, the gentrification of rock and roll, the Supreme Court yesterday completely gutted campaign finance laws, which were put in place to keep the wealthy from hedging their bets by contributing to opposing parties. Well, that’s gone new. If you don’t care, you should.

    • DR on

      Shannon, pigs must be flying cause I just agreed wth every word you said, including the campaign finance law decision that was just made. Maybe you and I together could bring peace to the Middle East. We’ll said.

  • steelerfan on

    As you can see there are lots of opinions and well made points on both sides of the argument. I do think that Paul saying that they didn;t want to embaraa their legacy by having Ace and Peter play because of their lack of ability is comical however. As many have mentioned, Paul’s voice is shot. It’s painful to hear him try to hit the notes and be the frontman he once was. It’s not a knock as I’m sure the years of abusing his vocal cords have caught up. Happens to many. But another fact is he has always been a below average guitar player. Some mentioned they take bathroom breaks during Peter’s drum solos but any guitar player knows that Paul’s solos are a joke. I’d rather hear another song that have to listen to him have a moment as a guitar god. So hearing Paul question the abilities of Ace and Peter is hypocritical. All the other reasons could stand on their own, but Paul claiming to be above those guys as a musician is a joke.

  • Dwayne Cole on

    I’ve read all 3 of the Kiss guys books and about to read Paul’s. We will never know exactly how the inner workings of the Kiss empire.. Just watching from the cheap seats, I tend to understand Gene and Paul’s reluctance to be involved with Ace and Peter. Look forward to Ace’s new album, I still support Kiss.

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