Original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley says his former band's current lineup is "half a KISS cover band," Hennemusic reports.
Frehley shared his thoughts on the groups's upcoming induction into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in a new interview with Revolver magazine.
"Originally, the Hall of Fame asked all four of us to do a reunion and that was presented to each original member who is being inducted," explained Frehley. "Then some time went by, and I heard a couple weeks back that Paul [Stanley] and Gene [Simmons] decided to perform with Tommy [Thayer] and Eric [Singer].
"And I had gone on the Eddie Trunk show earlier, about a month prior to the last time I went on, and I was saying, 'Yeah, it would be great if we did a reunion.' It was shot down, but I think I led the fans to believe there was going to be a reunion. With tickets going on sale the following Monday, I decided to go on Ed Trunk's show a couple weeks back when I was in Las Vegas recording. I just wanted to let the fans know that last I heard, Paul and Gene decided not to perform with me and Peter [Criss] and opted to perform with Tommy and Eric.
"It got a lot of people pissed off, but I had to lay it out because I didn't want fans buying tickets for an event they weren't going to see. Last I heard, there's going to be no performance. There has been a lot of negotiating behind closed doors and I'm sworn to secrecy. But last I heard, there's just going to be no performance. I don't know what the reason is. And at this point, I don't care because it was renting so much space in my head, it was affecting my creativity and finishing up my record."
Asked if last fall's performance might be followed up by the pair, Frehley said, "Since me and Peter have gone our own ways, we haven't made any plans to tour together in the future. But it was just a special event for Ed, and both myself and Peter are good friends with Eddie Trunk. He has always supported our careers with KISS and without KISS. So it was something I wanted to do for Ed and it was a lot of fun.
"I've been reading stuff on the Internet and Paul and Gene have been insinuating that maybe Peter and myself don't have it anymore, which is a load of crap," commented the guitarist. "We proved otherwise at Eddie's party, but aside from that, it's very misleading. I think somehow they wanted to validate the current lineup. I don't have a problem with the current lineup. It is what it is - it's half a KISS cover band.
"But the event at the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame is about the four original members," added Frehley. "Nobody else is being inducted except the four. If Tommy and Eric were being inducted as well, along with Bruce [Kulick] and Eric Carr and Vinnie Vincent - yeah, why not."
This week, Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame Foundation CEO Joel Peresman defended the Hall's plan to induct KISS' founding lineup exclusively, despite the group's request to include other band members.
Peresman explained the decision process to Billboard, saying KISS "is a unique situation where you have artists who wear makeup as part of what the band's about," but the Rock Hall felt that the later members - including current guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer, who are wearing Frehley and Criss' makeup, respectively - "are fine musicians who ... Basically have the same makeup and are the same characters that Ace and Peter started. It's not like they created these other characters with different makeup and playing different songs. They took the persona of characters that were created by Ace and Peter."
On April 10, the original lineup of KISS will be inducted into the Rock Hall along with Nirvana, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, Cat Stevens and Linda Ronstadt; the ceremony will be held at New York's Barclays Center and HBO will record the event for broadcast in May.