Ace Frehley Calls Current KISS Lineup a 'Half a Cover Band'

"At this point, I don't care," stresses the axeman.

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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.

29 comments sorted by best / new / date

    If the current KISS line up is a 'half a cover band', I wonder what Guns n Roses are?
    Ace, it would be so awesome if you kicked Genes' ASS in front of the camera!!! \m/
    ...some bands evolve with different Fleetwood Mac...who's to say which version is legit...the HOF needs to be consistent...if they included past members with Grateful Dead then do the same for KISS...
    To compare Fleetwood mac & Kiss is like comparing a grape with a watermelon. Kiss has basically always been a Gene Simmons/Paul Stanley written rock band where the sound basically remained the same throughout the years...Fleetwood Mac was 3 distinctly different sounding bands ...The Peter Greene blues/rock version, the Bob Welch soft rock/folksy version, and the Lindsey Buckingham/Stevie Nicks pop version....No comparison there...
    ...I hear ya Uncle Bluck...bands evolve...Mick Fleetwood and McVie may front the band on the business side like Simmons and Stanley but to deny the contributions of Eric Carr, Vinnie Vincent, Bruce Kulick, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer or Peter Greene, Bob Welch or Buckingham/Nicks doesn't seem the right thing to do...even if the the band sound changes in one and not the other...just my take...
    He's right about the "half a cover band" thing though. Their live setlist still is 75% from the first six albums, if not more.
    And their bs "excuse" for that: people came to show to hear these cool song, not some rare stuff from the Elder or Carnival of Souls or any other low selling album.
    Wait a minute, is this all a ploy to distract people from the fact that KISS is being inducted. Seriously, they are terrible outside of a few songs.
    I'm not a KISS FAN,but I have to defend them a bit. Paul Stanley mentioned some guy who was inducted with the Grateful Dead...and I can't name one song by the Dead I care about. I'm a "Hits" fan when it comes to KISS, but their hits were pretty good.Thayer and Singer are just playing parts. Vinnie,Bruce,Eric And Mark contributed to something really good. Invasion still blows me away to this day and that mother****er belongs in their just for that!
    Even if your opinion was accurate (and it could be), those few songs were enough to make the band and its image deeply ingrained in our pop culture.
    I mean... under the logic of HOF... Eric Carr , Bruce and Vinnnie Vincent Should be inducted too.
    Agreed they all contributed to a vital part of the band's history but the HOF are basically saying their years of service and musical contributions mean nothing because they weren't a part of the original makeup era
    Get over with, it has been so many years. Ace has his own project, and I like most of this solo stuff, Gene and Paul are doing their things and Peter, well, he is still complaining whenever he can and since 90s can't play a s* (I've seen him couple times during the last shows and then with his solo project, then his solo album, he is a terrible drummer). Ace is the reason I picked up a guitar and still is my favourite guitarist and Kiss member. He is way better without Gene and Paul.
    Honestly, who gives a shit about whenever Kiss comes out with a new album? Does anyone really expect anything good from Kiss without Ace Frehley?
    Yes. Creatures and Revenge were one of their best albums and guess what? Ace didn't play on them.
    kill it
    for the original members not to get together and play some songs to celebrate their achievements is just plain stupid and petty. gene and paul can eat balls, and probably do.
    Form what Gene says Ace didn't play some of the stuff on the albums that he was around for.
    "Gene, and Paul, i hate you most of all Ace, you're the Ace And Peter, you're the cat"
    Gene and Paul did NOT carry the KISS Brand forward..The Kiss Brand carried them!!! The Brand was equally built by the original 4. Gene and Paul whine about how they had to work to keep KISS going when it was KISS that actually kept them going and paying their Bills. That does not give them any more claim to the Brand then Ace and Peter. In fact the only way KISS could kick hind ends these days is if Ace and Peter played with them as they are still Men.. Gene and Paul are Clucking Old Hens...