I made arrangements to receive the satellite feed of the Press Conference and here is a transcript of the interview. The questions were edited from the feed, but the answers are transcribed below.
The curtain rises. The Psycho Circus begins. Out of the shadows ominously step four-larger-than-life figures adorned in shining black leather, metallic studs and sequins, wearing colorful kabuki makeup. The legendary KISS is back and primed to collectively deliver a meteoric blast of supersonic, life affirming rock and roll.
After the group's #1 grossing tour of 1996-97, KISS are making dreams come true once again for the KISS Army, with Psycho Circus, their first new studio album in almost two decades, featuring all four original members - Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss. With a KISS New Line Cinema movie in the works and other sundry exciting projects on the horizon, it's a great time to be a KISS fan again. Thirty-one albums and counting, KISS are still the master of the stage and kings of the party
Rock and roll all nite and party every day. KISS is back! Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss are back in makeup and back in record stores today. Psycho Circus is the first new studio album in almost two decades featuring all four original members. KISS has sold over 75 million albums in it's 25 year career.
Psycho Circus will feature a special 3-D cover and is an enhanced CD which will launch computer users onto KISSonline.net. The Psycho Circus tour will kickoff on Halloween at LA's Dodger Stadium. The show will feature cutting edge 3-D technology. Tickets go on sale Saturday, September 26 at 10am at all Ticketmaster locations.
To kickoff the release of Psycho Circus, the band held a press conference on Monday, September 21 at Mann's Chinese Theater in Los Angeles. At the event fans were shown a new KISS video in 3-D, which will soon premiere on MTV. On October 20, KISS will release the Psycho Circus home video featuring two versions of the single (regular and 3-D).
PAUL STANLEY: Psycho Circus is the first album we've done in 17 years and it's on the heels of the reunion tour which was the biggest grossing tour of 96-87, and it's a magical album, with the magical lineup and the cover is like nothing anyone has ever seen before and the music is like nothing anyone has ever heard. (During this answer segment Ace was screwing around with Peter, and at one point Peter slaps Ace's hand and says, "Would you stop it!" Pretty funny.)
ACE FREHLEY: Well, you know, it's the first album we've done and we've all matured and grown as musicians and it was a pleasure working with these three gentlemen and I think everybody else will be pleasantly surprised when they hear the record.
PETER CRISS: The cover is the first 3-D cover ever in rock and roll and we're always the first to do everything first and it's dynamite.
GENE SIMMONS: The new Psycho Circus video is going to be the first 3-D video. We're going to debut it tonight. Right now we're in Hollywood debuting our album, our 3-D video, our car, our everything. Everything is everything all the time, that's the KISS story. The 3-D video is going to debut on MTV soon, but your not going to be able to see it in 3-D
PS: But you can imagine it.
GS: You can imagine it.
PS: That makes it even better, imagination is the key.
GS: You want 3-D, you want KISS in 3-D, you gotta come see us live: KISS 3-D!
PS: It has four wheels, steering wheel... It's an awesome car. It's based on the 1999 Prowler, on the Chrysler Plymouth Prowler, only we upped the ante and did it KISS style. It's black and chrome, it's a very, very hip car. Then there's a trailer that attaches to it which the trunk opens up. There's a bass guitar, a Gene Simmons Punisher bass, Ace Frehley Les Paul guitar, Paul Stanley PS2000 guitar and a Peter Criss sanctioned drum machine, because, you know, drummers are touchy about drum machines, but this is one that Peter likes. Trunk opens up, you can blast music. There's an microphone, you can sing along. There's a jack inside the car that you can plug your guitar in. Don't do it while your driving please!
PC: I mean, we really got close on the tour, extremely close. Too Close! And getting back again was exciting for me, especially playing with these guys. It's like they're always, you know, we laugh a lot, at each other. We make fun about ourselves and that's really, that's a good thing. But playing together was awesome, I mean being, just being back in the room and everybody putting their input on it, it was cool. I had a great time. I want to make more!
PS: We were determined to make sure that the album had all the classic elements of a KISS album, without being a retro album. We didn't want to recreate the past, but we wanted to build from what we had done before and it's unmistakable. When you put it on, the first thing you'll say is, "Wow, it's KISS, they're back and they're great."
GS: Maybe the best thing you can say about Psycho Circus the album and KISS the band is, if you take a look at is as a brand new album by a brand new band, because in a lot of ways it's a new beginning for us, even though we've done this since about '74. In a lot of ways, this is a brand new beginning for us.
PS: you know, we always say about the fans, we hear and we obey, so you wanted the best, you got the best!
PS: We felt that after the reunion tour we had started something so special again, that to not build on it and to go into the studio would really have been a crime. The magic that was created on stage was so unmistakable that we wanted to bring it home, bring it into everyone's home and that's really what Psycho Circus does. Psycho Circus is the next step and then the Psycho Circus tour is the big step.
GS: It started a long time ago, and we actually started saying it just because it came from our heart and people started thinking it was cliche and cornball. But, we live and die by the phrase. We couldn't have done it without the fans. Without them we're nothing and we've been saying for many years. It's truer now than it ever has been.
PS: You know it's very easy to talk about how much you owe your fans, it's another thing to show them. You know, talking the talk is easy, we walk the walk and we do it in big boots!
AF: We've all grown over the past seventeen years and now that we got into the studio and got to work together again has just been fantastic, and I think the album speaks for itself.
PS: We went out on that reunion tour and a lot of people were saying, you know our past casts such a big shadow, how were we going to be able to top that? We topped it on the reunion tour, Psycho Circus is the music that's going to top things with the Psycho Circus tour. You ain't seen nothing yet, it goes up from here!
PC: We're going to be the first band to ever do three dimensional. We're going to do a 3-D show and it's going to blow your mind. It's never been done, so you better really buckle up for the ride of your life. that's all I can say. I'm really excited about it, the guys are, it's going to be really sensational. It's something that's never been done before. And we're always the first!
GS: Most of you are inside, but the KISS car was literally outside, along with the KISSettes, who you didn't see. The KISS car is actually going to be given away for free. It's a $75,000 car that was hand built based around the Prowler. We're going to give away the car live, New Year's Eve, when we play Pontiac Stadium in Detroit, in front of Dick Clarks New Year's Eve extravaganza.
GS: No more bands whining about how miserable their lives are. We're going to bring fun back to rock and roll... YOU DESERVE IT!
PS: KISS is kinda like, we're a part of it, but it's almost like an animal that has a life of it's own. We hold on to it, we're never sure where it's going. But you can bet your bottom dollar that when the millennium, we're going be somewhere doing something real special. And every year, we wanna take it a step further. Whatever you like on the reunion tour, you're going to love on the PSycho Circus tour and it's only gonna keep getting better. We're really glad to be back together and I hope that shows, because we're having a great time and we wouldn't be here without you people.
GS: But, we started this with you. We started this with the fans. If we have anything to say, it's to you. Of the people, for the people, by the people. All the rest of the people are welcome for the ride, but our communication is with you.