Här kommer fortsättningen av intervjun med Eric Singer, som gjordes av Rock Music Star. com , och handlar om KISSTERIA programmet, där han stal showen och om hur Beth kom med i set-listan.
RMS: I did get to see a ’sneak preview’ – if you will – of the KISSTERIA (Reality TV show) and I got to say that it was very entertaining. I’d have to agree with Paul Stanley, when Paul Stanley said that YOU are actually the ”star” of the show. You really shine. A lot fans in the past have always felt like with ”KISS Exposed” (the 1986 home video) or this and that (referring to TV appearances and interviews, etc.), it’s always Gene & Paul….Gene & Paul, and they don’t see enough of the ”other guys” (in the band). So it was very refreshing to see yourself and Tommy (Thayer) getting a lot of the spotlight as well (as Gene & Paul).
ES: It’s not about the spotlight. Yeah, a lot of times things are more focused on Gene & Paul. Guess what? Guess who’s always been in the band? Gene and Paul. Throughout every incarnation of they band, every version of KISS, there’s always been the two mainstays. That’s the founders and the main writers & singers – and that’s Gene & Paul. So it stands the reason that a lot of the time more of the focus will be that way. And if you look at most bands, usually whoever’s the the singer, or guitar player, or the writers – the leaders of the band – get most of the attention. I think the press kinda created that and I think managers and the press created to focus on who’s like the leaders of the band. Like when you think of the Doors, who do you think of? Jim Morrison. You know who the other guys are? Absolutely! But who’s the focus and the main person you think about? It’s always Jim Morrison. Same thing with (Led) Zeppelin. You usually think of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. Although John Bonham and John Paul Jones are equally as important, everyone acknowledges that. And like the Beatles, everyone acknowledges how important all four members were, but you still think of Paul McCartney and John Lennon. When you think of the famous people or who got the most attention, it’s those guys.
RMS: Right. It seems one of the running jokes in the show was about you wanting to sing ”Beth.” Was that something you really wanted to do, or is that something that could be chalked up to the faux reality (of the KISSTERIA show)?
ES: Well you know something? I always used to joke (about singing ”Beth”). I joke with Gene A LOT! There was so much other footage that was filmed John – in that time frame down there. There was REALLY funny stuff. There was one time that I took Gene up in a helicopter. Another time, there was this race track, where they have what they call ”V-8 Superstars” in Australia, buy it’s basically like NASCAR. I got Gene to put on a helmet and fire suit and get in a car with me and a driver. And this guy (the driver) was racing around the track, and throwing us all over the inside of the car. I can’t believe they didn’t use any of that footage, cuz there was so much funny stuff, just Gene and I, that didn’t get used. Originally, that was going to be a 2 part show and somehow, it became edited down to just a 1 hour thing. But originally, it was going to have a lot more footage. There was a lot of funny stuff that nobody got to see.
Gene and I have a funny certain funny relationship – if you will. People look at me like the ’court jester’ kind of. I’m always sitting there, basically, winding Gene up and making comments. I have a lot of energy, so Gene looks at me like a little kid that won’t stop talking and just keeps entertaining him all of the time. We have a really good funny dynamic and Gene and I travel together a lot. Meaning, like when we go from like an airplane to a gig, or from a hotel to a gig or something, Gene and I travel in a van together. Paul and Tommy, and some of the entourage (travel in another van). We basically travel in a couple vans (total), so I’m in the ”Gene van” – if you will. From doing this all these years, we have a little rapport and dynamic that goes on. So a lot of that stuff, some of it was captured on those clips (from KISSTERIA). We’d basically do what’s called a ’runner.’ We’d get in the van, right after show – right from the stage. In full costume, (we) jump in the van and go back to the hotel, and clean up there. So they would film a lot of that footage of us, sitting around in the van. Me talking to him (Gene), usually me talking. And there’s a lot of funny things that go on between Gene and I. A lot of times, I just wind him up and bug him all the time and say, ”Hey, when are you gonna let me sing ’Beth’?” And I just did it to keep bugging him. Never realizing that, one day, it was gonna happen.
Actually, the way that came about was really Doc McGhee (KISS’ manager). He really pushed for us to do ”Beth.” Managers don’t get involved with the little, petty emotional things about someone should or shouldn’t sing a song. This song belongs to ’this’ person and all that stuff. That – politics and stuff – that – I don’t get involved in. Because honestly, I think it’s nonsensical. KISS has a whole catalog of songs, that are KISS songs. They’re not owned by any individual person. Regardless of who sang it or who wrote it, and I mean that with all due respect to anybody. Bottom line is – those are KISS songs. And other former members, they play songs that other guys in the band wrote or sang, and no one seems to have a problem with that. But some people will take issue – mind you, we’re talking about a very small minority – with me singing, for example, ”Beth” or something. To me, it’s not an issue. Bottom line is – it is a really good KISS song, and it was a big hit for KISS. It’s part of the catalog. It was really Doc McGhee that kind of said, ”Hey, I really think you should think about doing ”Beth” at some point.” He said it last year, before we went on tour. It was kind of like, we’ll entertain the thought, but it wasn’t pursued (at that time). Then, in this tour of Europe, that’s when Doc said, ”We should do that (’Beth’). It’s a cool song to do.”
(When) we decided to do it (we wanted to do it) in a different way. (We said), let’s do it almost like the ”MTV Unplugged” approach, rather than just going out there and (me) singing along to the tape – trying to mimic, doing exactly verbatim – like the way the band did it in the 70’s. Let’s approach it in a different way, where the band’s all on stage. We’ll get some acoustic guitars and try it. We rehearsed it backstage. They (Paul & Tommy) got some acoustic guitars and ran it down and said, ”Okay, cool.” So we actually did a soundcheck at the next gig, (with all four members) onstage, so we could try the levels and see how it would sound. We ran it down a couple times at a soundcheck. I think it was in Hamburg, Germany or something, and Paul goes, ”Yeah, let’s do it tonight.” I just kinda got thrown into the fire. We really didn’t rehearse it much. We ran it down, and like I said, that was it. I enjoy singing it. (But) I have to admit, the first couple of times, it was a little intimidating – just because I’m a drummer, that also sings a little bit. But I don’t really consider myself a lead singer. I consider myself a good, solid background singer, that can sing (lead) on a song or two – occasionally. But for me to have to get up onstage, by myself, not being protected if you will – having the security blanket of my drums – it’s very different. Let’s just put it that way. So I have to learn to get more comfortable when I’m exposing myself, almost naked – if you will.
One thing we noticed right off the bat John, for response, everyone started singing along. You wanna know what the bottom line is John? Most people just wanna see KISS. They wanna see a ”KISS show.” They wanna hear the songs they’re familiar with, and that’s one of the songs they’d like to hear. Nobody is doing anything out of disrespect. It’s nothing about that. It never was. Bottom line is that it’s a good song, it was a hit for KISS, (so) why not do it?
I’m totally indifferent about it. If we do it, great. If we don’t, I’m fine with that. I never pushed and said, ”How come I can’t sing it” or ”I wanna sing this.” I never push for any songs to sing or anything. I just do whatever I can do to help make the band sound better. If it means singing more songs or no songs, it’s not an issue for me. But I really pride myself mostly in being able to sing background vocals and do that constantly. Having that become a strong part part of the foundation of what we do. I think that’s important. It just goes back to everybody’s attitude about trying to make KISS, and the show, as good as it can be. That’s what it’s all about.