Entries tagged with: Gene Simmons

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Neil Diamond is not the only classic pop crooner with a new album...

"Engelbert Calling" is the new album and the first ever duets album from the legendary and incomparable Engelbert Humperdinck. Known as the world's greatest balladeer, this collection is his 80th album release, arriving more than 45 years after his massive hit "Release Me" reached #1 on the pop charts and created a worldwide frenzy. This new album comes as a celebration of his remarkable career which has spanned nearly five decades and includes sales of more than 150 million albums world-wide, including 24 certified with platinum status and 63 with gold.

The album was produced by Grammy award winner Martin Terefe, who is best-known for his work with Jason Mraz, James Morrison, KT Tunstall, and Mary J Blige. "Working with Engelbert is such a truly remarkable experience," Terefe stated when asked about his work with Engelbert. "He is without a doubt one of the best singers around today and brings so much other musical knowledge to the table."

"He is one of the sweetest and nicest people I have ever worked with," Elton John said about his experience collaborating with Engelbert. "We had a great time singing together and he is so quick, what I call a 'one-take singer,' 76 years old and still sounding as good as ever!"

"I am grateful to have had the opportunity to partner up with some of the best artists in the history of music." Engelbert said about the album. "To continue putting out successful albums after 45 years in the business is a real testament to the loyalty of my great fans and this album is a 'thank you' to all of them."

Engelbert Calling is available today at music retailers nationwide and online.

Tracklist and album stream via Spotify, below...

Continue reading "Engelbert Humperdinck releases double album of duets (w/ Willie Nelson, Elton John, Gene Simmons, many more)"

Gene Simmons

Rock & Brews

"Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, co-founders of KISS, have an ambitious worldwide restaurant strategy for their co-owned franchise, Rock & Brews. The dynamic rock titans recently opened their third restaurant and second Los Angeles area location in a year, furthering their plans to open an impressive 100 more in five years.

tanley is excited about the rapid expansion of the Rock & Brews brand.

"We are spreading our tentacles!" Stanley said. "It's a family friendly place where you don't have to compromise your palate. Most of the time when you bring your kids to a restaurant, you are eating cardboard pizza or dried out macaroni and cheese. This is really your place where you can hang out, choose from one of our 80 craft beers, hear quality rock music and have a great night with your friends." [Hollywood Reporter]

Room service, baby I could use a meal.

Continue reading "KISS planning to open 100 restaurants in 5 years"

by Bill Pearis

M for Montreal

Thursday night was the first "official" day of M for Montreal (Wednesday was the unofficial start), which had us back at club Just Pour Rire, shuttling between its two stages for a diverse evening of music. From a programming standpoint, maybe a little too diverse. But it is one of the unique aspects of this fest, forced exposure.

The night began with the britpoppy psychedelia of Elephant Stone. Front man Rishi Dhir, who played in High Dials for a while, traded between bass, guitar and sitar, the latter of which is the band's most immediately distinguishing feature. Their songs are good too -- jangly psychedelic pop -- but it's certainly a trip to see Dhir sitting crosslegged on a platform playing this massive, cool intstrument. It's a nice, mellow start to the evening.

Next up was Marco Calliari, an Itallian Tom Colicchio (a musician too) lookalike who spent part of the '90s in thrash metal band Anonymous but now plays Italian folk music not too far off in style from, say, The Gypsy Kings. Calliari is an exuberant performer and his band is tight, but he's out of place of this otherwise electrified line-up. Also out of place: singer-songwriter Jason Bajada who was pleasant enough but didn't leave much of an impression.

Most everyone seemed in agreement that PS I Love You were the best band of the night. The duo from Kingston, Ontario are an indie Mutt and Jeff, kind of like the Pixies with a new wave back-end. Yelper-guitarist Paul Salnier actually pulls triple duty live, playing bass parts too via a Moog bass pedal setup which is pretty cool. Drummer Ben Nelson plays heavy on the high hat a la New Order's Stephen Morris which gives their songs danceability.  Their record, Meet Me at the Muster Station, is good but live PS I Love You are a force. As previously mentioned, they're touring and playing NYC next week with Holiday Shores (12/03 at The Rock Shop, then Pianos the next night). Go see 'em.

Bad sound marred the set from Black Feelings who I could tell I'd really like given proper circumstances. Like their name implies, the trio grind out dense, foreboding post punk (PiL, Big Black). They are intense live, but it was like the sound guy forgot to turn the fader up on the guitars and the mix was muddy in general. Not so on last year's self-titled debut (out on  Alien8 Recordings, also home to Think About Life, Duchess Says and others). They're also the kind of band better suited to grungy DIY spaces than fancier venues like this one.

Ditto that to Aids Wolf who are a defiantly acquired taste, even for those with adventurous palates. Entirely out of their element, the confrontational art-noise group settle into freakout mode that sound, to casual ears, entirely improvised a la Throbbing Gristle. (Anyone who's heard their records and then seen them live knows these three are insanely tight, serious musicians.) Chloe Lum spends most of the show with the microphone in her mouth. They are not boring but a little goes a long way and most of the room cleared out well before their set finishes. I'm told Gene Simmons, one of my fellow "international delegates" for the weekend, really dug them.

With the "official selection" finished for the night came the afterparty entertainment: Quebec City's Dance Laury Dance. who seemed super-psyched to have Simmons in the house. (He watched sitting from the balcony, like a mafia don, nodding approvingly.) Clad in denim and leather and testosterone, DLD are like Wolverine: The Band, with a sound and schtick somewhere between Motorhead and The Darkness. Ridiculous, but entertaining. Not that much irony here, either. The songs are a little more than riffs and slogans, which is fine, but when the band covered AC/DC their lack of potent hooks became apparent. Still, for pure rawk spectacle overload, they're something all right.

Still to come: Reports from Friday and Saturday. More blurry photos taken by me are below, along with PS I Love You tour dates and a Dance Laury Dance music video.

Continue reading "M For Montreal 2010 - night 2 in pics & review (PS I Love You, AIDS Wolf, Dance Laury Dance, Gene Simmons & more)"

by Bill Pearis

We are Wolves
M for Montreal

It's the week before Thanksgiving so I must be in Montreal. This is my third time attending the M for Montreal Festival, which is celebrating its Fifth Anniversary this year. There are more "international delegates" attending than ever before: journalists, agents, music supervisors, songwriters, label folk, and other industry types here to check out nearly 30 bands the festival organizers have deemed "export ready."

Also in attendance is KISS bassist Gene Simmons who will MC the big M for Metropolis concert on Saturday night that features Preistess, The Dears, Misteur Valaire and others. He's also filming an episode of his A&E series Family Jewels while here, and his presence is felt even when he, his ten-strong entourage and crew of cameras are not actually nearby.

This is as much a conference as it is a music festival. There's not much time for sightseeing, as delegates' days (especially the media delegates) are a full schedule of press conferences, schmooze brunches, panel discussions, meet-n-greets and more. Then nights are spent checking out the bands on an equally regimented schedule. We see all the bands, there's no running around between clubs.

Wednesday is kind of a warm up day for the festival with the bands playing being "unofficial" selections. In fact, Wednesday night featured the first-ever non-Canadian bands in M's history at an event presented by two other international festivals: Iceland Airwaves and the UK's Great Escape .

There are two Icelandic bands. Seven-piece Retro Stefson, barely into their 20s, make kitchy '80s Eurodisco that would be at home on the Lido Deck of The Love Boat. More grooves than songs, but they are fun and cute and young and try to get the crowd to do some synchronized dancing. (Delegate participation on this...notsomuch.) Hopefully things like choruses and verses and middle eighths will come with time.

Reykjavík's Lay Low is basically a showcase for singer-songwriter Lovísa Elísabet Sigrúnardóttir who is no slouch with an acoustic guitar either. Her folk pop was maybe a little too gentle for a crowd that had been plied with free booze for the previous three hours, but I thought it was still pretty lovely, sort of if the Concretes hired Bjork's less quirky sister to take over for Victoria Bergsman.

On the Great Escape stage we had two Montreal bands, both of whom I'd seen before. Braids use their voices more as another instrument than a conveyor of lyrics. There are points during their set when the harmonies meld with the band's stretched out grooves to achieve ethereal bliss worthy of The Cocteau Twins. Their set is better than the one I'd seen at Knitting Factory back in May, not to mention besting many of the "official selections" at M the following days. NYC folk can catch Braids open for The Radio Dept at Knitting Factory (11/30) and Bowery Ballroom (12/01) in less than two weeks.

The show ran about an hour late which means We Are Wolves didn't take the stage until 1AM. Their garagey electro-rock is  pretty on which elevates my flagging energy, but not enough. It's an action-packed week ahead but I call it a night.

To be continued. A set of pictures from Wednesday continues below...

Continue reading "M For Montreal 2010 - night 1 in pics & review (We Are Wolves, Braids & Icelandic bands too)"

photos by Chris La Putt

Red Mass @ CMJ 2010
Red Mass

M For Montreal, the annual mini Montreal music festival that invites "delegates" from all over the world to come experience Montreal music for a few days is kicking off today, 11/17. And like in 2008 and 2009, Bill Pearis will be up there reporting back.

Some of the artists he'll be seeing in Canada this week, like PS I Love You, AIDS Wolf and Braids, were just in NYC for CMJ. Some weren't, like Gene Simmons (no, not an ironically named band, but that's what I assumed at first) (like he would let that band exist).

The 'M For Montreal' CMJ showcase this year took place at Arlene's Grocery in NYC on Thursday, October 21st. That lineup consisted of Braids, The Luyas (whose only other show was one of our day parties), Uncle Bad Touch, PS I Love You, Random Recipe, Red Mass (who Bill first caught at M For Montreal in 2009), The Pack AD, and Radio Radio. Chris stopped by for the last three bands. His pictures, and a poster for the actual fest in Canada, below...

Continue reading "M For Montreal kicks off in Montreal, was recently in NYC for CMJ (Red Mass, Radio Radio & Pack AD pics)"

photos by Matthew Eisman


Boston Herald: I'm thinking about the Dr. Pepper commercial that's everywhere. Many bands in the so-called indie community think it's abhorrent to sell songs to advertisers, what do you say to those bands?

Paul Stanley: Wake up and smell the coffee. If those indie bands keep that philosophy they'll be flipping burgers soon enough. There's a reason that it's called the music business. Putting your song in a commercial doesn't negate your creativity.

Boston Herald: The concept of selling out is meaningless to KISS, right?

Paul Stanley: Success isn't selling out. We've never had to sell out because we've always done things on our terms. I didn't get into this to have a fan base of 100. I will gladly fly in the private jet to the show and make no apologies for being loved worldwide. Hold on a second. Listen to this from Rolling Stone: "KISS proved why they are the reigning kings of theater rock, delivering an electric two-hour, 21-song set of glam-rock smashes, newer tunes, over-the-top pyrotechnics." Regardless of what the naysayers say, I didn't have to sell out to get these kind of reviews.

Kiss played Jones Beach last night, Saturday, August 14th. More pictures and the setlist from their show, and a few videos, below...

Continue reading "Kiss played Jones Beach (pics & setlist) "


KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons has posted a brief review of NINE INCH NAILS' August 10, 2009 concert at Fort Canning Park in Singapore.

Simmons, who was in Singapore on business, wrote in an apparently sarcasm-filled posting on his Facebook page, "Went to see Trent Reznor's [NINE INCH NAILS mainman] band. About 1,000 people attended the outdoor event. On other days (it's a three-day festival), it's LADY GAGA and KEANE. Band was solid. Good lights. Lots of smoke in every song. Couldn't see the band. But, boy, was there a lot of smoke. Terrific drummer, who played in perfect time with the tape loops. Good stuff... I loved it."

Reznor stated in a recent interview that he'd "never want to be Gene Simmons, an old man who puts on makeup to entertain kids, like a clown going to work." [Blabbermouth]

Nine Inch Nails played Webster Hall in NYC last night (8/23). Their next show is Tuesday at Terminal 5. I'm sure Gene will be happy to see them go (sort of, maybe).

Kiss have announced a North American tour...

This incredible show will feature a new stage set, pyro effects that only the "hottest band in the world" could deliver, and all-new costumes. KISS ALIVE 35 North America also marks the first leg of the world's first fan-routed tour - in which more than 10,000 individual cities across Canada and the U.S. mounted their own unique campaigns to bring KISS to their towns.

SONIC BOOM - KISS' highly-anticipated album, and its first new material in 11 years - will be released exclusively at Walmart, Walmart.com and Sam's Club retail locations beginning October 6.
Exclusively at Wal Mart... Rock!

Tickets for shows at MSG & Nassau Coliseum & other shows go on sale Saturday, August 29th at 10:00 AM. There are also about a zillion presales (my favorite is the "Buckcherry Presale"). All dates below...

Continue reading "Kiss - 2009 Tour Dates (MSG & Nassau Coliseum)"

"i am so desperate to get into the bowery show. ive tried every avenue imaginable with zero luck. even bowery staff cant get in unless theyre lucky enough to be working that night. its just sheer craziness down there." - Craigslist person

Nine Inch Nails

Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor recently said something along those lines when he was asked why he'd announced his band's current tour would be their last.

Of course, when you say you don't want to be an aging rocker, you inevitably have to compare yourself to someone...

"I'd never want to be Gene Simmons, an old man who puts on makeup to entertain kids, like a clown going to work," Reznor told the Philippines' Daily Inquirer last month. "In my paranoia, I fear that if I don't stop this, it could become that."

Simmons fired back in the Letters From Fans section on KISS' website.

"Trent grew up on KISS and cut his teeth on our toons," he wrote. "When he was recording Downward Spiral, he had two action figures on his mix console -- Jesus and Gene Simmons.

"Once you're a self confessed heroin addict, who used the stuff for years, you don't look at life the way the rest of us do... I'm told.

"We all wish him well." [Chart Attack]

Nine Inch Nails kick off their 10-date, pre-hiatus tour this Saturday night (8/22) at Bowery Ballroom in NYC (with The Horrors). Sunday is Webster Hall (with Horrors), and then Tuesday (Horrors) and Wednesday (Mew) are the shows at Terminal 5. Did you get tickets?

Continue reading "NIN kick off 10-day tour in NYC @ Bowery Ballroom Saturday"

KissTrent also said that, "What I specifically said or meant to convey is that NIN as a touring live band or live band that's on the road all the time is stopping. I've just reached the point ... where it has invaded every other aspect of my life. Also I think creatively, my time would be better spent on other stuff that could be NIN or outside NIN. Some of it may be collaborative things. I have a number of projects that are not music-related which I have put on the back burner for a long time..." [said Trent Reznor to Inquirer.net (via)]



Gene Simmons: The record industry is in such a mess. I called for what it was when college kids first started download music for free -- that they were crooks. I told every record label I spoke with that they just lit the fuse to their own bomb that was going to explode from under them and put them on the street.

There is nothing in me that wants to go in there and do new music. How are you going to deliver it? How are you going to get paid for it if people can just get it for free? I will be putting out a Gene Simmons box set called "Monster" -- a collection of 150 unreleased songs. KISS will have another box set of unreleased music in the next year.

The record industry doesn't have a f---ing clue how to make money. It's only their fault for letting foxes get into the henhouse and then wondering why there's no eggs or chickens. Every little college kid, every freshly-scrubbed little kid's face should have been sued off the face of the earth. They should have taken their houses and cars and nipped it right there in the beginning. Those kids are putting 100,000 to a million people out of work. How can you pick on them? They've got freckles. That's a crook. He may as well be wearing a bandit's mask.

Doesn't affect me. But imagine being a new band with dreams of getting on stage and putting out your own record. Forget it.


That doesn't count. You can't pick on one person as an exception. And that's not a business model that works. I open a store and say "Come on in and pay whatever you want." Are you on f---ing crack? Do you really believe that's a business model that works? [more]

Radiohead is releasing their album on ATO Records in the U.S. on January 2nd.