At San Diego Comic-Con last week, exactly a week ago today, I had the privilege to interview “the best band in the land” Kiss, for their new animated film Scooby-Doo! And Kiss: Rock and Roll Mystery. In this roundtable interview, the Star Child Paul Stanley and the Spaceman Tommy Thayer discuss the film, touring, on stage injuries and what they think about musicians these days. Enjoy!
Q: What can you tell us about Kiss going into the Scooby-Doo universe?
Paul Stanley: The Scooby universe has never changed anymore than the Kiss universe has changed. What’s changed is these two worlds colliding. So, given the fact that we got to make a full-length feature, means that everything got a chance to be fully developed and taken to a degree that you certainly can’t do in a half hour. The idea of two iconic entities kind of sharing the same space, makes for something very exciting and combustable.
Q: What’s the best part about doing voiceover work as opposed to being on stage and performing?
Stanley: Well, you’re putting a voice to an animated character, even if it’s you, and there’s something very different about that because suddenly I found my voice being very different because it’s an animated piece as opposed to dramatic real life feature, so the character has more of a cartoon voice to it than perhaps mine.
Tommy Thayer: Yeah, there’s a slightly different kind of energy to it. It’s a little more high energy actually, where you push it more and the pace, you have to keep it exciting but it’s something we enjoyed doing. We did it all together, sat down with the script with the four of us in front of a mic one afternoon. We did most of it that way.
Q: [Directed to Paul Stanley] I’m just curious, will you be doing anymore art shows?
Stanley: I will. I took some time off because (everyone should have this problem) the art became too big that when I originally when I started painting, I painted as a way to let off steam, and it became so popular that I was working with deadlines again, and I didn’t want it to get ruined for me. So I had to stop for awhile and I’m painting again and it’s exciting. I found myself almost getting on a treadmill like a hamster wheel, you know? I’m fortunate enough that I don’t need the money. The art is something important to me that I hold dear and to kind of pollute it, didn’t feel right. I just took a break and wanted to stay true to myself.
Chris Salce: So after this film, what’s next for Kiss?
Stanley: Kiss meets the Flinstones [laughs] no, um…who knows? That’s the beauty of Kiss is that we’re not a rock band in the sense that rock is what we’re limited to. The world is full of so many opportunities and so many options that it’s hard to see what’s next. There’s always something else exciting.
Thayer: In the immediate future, we are going off to Australia and New Zealand this fall on tour. We’ve been doing a lot of international touring this year. We’ve been to Japan and South America, we just finished Europe a couple weeks ago and we got the Kiss Cruise 5 at the end of October, which is something we love doing and I know our most dedicated fans love being there too. After that, next year, sky’s the limit.
Stanley: There’s been a few. I’ve got a cracked rib on stage, which wasn’t very fun and then I had to keep doing the shows. I got hit in the face with a bottle, so I have a nice little scar and a few tours ago, one of the sparklers went off and burnt my eye.
Thayer: Luckily, we have great professional people working pyro wise, which is something Kiss is famous for also but we never had any major problems because it’s something that’s been done so professionally but maybe it was done a bit differently in the old days before I was here [smirks].
Q: What do you think of artists today that take off a day of their tour ’cause of fatigue but then you have people like Dave Grohl who breaks his leg and has his cast getting done on stage. Can you comment on that?
Stanley: In order to respect and covet the success you have, you have to earn it. And the difference between somebody who comes through it fairly easily and somebody who works their way up the ladder, makes a difference in how tough you are and what you give. We do shows with the flu, we do shows regardless. When somebody has a booboo on their foot and they need to take a week off, that’s because they didn’t come up the right way.
Scooby-Doo! And Kiss: Rock and Roll Mystery is now available. If you didn’t catch my interview with Gene Simmons and Eric Singer, click here.