Gene Simmons vs. Rob Zombie: Which Rocker Is Best Suited for Horror?

Gene Simmons photo by Tony Nelson/Minneapolis City Pages / Rob Zombie photo by Jim Louvau/Phoenix New Times
Gene Simmons and Rob Zombie
Deadline reported last week that Gene Simmons, venerable Kiss bassist and shrewd purveyor of Kiss-branded merchandise, has partnered with WWE Studios to found Erebus Pictures, under whose aegis Simmons intends to finance and produce what a press release un-improvably describes as "elevated horror movies." ("Erebus," naturally, is the name of the Greek primordial deity of darkness.) The first of these films, according to the Deadline report, "follows a team of highly trained operatives who find themselves trapped inside an isolated military compound after its artificial intelligence is suddenly shut down," which does sound like a spot of bother. The second Erebus picture is set to begin production toward the end of the year.

Simmons, of course, is not the first to make the sensible leap from music to seize upon horror. It was a little more than a decade ago now, in the spring of 2003, that a certain Robert Bartleh Cummings — known to rock arenas globally as Rob Zombie — made his directorial debut with House of 1000 Corpses, his lurid, ludicrous ode to the vulgarity of the Seventies slasher. Over the twelve years since, much to the surprise of critics, Zombie's second career has proven remarkably fruitful, yielding gains in everything from a John Carpenter remake to a bizarre riff on Ken Russell. That's an encouraging precedent. But it leads us to speculate: Can Gene Simmons live up to the high standard set by Zombie? Herein we put them to the test.

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Ace Frehley Gives Us a Ride Around His Old Bronx Stomping Grounds

Categories: Kiss

All photos Rob Menzer
Just a swangin': Ace Frehley
Two Naked Cowboys, one Spanish-speaking SpongeBob, a headless Hello Kitty, and an ersatz version of Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side" all vie for attention on a teeming, muggy, late-summer Times Square afternoon. Unbeknownst to the masses, though, the coolest cartoon character of all is dining on salmon sushi on the second floor of nearby Bluefin restaurant. Ace Frehley, Kiss's onetime Spaceman, is still spacey after all these years: to wit, his just-released solo record, entitled Space Invader. It's the 63-year-old guitar icon's fifth solo outing since his self-titled effort back in 1978.

Frehley, in sunglasses and a striped button-down shirt, flashes back to that moment before the coordinated September 18, 1978, release of all four Kiss solo efforts. "We all had a big meeting sitting around the table prior to going our separate ways for those records, and the others were a little cynical to me, kind of hinting, 'Hey, if you need any help, we're here if you need us.' As if I did need help, you know?" remembers Frehley with a slight hint of aggro. "It kind of just put fuel on the fire for me to work twice as hard on my solo record. We all know what happened."

See also: Ace Frehley's Space Invader Listening Party

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That Long-Lost Ace Frehley Record We Told You About Sold For a Bunch

Categories: Kiss

Before he emerged a Spaceman in KISS, guitarist Ace Frehley was in a psyche band called Molimo that devoted KISS nerds had long talked about, but no one had actually heard. That is, until last week.

See also: EXCLUSIVE: Listen to Ace Frehley's Long-Lost Pre-KISS Acetate Demo Found in a Barn

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EXCLUSIVE: Listen to Ace Frehley's Long-Lost Pre-KISS Acetate Demo Found in a Barn

Categories: Kiss

Chris Reisman
The Molimo acetate, a KISS Army Holy Grail!
With KISS now safely enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, one would assume every piece of the band's legacy would have been properly documented. Shockingly, that wasn't the case. That is..until now.

Record collector Chris Reisman was working his way through an extensive vinyl collection in a barn in upstate New York when, in the last bit of excavating, he found a box full of decades-old acetates and demos. Among them, KISS guitarist Ace Frehley's earliest known major label recordings as part of shelved psychadelic/prog-rock outfit Molimo.

See also: The Oral History of NYC's Metal/Hardcore Crossover

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Paul Stanley On Rock and Rolling All Night and Partying Every Day

Categories: Interviews, Kiss

KISS PC Brian Lowe 2.jpg
Brian Lowe
Talking to Paul Stanley of Kiss on the phone is one thing. Talking to him in person in full Starchild regalia -- as we did the other day while the band was in New York -- is something else entirely. For one thing, he's huuuuge. It's not just the eight-inch boots; his hair is giant, too. Perched on a stool with his arms folded and muscles bulging, he looks youthful. (The makeup helps.) But he talks with the sageness you'd expect from a 60-year-old who's been a rock star for almost four decades.

This week Kiss released their 20th studio album, Monster. Though the band is based in L.A., they were in NY promoting the record on SiriusXM. We spoke with him about the importance of not showing up to work drunk, and other topics.

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Gene Simmons Dubs Himself The Ultimate Judge Of Authenticity In Pop Music

What authentic rock and roll looks like.
Kiss bass player/reality-TV star/political gadfly Gene Simmons let his legendary tongue loose earlier this week during a press conference announcing his band's summer tour with Mötley Crüe. The two-headed bill, which will be at the PNC Bank Arts Center on September 21 and Jones Beach on September 23, will apparently be a chance for people starved of such to hear "real music":

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Neil Diamond (3) Matches Wits With Gene Simmons (14) In The Latest SOTC March Madness Matchup

Categories: Kiss, Neil Diamond

The Round of 64 for Sound of the City's own version of March Madness—in which you, the Sound of the City voting public, help determine the quintessential New York musician—continues.We continue matching up the Queens combatants with a face-off between the No. 3 seed, Neil Diamond, and KISS loudmouth Gene Simmons. Check out the arguments in favor of each, then cast your ballot at the Sound of the City Facebook page.

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Late-Night Metal Mania: Kiss Vs. Anvil!

Kiss on Letterman. Anvil on Conan. Quite a night for headbanging. We've got a strong Anvil bias, of course, and the moment when he snarls "HEAVY METAL! FIGHT!" and then flashes the goofiest grin I've ever seen on television is really very sweet. But watch the Kiss thing too, if only for the fantastic visual joke of Dave walking out at the end, into the pluming smoke, to shake hands with the boys. He looks delighted.