Rock superstars KISS release their new album Sonic Boom on October 6, 2009. Featuring 11 brand new KISS anthems, Sonic Boom is an emphatic statement from one of rock's most iconic bands. Says guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley: "Sonic Boom is the perfect title for what we're creating. It's earth-shaking and deafening!" Adds bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons: "Sonic Boom is our confessional: when you look in the mirror you have to come to terms with yourself. Whoever you are, be the best that you can be. In that sense, KISS is born again."
Since Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons founded KISS in New York City in 1972, the band has sold over 80 million albums worldwide. Sonic Boom is the 19th original studio album of the band's 35-year recording career. It is also the first KISS studio album to feature guitarist Tommy Thayer alongside Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons and drummer Eric Singer. Simmons states: "It's a gift from heaven to have Eric and Tommy in the band, who are proud and honored to put on the warpaint and go out there and play their hearts out for the fans. It feels like the same bond we had when we first started: all for one and one for all." According to Paul Stanley, who produced Sonic Boom, "KISS has never been better. I knew we were capable of making something very, very special, something defining in terms of the KISS legacy. This isn't 'new KISS' - this is classic KISS!"
Sonic Boom was written and recorded in just four months. As Simmons explains, "KISS was touring the stadiums of South America in April 2009, and the fans were saying, 'Where's the new record?' We knew it was time. On off days we'd get together in Tommy's room, tossing licks back and forth, and it happened so fast. In May we were in LA writing and rehearsing, by June we were in the studio recording the songs, and by mid-July we were done."
Sonic Boom was recorded in Los Angeles at Conway Studios, where the band used rare, vintage two-inch analogue tape. "We wanted to do it the old-fashioned way," Stanley says. "We all agreed that the albums we loved most, the ones we grew up listening to - Zeppelin, The Beatles, the Stones, The Who - were not perfect and were not made under a microscope. They were about capturing a feel." Simmons comments: "There were no more than two or three takes per song - some are literally first takes. Just plug into a g**d*** Marshall and play! And we issued orders to the KISS Army's sharpshooters to kill anything that resembles piano players, trumpets, horns, outside songwriters - anything that wasn't intrinsically KISS. This album is written from the heart. The mindset was simply: Do what you do because that's what you love doing."
"This was probably the most enjoyable time we've ever had making an album," Stanley continues. "Not that it wasn't challenging - but it was effortless. Everybody worked as a team." In the classic KISS tradition, all four band members sing lead vocals on Sonic Boom: Tommy Thayer taking the lead on When Lightning Strikes, Eric Singer on All For The Glory. "They're both terrific singers," Stanley says. "KISS has always been about four characters, four personalities. And the stronger each member is, the stronger the band is." Simmons elaborates: "I'm not saying we're The Beatles but it harkens back to that ideal. The Beatles were the role model for KISS - everybody gets their turn under the spotlight."
Sonic Boom's opening track, Modern Day Delilah, sets the tone for the album. "It's relentless and has an unmistakable KISS stamp on it," Stanley confirms. "It's very much a declaration of not only being alive and well but being lethal. There isn't a filler track on this entire album. From track 1 to track 11, they're all great tunes." As Tommy Thayer says: "We all feel it's one of the best things KISS has ever done - from start to finish, it's balls-to-the-wall, kick-ass rock 'n' roll. Right now, the vibe in this band is amazing. There's a great camaraderie - an us-against-the-world feeling." "This is the greatest rock 'n' roll band in the world," adds Eric Singer. "KISS has always set the bar high, and with Sonic Boom we made it."
35 years after KISS released their classic debut album, Sonic Boom proves that this legendary band is still a genuine creative force. "It's astonishing that something that was born on the streets of New York is iconic worldwide and as relevant today as ever," Paul Stanley reflects. "You only have to look at the audiences that we're drawing to see that there is a legend of KISS that brings in new fans. KISS is something unique and timeless. There isn't anything like KISS - there is only KISS."
"Listen closely to how we introduce ourselves," Gene Simmons says. "You wanted the best, you got the best, the hottest band in the world, KISS! Some of it is chest-thumping: yeah, we're the biggest, we're the baddest! But it all begins with 'You', the fan. The fans are the boss. The love that we have for them goes beyond words. We all dare to dream. Every kid dreams he's Superman flying through the air. Now imagine that your wildest dream not only comes true but surpasses any dream you ever had. That's KISS."
Includes Sonic Boom cd, KISS Klassics cd and a live DVD shot in Argentina during the band's recent, record-breaking KISS ALIVE 35 South American tour.