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CopyCathouse with KISSNATION, 5/20/05



Metal Sludge’s CopyCathouse is back again! This time we’re talking to KISSNATION, highly regarded as New York City’s ultimate KISS tribute. They’ve played all over the East Coast, at KISS conventions, and on televsion. But now their career reaches new heights as they do Metal Sludge’s CopyCathouse!

Speaking for KISSNATION today is their own Gene Simmons (a.k.a. Carlos Espada). He sent us a bunch of pictures of himself with Gene, so that’s always great for shits and giggles. So enough of our yammering, let’s learn all there is to know about KISSNATION!

KISSNATION1. Here is your chance to plug your band, your life, your missing bass, etc.

Born and bred on the same NYC streets as KISS, KISSNATION shares the same fiery passion to put on the greatest Rock and Roll show possible.

Straight from the boroughs of The Big Apple, and setting themselves apart from other KISS bands, the members of KISSNATION re-create the "Dynasty/Unmasked" look of KISS but are able to don the "Klassic ALIVE I", LOVE GUN or, "Creatures of the Night" costumes if called upon.

Our set list is a range from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, becoming a triple threat. With LIVE concerts, interviews, private parties, conventions and Official KISS related promotional events.

2. You were interviewed by the Demon Gene Simmons himself. How was that experience and how did it come about? Also, what question would you ask Gene, if given the chance to turn the tables on him?

(Tommy Thayer really deserves the credit for a lot of what KISSNATION was able to do with KISS. So thanks T-Bone).

Simmons & I did tons of media together (CNBC’s POWER LUNCH, Fox News, VH1, Hustler magazine, promoting a line of KISS toys I worked on, etc.).

Anytime I get to talk with him it always makes for a great story.

What can you say about Gene Simmons? He pulls no punches. People get upset with him for being a great business man.

He’s up front and honest while most people just hide what they’re really thinking with fluff. I’d rather deal with someone like Simmons who’s blunt & to the point.

No time wasted and you know where you stand.

KISSNATION3. The band KISS was formed in 1973. You were born in 1973. Do you feel there is some connection here that you were both "invented" in the same time frame right in New York?

Yes, because Gene Simmons is my father! Just kidding. I did grow up in Harlem in New York City, which is not too far from where Simmons was a school teacher. So who knows?maybe he is my father!

I always felt a connection with KISS, maybe the NYC thing has something to do with it. I guess this makes me the perfect KISS baby?

4. When did you start playing your instrument, and have you ever done any original projects?

I’ve been playing for more then 11 years now, all because of Gene Simmons.

I have played in a few original acts, including my favorite, a band by the name of TAJ. The original stuff is great and I’m working on doing it again, but I dig playing The Demon.

5. Pick your Poison…

Mark St. John or Bruce Kulick = Bruce Kulick. Mark St John is like the mysterious Big Foot! Has anyone ever actually seen him on stage!?!?
Lick it Up or Crazy Nights = Lick it Up. One of the best non make-up albums. Vinnie is a great song writer
Alice Cooper or Ozzy Osbourne = Damn? that?s a tough one! I’d have to say Ozzy because I’ve been jamming to him lately.
Gene 1975 or Gene 2005 = The Demon of 75. No one could do what he did on stage.
Breathing fire or Spitting blood = Spitting blood is always great. I love watching people gag when I start to vomit.

KISSNATION6. What is your favorite and least favorite KISS songs to play live and why?

I love playing the whole set. KISSNATION plays all eras of KISS tunes. We play everything from Tears Are Falling, to Parasite, to God Gave R&R to You, etc. It helps to keep it fresh and it keeps people coming back to see what new tunes we add to our set list.

Playing everything from one era will choke you.

I never understood why most KISS Tribute bands do that.

7. Name 5 other KISS cover/tribute bands that you’ve had the pleasure of seeing live. Then give them a rating 1-10 and critique their best and worst qualities?

Hmm?are you trying to get me killed? LOL

I’ll name the ones I’ve seen, but it would be unfair to rate them. Every band gives it their all.

New York’s KISS ARMY
New York’s Dressed To Kill
KISSNATION Black Diamond Girls
Shock Me
Hotter Than Hell

8. What’s the highest guarantee KISSNATION has received for a single gig?

Not enough! Have you seen our costumes!?!? LOL

But for the right price, we’ll play your living room.

9. Name 3 of your favorite artists, (besides KISS) and tell us why you like them?

This is a funny, because I love all types of music

Little Richard- He invented what we now know as Rock & Roll. I don’t care who you are, that man’s music makes you want to dance.
Prince- He’s the man! An amazing performer, great songwriter, and all around genius.
Anthrax- They were responsible for New York City Hardcore.

KISSNATION10. Has any member, Ex. member, hired gun, old or new from the band KISS ever attended one of your shows? Or better yet, got up and jammed with KISSNATION?

Yes, at a Puerto Rico KISS Expo we played with Eric Singer for two songs. The best part about it was that he asked us to jam.

I dig Eric. He’s down to earth and we had a great time in Puerto Rico.

Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Tommy Thayer and Doc McGee attended a KISSNATION show at the Whiskey A Go Go in California.

It was a great honor to play in front of them. I can tell you this much, nothing makes you step up your game like having the people you pay tribute to looking on in the audience.

Voila! We’ve never interviewed the real Gene Simmons, but that was close! Sort of.

For more information about the ongoing antics of KISSNATION, check out their Web site at www.kissnation.com. Tell ‘em Gene sent you!

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