KISS’s Gene Simmons Talks 1982’s ‘Creatures of the Night’ – Ace Frehley – Vinnie Vincent – 2022

In a brand new interview with Guitar World, Kiss co-founder Gene Simmons talked about the band’s 1982 album, Creatures of the Night.

You can read the entire interview @ this location. An excerpt from the conversation has been provided.

An audio version of this story is available via our full in bloom YouTube channel @ this location.


“By the time Creatures happened, Ace was already gone,” recalls Simmons. “Ace doesn’t appear on a single song on Creatures of the Night. His only appearance was in the promotional shots, and he did us a favor by appearing in the I Love it Loud music video. But even that was a mistake because he clearly didn’t know the song and had to fake his way through the entire thing. So, not only were we feeling very unsure of what we were doing, we didn’t even have a lead guitarist.”

“We had to find a workaround for the Ace issue,” recalls Simmons. “And that wasn’t easy because, for all his issues, Ace was a unique player. We held open auditions out in L.A., and everyone from Richie Sambora to Slash to Doug Aldrich to Punky Meadows came down. None of them were a fit, but we couldn’t wait around for the right person.

“So, we went ahead and recorded Creatures with session players. Guys like Steve Farris, Robben Ford, and a guitarist who at the time was called Vincent Cusano.”

On if he thought Vinnie Vincent’s contributions on Creatures of the Night were overstated:

“I do feel Vinnie’s contributions are overstated,” asserts Simmons. “I feel they’re overstated, and I’ll tell you why: to begin with, that’s not even Vinnie playing on the entire record. He played on a few tracks in total. And Vinnie will often talk about his songwriting on Creatures, and yes, he helped with several, but the contributions of Adam Mitchell are there, too. But even that was an issue because we were writing at Adam’s house, and Vinnie cornered me and said, ‘Hey, forget about this Adam guy. I should be writing the songs. We don’t need him.’”

“One of the first things we came up with was I Love It Loud. I was living with Diana Ross, and I was at her Beverly Hills house one day, and I remembered coming up an early version of that song.”

“It was a simple thing – I was referencing the melody of The Who’s My Generation, and I came up with the chords and the melody. And I remember calling Vinnie, getting him involved, and he actually wrote most of the lyrics.”

“I remember that Vinnie brought in Killer.” recounts Simmons. “We liked it, but he fought tooth and nail over the solo. Vinnie wanted to make every solo this massive thing. But Paul and I would bring him specific solos; we gave them to him and asked him to play them verbatim, but he refused.

“He didn’t want to do that, but honestly, everything that Vinnie did sounded like Yngwie Malmsteen on crack. You know, the kind of stuff that the rest of us normal human beings hate. It was ridiculous, and it certainly wasn’t Kiss.”

“It got to the point where we had to put our foot down,” Simmons continues. “We said, ‘Look, you’re going to play the notes exactly as we tell you to.’ And that’s how the solo for I Love It Loud came together. We didn’t need to be ripping apart the puzzle pieces of his solos and trying to splice them together, and that’s what was happening.

“We didn’t feel we needed to be in a situation where we were fighting with Vinnie Vincent over how the songs should sound. He wasn’t a member of Kiss – to remind everyone, Vinnie Vincent was never an official, legal member of Kiss. To this day, Vinnie Vincent has never signed a contract with Kiss.”

Reflecting on the time period, Simmons said:

“When I look back, despite his demons, in some ways, Ace was right,” admits Simmons. “We did need to make a rock record. And he had said that all along; Ace had said that The Elder was not the record that Kiss should make, and he was right. But the thing is, we had people around us telling us it was a good idea, and things didn’t go according to plan. We got off track. That happens in bands, and Kiss is no exception. So, where Ace was wrong was, he didn’t stick with the band.”

You can read the entire interview @ this location.

Gene Simmons is currently promoting KISS’s Creatures of the Night boxset. Check our previous post for more info @ this location.