KISS releases Monster book at The Viper Room in Hollywood [News]
Hollywood, CA – Okay, so we know that KISS isn’t hip-hop but when you get invited to a press junket for a five-foot photo album from some of the greatest performers of all time, you just do it. Your girls Team Heartbreak just so happened to be in Los Angeles during the release of KISS’ latest merchandising endeavor, a book that has been called “more of a coffee table than a coffee table book,” so we headed to the Viper Room to check it out.
Monster is a book for true die-hard KISS fans that showcases the career of the band from beginning to present day through some amazing photographs. This book is worth $4,250 and has a limited 1000 copies being printed from the same printing press in Italy used by the Vatican – each one is hand-bound, weighs 50 pounds and actually quite a sight to be seen. Every copy ordered has the option of a custom cover and is a true collectors piece for only serious KISS fans.
For KISS this book is about the fans, a montage of experiences that they claim could only have come from having amazing fans and followers throughout their entire career. “It’s as much about them as it is about us,” Gene Simmons explains: “In spite of all the naysayers and the people who said we would never make it past our first year, we’re on our 40th and we haven’t only survived, we’ve thrived.” The boys are still touring to this day, while proudly embarking on a North American tour with Mötley Crüe this year and there really is no end in sight. They are still as live and bad-ass as ever before.
Most of the videos and photos seen in the mainstream and on network TV are from the extensive catalogue of footage owned by the band themselves. The book shows a small fragment of the photos, and when HipHopCanada asks what the process was is choosing the photos that would eventually make the book, Tommy Thayer tells us, ” I think we wanted to find the most dramatic photos that we could find. The ones that really captured the essence of KISS live on stage and the excitement, not only with the band on stage but with the KISS Army and the fans. There’s a lot of photos that have pictures of our fans in there too and that’s a very important element”.
“Sometimes people lose sight of the fact, they see all the fun and the tours and the big shows and all that but it really begins with a song,” Gene Simmons adds. “It was [about that] back almost 40 years ago and that’s what it’s about today. This Monster book is a celebration of the songs that became the stage show that became the legend that is KISS and don’t kid yourself, we are legends.”
As well as the book, KISS has also created Monster the album which they say out of all of the albums they have released is possibly the one they are most proud of, trying “not just to make a great KISS album but a great rock album, period.” The whole album was done in analog – this means sacrificing digital perfection in order to keep their passion in tact, spending some of the best months of their careers on Monster. Produced entirely by Paul Stanley with all songs written by the four – with no outside writers or production – the band says “this album is just rock and roll pure and simple, from start to finish”.
So who are some of the artists and bands that KISS gives props to? “I think that what we think of specific bands is irrelevant because the public ultimately decides, as they did with us” says Paul Stanley. “The only person out there who is really spectacular and really making a statement and will stand the test of time as an artist is [Lady] Gaga. Gaga leads the parade and everybody is following her. Outside of that Dave Grohl – from Nirvana forward he’s really set the bar. Foo Fighters are terrific. Then there’s a lot of bands who look like the delivery boys from Domino’s. But if that’s what turns you on, God bless you.”
Monster is one of the largest books ever mass-produced – it’s an epic pictorial of their career in a way that only KISS can do it. It’s extreme, flashy, and bigger and better than anyone else at the moment, so if you’re a fan and you’re ballin’, pick up this Monster for a couple stacks then get yourself a bigger bookshelf.
Written by @KassKills for HipHopCanada
Photography by @AmaliaJude for HipHopCanada