KISS Co-Producer Richie Wise - "Ace And Peter Had No Focus; They Were Hired Hands As Far As I Was Concerned"

April 21, 2013, 4 years ago

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In conjunction with the DUST remastered recordings, KISSFAQ interviewed former Dust vocalist/guitarist Richie Wise. Wise is also known as co-producer on KISS' first two albums, the self-titled debut and Hotter Than Hell, both released in 1974. In addition to Dust, Wise discussed a variety of KISS-related topics.

Following is an excerpt from Wise's interview with KissFAQ's Tim McPhate:

KF: In this initial period, I am curious if you noticed a divide in terms of focus with Gene and Paul versus Ace and Peter?

RW: "Ace and Peter had no focus. They were hired hands as far as I was concerned. I knew they auditioned for the band and the band was Gene and Paul. Period. Gene and Paul were the guys. Ace was a guitarist who I understood exactly what he was doing. And he listened to Page and Clapton and all those guitarists that I listened to, so I understood him well."

"Peter was, at best, a poppy adequate drummer. But he was solid. And he really didn't get in the way and laid down the proper fundamental beat that [was needed]. Because I thought Gene was a really good bass player. I know he wasn't a traditional bass player playing with his fingers, he was more of a 'guitar player bass player.' But he played with a lot of melodic sense, like McCartney in a way."

KF: I'm glad you mentioned that. I think Gene's musicianship gets overlooked given he is in KISS. And on those early KISS albums, he came up with some inventive melodic bass lines that complemented KISS' songs perfectly.

RW: "Absolutely correct. And that came right out of him. He was very good. I thought he was a very musical bass player [and] an excellent singer. Paul was excellent behind the mic. They had, right out of the box, good technique. They worked well together. I worked well with them. The first album was six days, and then some mixing, I think a total of 13 days. It went very well. And I think it was very organic and real. I worked with Ace to make sure the guitar solos were right. I worked with the guys on the arrangements to make sure that the arrangements went down in a tight fashion so that there wouldn't be too much excess on the record."

Check out the complete interview here.

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