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Kiss Army Argentina Exclusive Interview with Mitch Weissman: Eric Carr was always there for you

if you needed him


Kiss Army Argentina: Mitch, first of all, thanks a lot for this interview with KISS Army Argentina. Lets get started It must have surely been a pleasure and a great satisfaction for you to finally see Troubles inside you made real in Unfinished Business Mitch Weissman: It was a surprise to find the track in the first place and make it into a good song. Kiss Army Argentina: The story on the creation of Troubles Inside You is great. It all started at Gene Simmons house, right? How and when did this happen? Please tell us. Mitch Weissman: Yes, back then in the mid 80's I used to go to Gene's apartment off 5th Ave in NYC to work on demos with him. In this case, without him. I had the keys to his place and would work there myself on different ideas when he would be out of town, usually on the road with KISS. This one day when I got to the "studio." I noticed this cassette with the title "Eric's ideas." I put in into the 4 track and discovered several tracks with just guitars and drums on them. The one that struck me was this one with slide guitars. After listening to it a couple of times, I picked up the microphone and just started singing some lyrics that just came into my head. Within an hour I had completed the song, adding bass and backing vocals. Eric added vocals later to the backgrounds. It just came to me that fast and it was done. Eric's original demo just inspired me. Kiss Army Argentina: Many fans remember your collaboration with Gene Simmons for Animalize, in songs such as Murder in High Heels and While the City Sleeps, but you had already participated in Genes solo album in 1978; how did that happen? Mitch Weissman: I was doing a show back then called "Beatlemania" out in Los Angeles. I was the original Paul McCartney in that production. We had met Gene, Paul, and Peter briefly at one of our rehearsals in

-2NYC (and theirs) for a couple of days and had hit it off. Gene says that when he wanted Beatle-esque vocals for his songs on his solo album, he originally thought of John and Paul. In his words, "Since I couldn't get them, I got the next best thing, those guys from Beatlemania!" I went down to the studio one night and there was Rick Nielsen, Joe Perry and Janis Ian. All doing bits for the album. At one point, Rick and I played Ping Pong with his Cheap Trick picks...!! Kiss Army Argentina: Going back to Animalize, are there many unfinished songs from those days? Mitch Weissman: I had written the Keel title "Easier Said Then Done" for that album, but it ended up not being used. There are more but I don't know where they are anymore, having moved around a bit. A few other ideas are on tape somewhere in storage. Kiss Army Argentina: We know you co-wrote songs with Gene and Eric; did you ever have the chance to do it with Paul? Mitch Weissman: Yes, on Animalize. The song is "Get All You Can Take." Kiss Army Argentina: Do you keep in touch with any current/former KISS member? Mitch Weissman: I ran into Gene out here at the Radical Publications new offices party in 2009. Barry Levine invited me. Gene and I had a bit of a reunion and hit it off. About 2 weeks later, I was invited up to his place and actually watched him do some set ups for "Family Jewels." It was the same property I used to stay at in the 90's, only it was completely different at the time. We stay in touch by email from although he is bit busy! Bruce and I play phone tag from time to time and email, too. I have not spoken to Paul for years, although I always ask Gene to say hi for me. Kiss Army Argentina: Lets get back to Troubles Inside You. Please tell us about the updating process of the song, and how you became involved with it. Mitch Weissman: As I said, I did what I did back then at Genes. 4 track mixes, bounce to 2 track, etc. I gave the tape to Loretta, Eric's sister before I left for Los Angeles in 2003. I think I also left her some tracks with Gene and I using Eric's real "Lick It Up" drum tracks in the mix, and song of mine, too, using another Erics drum track from the Animalize album. In my opinion, there is a really great pop song called "What You See Is What You Get" written by myself with a few words from Gene added. He is singing lead vocals with him and I on backgrounds, Eric on "drums", me on bass and guitars. Really cool and I can't find the demo...! Kiss Army Argentina: Did you befriend Eric? Can you tell us an anecdote or story that involves the two of you? Mitch Weissman: Eric and I became friendlier as the years went by. We really didn't socialize that much. One episode comes to mind that always left a soft spot in my memory... I used to run these jam nights at New York's China Club in the late 80's. All kinds of people would sit in, the famous and not so famous, and jam. Some formed their own groups to play occasionally. Paul Stanley put together one such group consisting of Tony Bruno of Saraya, his and my friend Bobby Held on bass, a keyboardist I don't remember and Eric on drums. A set of cover songs, just for fun. Eric had asked me for a favor. He had been playing all these years in Kiss with a rather large drum setup as we all know, and to be comfortable, could I rent him the same kind of kit for the night? Not knowing how the hell we'd fit them and every one else up there on stage, I said "Sure! No problem!"

-3The night of their set, the rental guy shows up and delivers the drums and cases in a pile to the center of the stage. He unpacks, starts setting up and Eric arrives to oversee the setup and watch how it's done. It had been that long since he had to set up his Kiss size kit. Well, the drum tech disappears at some point and I'll never forget looking over at the stage and seeing Eric alone, by himself sitting on his drum stool amidst a pile of drums and hardware with a look of "Now what the hell do I do??". After a few minutes of sitting there, he started to assemble the kit out of sheer will, almost completing it before the tech returns to finish it up with him. I'll never forget him laughing the whole time doing it. He later told me, "Mitch, next time I come in, I think I'll be able to play on anything after this! Thanks for getting me over the fear factor!" I never told him I called the drum tech away to see him have to figure it out as a joke...! The joke was on me. He did it himself! Kiss Army Argentina: Which is in your opinion the best of Erics legacy? Mitch Weissman: To me, his legacy will be his drumming, the type of caring person he was, his unassuming way he carried himself. His ability to poke fun at himself...and Gene, Paul and Bruce. And his drum tech at the all night video shoot for either "X in Sex" or "Uh All Night" (I can't remember.) The tech had fallen asleep in the green room against the wall in a chair. Eric had taken pistachio nut shells and stuck them all over his head in the curls of his hair and taken pictures. I was standing there trying not to laugh when the guy woke up and chased Eric and I down the hall! Kiss Army Argentina: What are your expectations regarding the release of this album that will help to keep Erics memory alive? Mitch Weissman: I think it will make the fans happy to have him back again, to hear the musical ideas he had, the friends who made this project happen and remind us of his legacy as not just the drummer in Kiss, but in rock as well. Kiss Army Argentina: What are you currently up to? What are your plans for the future? Mitch Weissman: I work in Los Angeles, in Hollywood, at Sam Ash Music, on Sunset Blvd in the guitar department. Come in and get something! (Shameless plug. See, Bruce, I'm learning!!) I also still do the occasional Beatle gig as well. Loved doing those gigs in Argentina in the late 90s too. Beautiful women you have down there...! Kiss Army Argentina: Finally, could you please leave a few words on Eric and a message for KISS Army Argentina? Mitch Weissman: Funny, warm, there for you if you needed him. One of rocks great drummers. I think of him occasionally and he always makes me smile. Kiss Army Argentina: Mitch, once again, thanks a lot for your time. Mitch Weissman: Thanks for having me. Come and visit me in California! Best regards to the entire KISS Army Argentina!

Interview: MARCELO GARCIA and DIEGO FERREYRA (Kiss Army Argentina) Translation: Mariana MIA Abello (Kiss Army Argentina) October 2011