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Las Vegas Magazine: Q&A with Ace Frehley

Ace Frehley’s public profile may be at its highest since before he left KISS in the early ’80s. His 2014 album Space Invader cracked the top 10 on the Billboard 200, a heavy-rotation promo campaign for HBO’s Entourage used his 1978 solo track “New York Groove,” and an all-covers all-star album titled Origins Vol. 1 is highly anticipated among fans old and recent. Things have never been better for the nine-years-sober, clearheaded and down-to-Earth guitar hero, save for the lack of spare time to finish the follow-up to his 2011 autobiography No Regrets. He spoke recently to Las Vegas Magazine's Matt Kelemen.

How has the past week been, since you announced the upcoming release of your covers album?
Well, it’s been a flurry of excitement, you know? The biggest news is that Paul Stanley is singing on the record. All the KISS sites are buzzing over that news, and I think everybody’s going to love “Fire and Water” when the record comes out April 15th. All the other songs on there are just as strong. I’m really thrilled with the way the album came out, and Warren Huart, who mixed Space Invader, did a great job mixing this album. It’s going to be a very special record, I think.

I imagine your life has been a rollercoaster ride since the news dropped.
Yeah, I did a photo session Friday. That took five hours, a couple of thousand photographs. So I’ve been weeding through those this week and trying to get the best ones. I’ve been really busy, but I’m really excited about hitting the road. The tour kicks off in Houston on the 26th.

How much of the material from the covers album are you going to play on your upcoming tour?
We’re just going to do one of two songs, because nobody’s heard them. The only song people have heard is “White Room” and that’s one song I really can’t do live because I gotta play wah-wah on that and I can’t have pedals on the floor. I trip over them (laughs).

I didn’t expect you to play “White Room.” Maybe the Thin Lizzy song (“Emerald”) or “Cold Gin,” which might give Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready an opportunity to guest with you.
Yeah, that was fun. He did a great solo.

Did you record any of the songs in in Vegas?
This time around, no. I recorded some tracks for Space Invader there. I’m trying to remember the name of my friend’s studio.

There’s a few around here. People record here on the down-low a lot. Which tracks did you enjoy recording the most?
I had a lot of fun recording. Having celebrity guests was really the most fun. I had Slash playing on “Emerald,” Lita Ford on “Wild Thing.” Paul Stanley, he’s so busy I didn’t really have a chance to be in the studio with Paul. He recorded it in his studio with his engineer and sent us the vocal. I’m thrilled with the way that song came out. What else … John 5 (a guitarist who’s played with Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie) was a pleasure to work with. I’ve known John forever, and he did some great soling on “Cold Gin” and “Parasite.”

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