Star Scene: Ace Frehley

Invading Down Under

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Ace Frehley’s scene is “to drive fast cars and shoot guns”. Frehley laughs. He really needs no introduction. Frehley is recognised as one of the most influential guitar players of the last four decades. Through his ‘Spaceman’ years with KISS and beyond, Frehley’s impact on popular music is immeasurable. An impact that keeps intensifying as Frehley continues making music and playing sell out shows worldwide.

Frehley, who puts the ACE in spACE, is currently touring Australia and New Zealand, playing KISS and solo classics as well as promoting his 2014 solo release, Space Invader.

Space Invader,” Frehley starts, “is the first album I’ve done which has a theme to it; the space theme. There are several songs on the album which revolve around that. I think in that way it’s different. We came up with the title before we came up with the song, Space Invader. It’s usually the other way round, usually you write the song and then decide to make it the title of the track. I came up with the title before I wrote the song. Luckily the song came out good”.

Frehley continues: “I started on the space theme and the album took off. My fiancée, Rachel Gordon, co-wrote two songs; she’s a great lyricist and really helped in the process. The two I co-wrote with Rachel, I was really happy with the way they turned out, Change and Immortal Pleasures”.

Irrespective of fame and success, Frehley doesn’t take himself too seriously. He states: “My sound in food form would be pizza and coke because it’s accessible to the masses. It’s something that anyone who is into rock n roll will gravitate towards. I try not to make my music too self-indulgent. Often I try to write songs that I think my fans are going to like rather than go off on tangents and not think about the repercussions of what I’m doing are going to be. I keep that in mind during the writing process. It’s worked out good for me over the years. A lot of lyrics are autobiographical in some way shape or form it has taken place. But I wouldn’t take the lyrics too seriously”. (laughs)

Lightheartedness is a key dynamic to Frehley’s success. “I’m enjoying touring these days. I’m not crazy about living out of a suitcase and hopping on planes every other day, but performing live is really rewarding and I’m having a lot of fun doing it. My new touring line-up: Chris Wyse, Scot Coogan, Richie Scarlet, is probably the best group I’ve assembled to date. I remember last time we were in Australia, in 2010, all the shows went really well. We didn’t go to New Zealand last time so this time we’re going to go to New Zealand as well so that’ll be a treat. I haven’t performed in New Zealand since I was there with KISS”.

When asked to expand on stories from the KISS days, Frehley laughs but doesn’t divulge.“When I was there [Australia] in 1980, we got a boat ride from Sydney Harbour which got pretty crazy. But it wasn’t my fault. It was the promoter’s fault. He filled the boat up with pretty girls, models and stuff. There was champagne and caviar and … (laughs) it got crazy. 

“When I was there [Australia] in 1980, we got a boat ride from Sydney Harbour which got pretty crazy. But it wasn’t my fault. It was the promoter’s fault. He filled the boat up with pretty girls, models and stuff. There was champagne and caviar and … (laughs) it got crazy”.

I’ll talk about that in my new book, which I haven’t got a title for yet incidentally. I’ve been coming up with chapters over the last six months, in between recording and performing so hopefully I’ll be able to turn something in in the summer”.

Though Frehley doesn’t reveal secrets, he does offer advice to new bands. “Focus on the music, don’t listen to others, follow your heart and persevere. A lot of people will say things, bullshit you. You have to follow your dreams. We also make own reality. Three words: practise, practise practise”.

Frehley always followed his dreams. “I started playing guitar when I was 13,” he says. “By 15, I was going to concerts, seeing groups like The Who, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Hendrix. I would sit in audience and think they were great but I thought I could do that too. I never put limitations on my goals”. Now that Frehley knows he is the one who inspires, he jokingly says, “I would have practised more”.

See Ace Frehley with his “smoking guitar, light guitar and all the bells and whistles”, on his Australian and New Zealand Tour this April and May.

ACE FREHLEY PERFORMING SOLO ANTHEMS AND KISS CLASSICS

Joining Ace on stage will be Richie Scarlet, who rode shotgun performing rhythm guitar and vocal duties on ACE’s ‘Trouble Walking’ platter and has toured with Sebastian Bach; bass guitarist Chris Wyse (Ozzy Osbourne & The Cult); and Scot Coogan (Lita Ford & Nikki Sixx).

The 2-hour set features everything an ACE or KISS fan could hope for. Included are all his Solo Anthems – ‘New York Groove’ (a bona-fide Top 20 Hit in Australia and NZ), ‘Snowblind’, ‘Rock Soldiers’ and highlights from his latest Top 10 Billboard album ‘Space Invader’. Plus KISS diamonds such as ‘Strutter’, ‘Cold Gin’, ‘Love Gun’, ‘Deuce’, ‘Shock Me’ & ‘Detroit Rock City’. Plus as a special treat for KISS fans, some rare KISS gems that you simply wont hear anywhere else – ‘Talk to Me’, ‘Rocket Ride’, ‘Strange Ways’, ‘Parasite’ & ‘King of the Night Time World’.

Ace Frehley Down Under Tour

April

April 21, 2015 – Civic Theatre
- Townsville, QLD, Australia

April 24, 2015 – Bodega – Wellington, New Zealand

April 25, 2015 – Studio 340 KRD
- Auckland, New Zealand

April 28, 2015 – Tivoli Theatre
- Brisbane, Qld, Australia

April 30, 2015 – Metro Theatre – Sydney, Australia

May

May 1, 2015 – Wrestpoint Showroom – Hobart, Australia

May 2, 2015 – Forum Theatre – Melbourne, Australia

May 6, 2015 – The Gov – Adelaide, Australia

May 7, 2015 – Astor Theatre – Mount Lawley, WA, Australia

For more information and tickets, visit here

About Mary Boukouvalas 602 Articles
Mary is a music photographer and reviewer.

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