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Kiss Hit the Studio for "Meat and Potatoes" Album With "Classic '70s Rock & Roll Vibe"

March 13, 2009 10:52 AM ET

The first studio album from Kiss in more than a decade will include songs "about the obvious things," says bassist-singer Gene Simmons, citing titles such as "Rotten To The Core." "No secret to life, no political messaging, nothing like that," he says of the lyrics.

As previously reported, Simmons confirms Kiss' first album since 1998's Psycho Circus will be produced by singer-guitarist Paul Stanley. "I don't have enough time to tie my shoelaces and there's nobody else I trust more than Paul," says Simmons, who's currently in Toronto to find three Canadian acts to sign to his recently resurrected Simmons Records, for which he has partnered with Universal Music Canada and businesswoman/former politician Belinda Stronach.

While he juggles all his other projects and pursuits, the band is also in the studio. The songs are all written, Simmons says. "There's nothing to prove to anybody. We're not interested in musical trends or anything else. We're too long in the tooth for that. So it's going to be sort of a classic '70s rock & roll vibe. Meat and potatoes. You know, sometimes you just want to go out and have a meat and potatoes thing [and] forget the French dressing."

Kiss — Simmons, Stanley, guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer — will also continue touring for its 35th (now 37th) anniversary, beginning in South America in Santiago, Chile. Last year, the Kiss Alive/35 World Tour hit Europe, U.K., Australia, New Zealand and a few U.S. cities.

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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