KISS frontman Paul Stanley has spent a lifetime behind a mask. That star smile may be his makeup, but it’s his side project, the R&B band Soul Station, that is bringing him some new comfort, showing his true face, and now moving forward with its debut album.
Speaking with radio station Real Radio 104.1, Stanley spoke about the album, “It’s almost done, but we’re gonna wait [to release it], because it really deserves full attention and my full commitment. So until we can do great live performances.”
A couple of years ago, Stanley spoke about how the idea for Soul Station first came about. He said: “My roots are much more broad and varied than some people might realize. Before I ever saw Zeppelin or The Who or any of those bands, I saw Otis Redding. I saw Solomon Burke. I saw The Temptations. Stanley went on to say how much that music means to him. “It’s very much a part of my DNA. Motown and Philly soul and Stax/Volt, all that music is really, unfortunately too nostalgic at this point and used too often for loops and samples as opposed to hearing a great song.”
Stanley’s idea was to bring back the passion and the songs, into the limelight again. He said, “What’s missing nowadays so much is great live performances of that material. What’s being passed off now as R&B is usually a computer and a drum machine.”
Soul Station is a project that Stanley has always had in the back of his mind: “I had an opportunity a few years ago to put together something that was in essence Soul Station. These are songs that, for one reason or another, have been relegated to samples on a rap tune. And I don’t wanna hear background music for a rhyme — I wanna hear those songs.”
Asked about how KISS are reacting to this side project, Stanley said, “I’m sure there are some people who’d rather me doing a KISS album or something like that, but I would rather do a great Soul Station album right now than tamper with KISS or the KISS.”
Being the frontman of a world-renown band such KISS carries pressure. The same applies to Soul Station. Stanley said, “There’s a big weight on my shoulders because I’m singing songs by some legends, and if I can’t deliver them, I shouldn’t be doing them. So if I’m gonna sing Smokey or if I’m gonna sing Al Green or David Ruffin or Eddie Kendricks, you’d better be on-point or you shouldn’t be doing it, plus the rest of the band is so damn good.”
Soul Station made its live debut in September 2015 at West Hollywood, California’s The Roxy Theatre. The ten-piece band also features KISS drummer Eric Singer. A professionally filmed video footage of the band performing the Smokey Robinson and The Miracles classic “The Tracks Of My Tears” at The Roxy can be seen below.