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Kiss Army Argentina Exclusive Interview with Benny Doro: KISS might not have been as big as they

were in the non makeup years 80s and 90s without Eric Carr
KISS Army Argentina: Benny, first of all, thanks a lot for this interview with KISS Army Argentina. Benny Doro: It is my pleasure, always happy to talk about KISS and special projects like Unfinished Business. KISS Army Argentina: You have had the chance of participating in Unfinished Business, the new CD in memory of Eric Carr, but your relationship with the KISS world dates from long ago: you are a KISS fan and you have participated in tribute bands such as Black Diamond. Please tell us more about your passion for KISS and the way you usually show it. Benny Doro: KISS is not only a culture but a state of mind .Not only did we go crazy for the band, the show and the music when we were kids, but early on I GOT the message that KISS was putting out. I was always an outcast in school and fit in nowhere. When I first connected with KISS around 11 years old, I no longer felt alone or that I was a freak. I started to realize at an early age that it was not me that was bizarre in the world, but mostly everyone else. KISS Army Argentina: Please tell us more about your experience in Black Diamond. Do you think that there is currently any chance of putting together a project like that again? Benny Doro: In 1994 grunge had become what music was about and that was not going to work for my band or Paul Stanley (he was my manager at the time) I had been thinking about it for some time and proposed the idea of putting together a KISS tribute. Paul said get on it and as long as I dont feel like youre standing on my shoulders we will give you our blessing.. We got it. The original members included Rick Lee, Claude Erfon and Kurt Frohlich. When we hit the road it was mayhem. There really were only a handful of tribute bands and word quickly spread that Black Diamond was a force to be reckoned with. We toured some 200-300 shows a year playing to real sweaty gritty rock and roll KISS fans. We had the biggest show touring out there for clubs, animated sign, full pyro show I mean we traveled with enough 4f gun powder to take down a building. We were making real money which we put right back into the show. We took trucks and busses with us, had merch, lots of roadies and plenty of pretty much anything we wanted. We didnt always get along, but I will tell you this, when we hit the stage

-2that was all that mattered. Some of us played real sick, some injured and sometimes exhaustion was all we felt. I have fond memories of those times and I know the other members are doing well and I wish them all the best. As far as getting back together you never know what the future could hold and of course I think there might need to be a snow storm in hell :-) KISS Army Argentina: You have also been part of Unchained, another band, and Paul Stanley had a lot to do with it, as Paul Stanley Entertainment Ltd. was the company that managed that band; is this correct? If it is, how did that happen? Benny Doro: Yes, it was on A Crazy Nites tour in 1987 while they were in Vancouver. I had my bands demo on a cassette. We were a Van Halen influenced band at the time I was really into Eddies playing and also the VH vibe. Tim Steinrock was the bass player (has great new band The Mighty One). Jeff Worobec was on drums, and a rotation of singers. Then there was me and Ron Roxx, who was doing one of the first KISS fan mags called Firehouse. I was hiding outside The Four Seasons Hotel waiting for KISS to arrive after the show when we saw a tour bus go around the block and park in front of another hotel. We quietly made our way over. We knew that Eric Carr always liked to go to the bar after the show and have a drink, and if we had any luck he would not break that habit. Sure enough we walked in the hotel and were immediately grabbed by the security. We then hear a voice, hey you, guys, looking for me. It was Eric, he told the guard to let us go and to come and join him. WOW!! Ron and I both had offerings, Rons magazine and my Demo, on a cassette. I think it was 4 songs Feel the Fire, Heart attack, Summer Girls, and ShotGun which we recorded with a friend of ours at the time Cecil English in Vancouver, BC, Canada. I gave Eric the cassette and it had the track listing and a note on it To Paul and Gene, without you this tape would not have been possible, along with my phone number at the time. Eric thanked us and told me that he would get the tape to Paul and Gene, and also asked if I didnt mind if he listened to it. The next day I was coming home from rehearsal and went to my bed room where I had KISS posters on the wall and other KISS related items to check my phone messages. When I heard the first message on the answering machine I just about fell on the floor Hi Benny this is Paul Stanley can you give me a call at the hotel number and I am under the name Superman talk to you soon I was staring at a poster of him while that came on talk about surreal! When we spoke I kept my cool best I could and he invited me down to the Crazy Nites show in Seattle where he left me 6 tickets and VIP passes and sent big John (KISS body guard) to take me to his hotel after the show to discuss my demo tape. KISS Army Argentina: During your time in Unchained, we guess that you probably had a chance to share moments with KISS; if you did, could you please tell us a story or anecdote in this sense? Benny Doro: Ill tell you a moment that I got to share with Paul Stanley, we were recording our demo at Fortress studio in LA which Paul was producing. I was singing harmonies with my bass player for a song and we were not getting it right together. Paul walks into the isolation boot puts on the headphones and says roll tape. He in one pass sang the entire chorus with me and both our voices were locked in perfectly. I remember looking at him before the first chorus and he looked me dead in the eyes with a lets nail this look. I always smile when I remember that moment. KISS Army Argentina: Going back to Unfinished Business, how did you become involved in this project? Benny Doro: Loretta Carr had reached out to me via an email and asked me if I had interest in participating on a song for a project she was working on. I went down to meet her and told her the story of my meeting with her brother on the Crazy Nites tour something clicked and my involvement started to grow in the project. I found myself taking on more as it went on because I began to really care about what she was doing and it became more to me than just participating on a song; I wanted to make sure that Lorettas vision for the project was going to be carried out the way it should.

-3KISS Army Argentina: Regarding this album, we know that you participated in Eyes of Love, Carr Jam 1981 and Shandi. Please tell us about your experience recording those tracks. Did you personally choose them? Benny Doro: Shandi: I tell you it was more of a trip down memory lane that I got to write a new chapter in (many of us had the Eric Carr audition tape for years). I loved the rest of the music and just thought that it needed an Angelic feel to it. I kind of pictured Eric singing it in the room with me, while I played the keyboard. I also sang additional backgrounds on it and its always an honor to be adding to a voice of someone that you love and respect that is no longer with us. I hope everyone finds this track to be a special as I do. Eyes of Love: I was in my studio one night and Loretta (Erics sister) had given me some DAT tapes to listen to, and his acapella vocals for this song were on one tape. Out of nowhere (was not a conscious thought) loaded it into Protools and thought, was this done to a click and within a minute I had it synced up. Now what, I gave one listen to the version that is on the first tribute album Rockology and picked up a Les Paul and proceeded to play the rhythm around it. It just worked. I layered several more tracks of guitar then laid down scratch drums and bass. I was like wow, Houston, we have a song here. I remember Loretta giving me a pair of Erics sticks, I put them up on the console set up a mike and began signing the answerbacks and some harmonies with Erics vocals. For the solo, all I could picture was Ace Frehley from the COTN promo tour and the I Love It Loud solo (which he did not play on but had the feel) so I went for it, one take, and that was it. I was at Lorettas for several meetings and I played the song and she was like, sounds good. Im thinking, this is perfect for the CD but nothing from Loretta. Now we are close to finishing the project and I am leaving her place and I am in my truck (it has a coliseum sized sound system) She walks out and I roll down the window and crank this song. She runs over, what is that.that has to be on the CD. She had the idea to get John from Seether to play the drums and he really added the finishing touch. What a perfect drum track! That was the icing on the cake with the Heavens on Fire drum accents in the pre chorus. Breakout: I had already done the full version of the song and sent it off for Joey to replace the drums (Joey and I played together in KISSNATION for a time) He sent it back saying this is not the right version; we need to do the one off of Revenge. Ok smart guy, I said, do the drums and send it to me. He did, and they were bang on, and I mean, was this ripped track from revenge. I loaded it into Pro Tools and put down the rhythm tracks first, then the bass and in two passes I did the front end of the solo then the back end. I sent it back, they mixed it, and it sounds great. I feel honored to be a part of a KISS project and this track as it was always a favorite of mine on the first Frehleys Comet album, and then on revenge, so to hear my guitar work on it is a real honor. KISS Army Argentina: Did you ever have the chance of meeting Eric in person? Benny Doro: See your previous question about my first meeting with Eric :-). After that we had met several times and always had a great chat about music and how the project was coming along with Paul Stanley. KISS Army Argentina: Being a KISS fan, we guess that you have had the chance of attending shows when Eric was still in the band. Do you remember a specific show in particular? If you do, why? Benny Doro: I do, it was on the HITS tour and the band was playing in Toronto and it was during the first encore when everyone comes out on stage and kind of walks around. Well, there were these ramps on

-4the stage and Eric went to run up one and tripped. Paul looked at him and said in the mike did you have a good trip Erichope you have a good fall 16 thousand people were laughing and Eric got up and threw his stick at Paul and both were laughing that was classic Eric personality we got to see. KISS Army Argentina: Which is in your opinion the best of Erics legacy? Benny Doro: I think that when he came into the band not only did he change the energy and bring them into a new era but I truly believe that without Eric Carr KISS might not have been as big as they were in the non makeup years 80s, 90s. He had the sound he had the licks and he had the looks to keep them current and relevant. I dont think he gets enough credit for that. KISS Army Argentina: Do you think that if you wanted, it would be possible for you to pay tribute to Eric with a tribute band, now that Unfinished Business is about to be released? Benny Doro: Well, when my business partner Carlos Espada and I had our band KISSNATION and we did the Eric Carr Era (Unmasked and COTN). Gerard Russoniello was our Eric Carr and he was fantastic. He had Erics feel and look down perfect and also Erics sense of humor. So I think we did that already. :-) I pay tribute to Eric every day, at some point in my day I will hear in my head his drums from a song or his solo and I think that is just wonderful. KISS Army Argentina: As for other projects, what are you currently up to? Benny Doro: You can find most of our projects and business by going to www.bennydoro.com.Right now we are launching a pre paid debit card company in the USA. www.universalvisiongroup.com; we have existing pre paid debit card company in Europe, www.mondoprepaid.com. We continue to do our deals on Wall street (we have a hedge fund for small cap deals) There is a cook book in the works, I am also a Chef and teach about healthy eating and recipes which you can find off the www.bennydoro.com web site. Also with my band partner from KISSNATION Carlos Espada (KISSNATION has new members Carlos and I have long been gone) we started a guitar accessory company called Chunky Knobs, www.chunkyknobs.com, where you can get some pretty cool replacement knobs for your guitars. And finally we have just signed on to be partner in a new television series called Long Live Rock, www.longliverock.tv, where it will merge the business life and the music life of myself and Carlos Espada the president of Chunky Knobs. I think that is the good stuff; I wont bore you with the rest :-) KISS Army Argentina: Benny, once again, thanks for your time. Before we leave, could you please leave a message for KISS Army Argentina? Benny Doro: KISS Army Argentina is proof that there are no borders for the love of Rock and Roll, KISS and Eric Carr. No matter where you are born, no matter where you come from the only important fact is where your head is at and I thank the KISS fans of Argentina for being such an amazing example of that.

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

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