kiss this was formed in 1990 but did not get serious about performing until 1993. we played kiss kollektors' konvention in 1993 and soon after that got asked to play on 1994 european kiss convention tour with peter criss. after the tour we played lots of shows in holland and germany. then we did a bunch of shows on 1995's con-tour with ace frehley. 1996 was a big tour with vinnie vincent, and even though vinnie bailed out half-way, kiss this stayed on the tour until the end. in between all these tours kiss this played virtually every club, venue, bar etc. that wanted us.
by this time the national media finally got wind of us and did a couple press-features, culminating in 2 nationwide tv-shows. 1 was just 1 song played live in the studio, the other one a special on hollands' then best-watched infotainment show called "the nightrider" (needless to say many promoters and clubowners watched this, resulting in even more shows for us).
when the reunion tour hit europe in dec.'96 we got asked to play conventions that were without special guest, but were held near the venues where kiss was playing. we were slated to go on a f t e r kiss. this is were we all got nervous. (who needs to go see a tribute band after you've just seen the real thing?) we were all surprised that half the crowds that attended the con in the daytime returned to see us after kiss (these shows were on weekdays and we started around 1.00 am !)
in '98 we were again asked to play the next euro-con-tour with eric singer. because eric never wore make-up we decided to do the shows without make-up, giving the band the freedom for the first time to play post-unmasked songs as you probably know kiss this! perform in unmasked costumes. this idea was sparked by the fact that, just for fun, the band during the last bunch of shows prior to this tour, did an extra round of encores without make-up and half- or no costumes.
2.) how is the kiss tribute band business now that the original line-up has reunited?
it actually got a lot better because more club-owners and promoters now realize how many kiss fans there (still) are. prior to the reunion, most of them thought it would be preaching to the already converted , and on a limited scale because there were no record-sales.
the point is though, that in holland we basically did every venue there was to do for us. unlike kiss, this band does not like repeating itself. the only way for us to not repeat ourselves would be to get diffrent costumes. we've already changed set-lists and special effects so many times. the last bunch of shows we did, we had effects like the smoking and flying guitar, bigger pyro than on the con-tours even and we've done the tv show with a drum-riser just like peter's and cherry-pickers like on the reunion tour.
3.) what sets shock apart from other kiss tribute bands?
without coming off like a snob, i'd say the level of professionalism. we all work very hard on getting everything perfect. once we get on the bus, even though we have a lot of fun and joke around a lot, we take this all very seriously. that's what the fans like and what we like.
4.) what's the hardest aspect of re-creating a kiss show?
the special effects!! and to a lesser extent the vocals. a good musician can play any kiss tune easily. it's a bitch to get the vocals to sound just like paul/gene!
5.) which songs do kiss fans request most at your shows?
of course they always request the classix that kiss do now too, but we've found out that less-obvious songs have the element of surprise and get a real wild response ( solo-album tracks, or hard times or wouldn't you like to know me etc)
6.) what are your personal favorite kiss songs to perform at shows?
i think a common favorite of everyone in the band is deuce. the raw energy of that first song, with all the pyro etc. the first encore, escape from the island, has that too, together with the surprise-element. ofcourse, detroit is always cool.
7.) any interesting kiss this road stories?
yes, but i gotta put them in chronological order and pick a few. this might take some more time. i'm sure you can imagine that travelling with ace, peter, eric or vinnie, on the same bus or hotels or dressing rooms left us with the coolest memories possible. let me get back to you on this.
8.) what was your favorite, and least favorite, kiss this gig?
dortmund '94 with peter criss. it was almost like woodstock. everybody was so happy. the band, the crowd, the roadies, even peter had a huge smile on his face behind his drums. that was the best.
the worst was rotterdam '95 because the schedule ran late, and tribute bands always get pushed until the end of the day. we had a lot of technical problems and had to cut the set short because of the venue's curfew.
9.) what goals do you wish to achieve as a kiss tribute band?
the only thing we have not achieved yet is to play with the entire original line-up at once since we already played with the rest.
10.) what's in the future for kiss this?
like kiss, we take it one day at a time. we might do the next convention tour again, but there are no fixed plans yet. we really hope kiss take their official conventions to europe. that would be the crown on our carreer, to be the tribute band on that tour.
- rikk scholvinck