well, we first got together around may of 1989, there were no other kiss tribute bands around at that time (that we knew of) and unlike all of the other bands that i was ever in, "rock and roll over" started at the top. what i mean to say is that, we never had to do shows where we were the opening act. we had all of the big named acts in our area (rhode island) opening up for us.
our first show, "touch" ( a band that has been around forever they were winners of mtv's basement tapes) opened up for us, and i knew then that we had something. so, we played for a few years the only member change was with our ace's. toured the whole east coast from canada to florida and then back home. played on stage with vinnie vincent (twice). we were lucky enough to get our picture in the "kisstory" book. but, by 1995, there were tons of kiss tribute bands all over the world and because of this fact, we started to lose work. why should a club owner in nc pay us $2000.00 to drive down there and play when he has another kiss tribute that lives down the street that is willing to play for $200.00?
so, when the official kiss convention tour came around, gene called us and asked us if we wanted to do a few shows, we decided (because there was no money involved with any of the tribute bands on that tour) that we would play at the boston one only. on the day of the show, we knew we were supposed to go on before kiss but something happened and kiss had to get to new york. so, kiss played their unplugged set and we went on after them. we all knew that our time had passed, kiss opened up for us and we didn't see anything else that could ever top that in our future so that was our last show. now with the kiss reunion and the "psycho circus" album tour, i think the time has passed for all kiss tribute bands. ( i see no need for them )
2.) how is the kiss tribute band business now that the original lineup has reunited?
well, i have talked to other tribute bands that are still doing it, (like "destroyer") to me it seems to be a waste of time. these band are now playing for little or no money, i can tell you that it's a lot of work to do this but because there are so many tributes because you can see the real kiss now, the clubs conventions won't pay like they used to.
3.) what set rock and roll over apart from other kiss tribute bands?
i would have to say the music. i have seen so many bands that just put on the makeup, blow off a million bombs but can't play these songs at all, i was beside myself at a "strutter" concert and the guy that was playing paul was singing his own made up words to "king of the night time world". rather than a tribute to kiss, some bands (as far as the music goes) were insults to kiss.
4.) what's the hardest aspect of re-creating a kiss show?
everything !!! from the music, the moves, the costumes, me learning how to breath fire. it was all very hard.
5.) which songs did kiss fans request most at your shows?
depends on the show. at conventions, fans wanted a lot of the rare stuff like "baby driver" or "love her all i can", but in clubs that are filled with 50% kiss fans and 50% of friends of kiss fans, we would get a lot of girls yelling for "beth". (that sort of thing)
6.) what were your personal favorite kiss songs to perform at shows?
i always loved doing "god of thunder","firehouse","dr love" "rock and roll all nite". i guess because i played gene.
7.) any interesting rock and roll over road stories?
i have too many but i'm married now and my wife wants me to forget them (ha!) i always found it funny how fans would ask us to sign original kiss albums like "alive" or something, i mean it was weird because we were'nt kiss, never were and never will be the real kiss.
8.) what was your favorite, and least favorite, rock and roll over gig?
my favorites were probably the ones that we played with vinnie vincent. it was funny having adam (our ace) and vinnie going over the guitar parts together. my least favorite was the last show (playing with kiss) because i knew it was the last show.
9.) what goals did you wish to achieve as a kiss tribute band?
when we were together and someone would ask that question we would say, "have you ever heard of beatle-mania?"
10.) what's in the future for rock and roll over?
right now we're all busy doing other things. mack (paul) has a real good job in the computers field. emile (peter) works for a casino has more money than ever. adam (ace) is in a "jesus christ superstar" production, he plays a part in it but he's also the guitarist in the back ground. and i (gene) have a family now and i work as an artist for a clothing company, i also run the niteowl's world of kiss. just a basic kiss site for the fans by a fan, where you can download pictures and sounds and get tidbits of kiss news.
but i wouldn't mind if in the future, "rock and roll over" got back together for a few shows and opened with "psycho circus".
- mike rutherford