Paul Stanley, the frontman of rock band Kiss, has discussed his musical influences, his early interest in music and his connection to the Phantom of the Opera in his upcoming autobiography, Face the Music: A Life Exposed.
Paul Stanley in his stage make-up performing in 2013.
The 62-year-old musician recently spoke to the Wall Street Journal and discussed the content of his autobiography which is due to be released on May 8th. Born in New York in the early fifties, Stanley, has been a member of one of the longest running and most successful heavy mental groups on the planet, Kiss. He is barely recognisable, much like his other band members, owing to the layers of monochrome make-up which have obscured his features for the last four decades.
Stanley discussed his connection to the Phantom of the Opera, the hero of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical adaptation of the same name. Stanley first appeared in the role, after years in Kiss, in 1999 in Toronto but this was a number of years after he had first seen the production. He described his stint as the Phantom as "the hardest work I've ever done."
The obvious connection between Stanley and the Phantom is their costumes and masks. Yet, for Stanley, there is another element which he found particularly poignant. Namely the physical disfigurement the Phantom hid behind his mask. Although Stanley's deformity was considerably less noticeable than that of the Phantom's, his congenital deformity left him death in one ear. He described, whilst speaking to WSJ, how he struggled to cope at school and in his early years. On the subject of his connection with the Phantom, Stanley said: "Here's somebody who has a disfigurement that they're covering and they're trying to reach out to a woman and, as much as they want to do it, they don't know how. Well, that pretty much summed up my life, you know. Only I wasn't living in a dungeon under an opera house."
Stanley was keen to emphasis his autobiography is truly about his life and not entirely about Kiss or his take on the dynamics of the band. On this matter he said: "This isn't a Kiss book. This is really a book about my life. I was steadfastly against the idea of doing it for decades, because the great George Orwell once said that the autobiography is the most outrageous form of fiction. But I realized it could be inspiring to people."
Face the Music: A Life Exposed by Paul Stanley is due to be released on May 8th 2014.
Paul Stanley's new autobiography is released in May.