date published: April 21, 2008

5 questions with...

Paul StanleyPaul Stanley
by Josh B. Wardrop

For 35 years, Paul Stanley has been known as the star- spangled, face-painted frontman of rock megastars KISS. In his downtime, however, Stanley expresses his creativity through fine art, and the rocker presents an exhibition of his original paintings April 25 & 26 at the Wentworth Gallery in Chestnut Hill. Visit for more information.

Q: What led you to try your hand at painting?
Well, as a teen I attended the High School of Art and Music in New York but I wasn’t painting at that time. About eight years ago, I was going through a hard divorce, and a friend suggested I paint as a type of therapy. I really connected with my emotions and wanted to keep doing it.

Q: How would you describe your artistic style?
It’s very personal, stream-of-consciousness, fly by the seat of my pants stuff. I compare it to going on a trip without a map. I like abstract art because it appeals to people on an emotional rather than analytical level.

Q: Are there more KISS tours or a new album on the horizon?
We just did some massive shows in Australia and New Zealand, and in three weeks we’re heading to Europe. So, KISS is alive and ready to blind you, deafen you and pummel you into submission (laughs). A new album? We’re asked about it, but we know fans don’t really want new material. I could write the next “Let It Be” and people would say, “That’s great. Play ‘Love Gun.’” And we’re happy to do that.

Q: Why hasn’t KISS been elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
Because the people who own it are part of what I call the “East Coast Music Mafia,” and their opinions don’t really reflect rock fans’ in general. Unfortunately, it’s a sham with a very official-sounding name.

Q: Anything you’re looking forward to doing while you’re in Boston?
My sister lived in the North End for a time, and you can bet I’ll be heading there for some real Italian soul food.