In a new interview with Kyle Meredith, Paul Stanley confirmed that he has completed work on the debut LP from his R&B band SOUL STATION. “The album is done,” he said (see video below). “We just shot a bunch of videos, COVID safe and under supervision.”
Regarding how how idea for SOUL STATION first came about, Stanley said: “Some people don’t know, and I can understand it: before I ever saw LED ZEPPELIN or any of the great British bands, I was lucky as a kid — I saw Otis Redding; I saw Solomon Burke; I saw THE TEMPTATIONS. That’s really the foundation of what I do. It’s a strange brew, but it’s what created what I do to this day. And to be able to go back now and have a band of 15 amazing musicians who, we’re like family. Everybody has played with everyone from Smokey Robinson to Stevie Wonder to Natalie Cole to Whitney Houston, and on and on. And to be able to embrace and recreate music that somehow has been relegated to a loop in a rap song is really, really something special for us. To be able to do Motown, Philly soul, to do songs by THE SPINNERS, THE O’JAYS, TEMPTATIONS, Smokey, and to do them faithfully, and to do them with the spirit that was, I think, intended is awesome. And then to write new songs that seamlessly bridge that gap to today and into the future, I’m blessed.
“I originally did it because I love that music,” he explained. “And to have three violin players, three horn players, three stellar singers with me, two keyboard players, percussion, drums, and to create this beautiful symphony of music that Ken Gamble and Leon Huff wrote and arranged for Thom Bell, or Holland-Dozier-Holland, or Norman Whitfield. The list just goes on. And for me, to hear those songs and go, ‘Woah! I’m singing it,’ it’s pretty heavy stuff.”
Stanley added: “It’s very funny, because when I was chatting one day — I spend little bits of time with Rod Stewart — and I said, ‘Yeah, I’ve got my R&B band.’ He goes, ‘You have an R&B band?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ He goes, ‘Who’s singing?’ I said, ‘Me.’ And he goes, ‘You can handle that stuff?’ So I said, ‘Okay.’ And I played it for him. He spoke about it for days. It’s really that good. I’m proud of it.”
This past May, Stanley released a cover version of Smokey Robinson‘s classic song “Ooo Baby Baby”, recorded by SOUL STATION. In a statement accompanying the clip, Stanley said: “These are challenging times. Long before I ever heard the great British bands, I grew up listening to Philly Soul, Motown and so much more. I was lucky to see Otis Redding and Solomon Burke among others. That music and its storytelling gave me strength and hope even in some tough days. The great classics of that era are magical medicine for most and I felt myself drawn back to that era for some sorcery I think we could all use.”
He added: “While it’s hard to connect physically, some of SOUL STATION decided to reach out and make a virtual and emotional connection on a great Motown and Smokey Robinson classic, Ooo Baby Baby.”
Last year, Stanley told the Real Radio 104.1 radio station that he wanted to wait for the right time to release the SOUL STATION LP. “It really deserves full attention and my full commitment,” he explained. “So until we can do great live performances — the band is amazing live — and until we can promote it the way we should, it’s just going to simmer.”
Asked if he gets any hate from KISS fans for making an album that is stylistically far removed from the music his main band is best known for producing, Stanley said: “I’m sure there are some people who’d rather me doing a KISS album or something like that, but when you sign on with me, you understand that we’re both in this together, and sometimes I have to do what I need to do. And that’s part of the joy and the reward for me. So I would rather do a great SOUL STATION album right now than tamper with KISS or the KISS legacy and do something that I’m really not feeling at the moment.”