INTERVIEW WITH CARLOS "GENE"ESPADA OF KISSNATION
by Beth FOXNEWS ...
Beth: How long have you been a KISS fanand why do you think they appealed to you more then any otherband?
Carlos:The first time I ever saw KISS was on a TV. It was and adsfor one of their albums. I was hooked I thought they were superheroes. One guy was drooling blood, another hand a smoking guitar,bombs on stage. It wasn't till my older brother told me they weKISS a rock band. On my 5th Birthday he bought me KISS ALIVE!What can I say? Anyone who's played that record was hook. Herewas a band that gave you more bangs for your buck. When you boughta KISS record, not only did you get great music, but you got allthese great freebies, tour books, stickers, tattoos. How couldanyone top that?
Beth: Tellus a little about your line up and a little about forming KISSNATION.
Carlos:I auditioned for a band the Gerard (The Fox) was in. I wasn'tinto it to much for many different reasons, so I stop going tojam with them and Gerard stood in touch with me asking me to comeback and play for the band he was in.
So long story short we fired the two guys in that band and broughtin Ruby, to play Ace. We had a few Paul's in the band. Then Gerardleft and we brought in Joey as Eric on drums and Paulie Z as Paul.That line-up lasted I think almost two years.
They went on to become ZO2. Which leads us to the current lineof Gerard back on the drums and Benny Doro as Paul. This is thereaders digest version LOL
Beth: Thereare many tribute bands out there today... what sets you guys apartfrom all the rest?
Carlos:The willingness to do what others will & can't do. We offer4 different eras of KISS and an endless variety of songs fromevery era. The biggest thing is we know that this is all pretend.It's like playing dress up when you were a kid. You can't takewhat we do to seriously. KISSNATION is the people's band, we neverfeel that we are above anyone and we keep in touch with a lotof KISS fans whom come to our shows. I mean we invite girls fromthe crowd to the stage to dance for the people. So people feelpart of the show. First thing I did when I wanted to start a tributeband was set my band apart. I tried out for bands and they alldid the same old stuff. Love Gun outfits and no song past 1977.Which I thought was lame. I knew then that playing in someoneelse's band was not for me. I need my own band that would breakall the unwritten laws of KISS tribute bands. Another sets usapart is our line-up we use Eric Carr rather than Peter Criss,why? Because Eric was responsible for give KISS the muchneeded kick in the ass, when they were lost. Plus no one was doingit at the time. This also opens the doors to playing any KISSsong we wanted. It's crazy to stick to one era of KISS. When there'sover 30 years of music. We play it all, no holds bared. KISS themselvesrealized this during the last tour.
Beth: Inalmost all KISS tribute bands, the members portray the originallineup. Tell us a little bit about how and why your drummer decidedto portray Eric Carr instead.
Carlos:Well that goes back to setting this band apart from the rest.Plus it helps that everyone in this line up loved Eric Carr. WhenI met Gerard he and I were playing in a band that wasn't whatwe wanted. So one day I looked at him and if we're gonna do ashow with these guys, we need something to shock people. He andI would talk about Eric Carr all the time. So I said why don'tyou play Eric for this show? He agreed, and when he plays it'sa lot like when Eric Carr played with KISS. The drumming grabsyou by the spine and makes your body vibrate. I love that!!!
The fans get a kick out of it, because many of them were too youngor didn't have enough money to see Eric is full make-up on tourwith KISS. Something about Eric Carr made him stand out and heis a true icon.
Beth: Now,you portray Gene. Has he always been a heavy influence in yourlife, also what you think about his views on things like money& marriage?
Carlos:For the most part yes, Simmons embodied everything I lovedas a kid. He was Dracula, Godzilla, The Exorcist, and a Superhero all mixed into one. These are things boys love. I agree witha lot of what Simmons has to say. Other than oxygen, money isthe next thing you need to live. Your landlord could care lessif you're a team player for your boss & his company. Whenrent is due he wants his money or out you go. As for marriage,I never understood why mothers hammer this thought into theirdaughter's head? "You need to meet a nice man, get marriedand have a couple of kids." The simple fact if you get alongand the both of you are happy, the battle is won. Contrary topopular belief a woman does not need a man to survive and viceversa.
Beth:What have you guys been up to recently?
Carlos: Answering this Q&A LOL. We're getting ready fora big Tribute Fest in Duluth MN, which is going to be great!!KISSNATION is closing the show and we have some great tunes linedup. I always get asked when is KISSNATION going to put out a CD?
Why? It's lame to record a song the same done exactly like theoriginal. If we were to do it, we would have to change it andmake the song our version. Which people may or may not like. That'sthe only way you could get me to do a cover. As for myself. I am working on a new guitaraccessories and design company. As well as consulting for instrument& toy companies.
Beth: Doyou have a way for fans to find out more about you?
Carlos: You can contact us throughthe official KISSNATION website
KISSNATION @ My Space
KISSNATION yahoo group
Come visit us at
Beth: Did any of you ever have theopportunity to meet Eric?
Carlos: Eric was the only member I never met andthat saddens me. Yes, I play Gene on stage, but Eric was my 2ndfavorite member. Maybe it's because I'm a drummer in my head &heart. Eric was just an amazing ball of energy and played drumslike a thunder storm was hitting you and I dig that.
Beth: Carlos, thanks so much for joining us today andfor helping us celebrate Eric's memory!
Email beth with all yourquestions and suggestions.