“Early on, I realised that I didn’t want to be the flashy lead player”: Paul Stanley on why he chose to be a rhythm guitarist
“That was more fascinating to me: not what the left hand was doing, but what the right hand was doing.”
Image: Robert Cianflone / AFL Photos via Getty Images
Kiss will finalise their End Of The Road tour this December, and have been reflecting on their long career in music in a new interview. Despite this being their final ever tour, bassist Gene Simmons has confirmed that the Kiss brand will live on in other ways.
In an interview for the print edition of Guitar Player surrounding their final shows together, Stanley explained why he chose to take on the role of rhythm guitarist: “Early on, I realised that I didn’t want to be the flashy lead player. As much as I admired them and wanted much to be like them, I became much more involved with being a rhythm guitarist,” he says.
“Very often, rhythm guitar was looked at as what you do before you can play lead. And there were certainly consummate guitar players who, yes, they could play lead guitar, but that wasn’t their wheelhouse, really. Whether it was Keith Richards or Pete Townshend – or even David Crosby or one of the greatest right hands ever, Richie Havens – that was more fascinating to me: not what the left hand was doing, but what the right hand was doing.
“When my son, Evan, started playing guitar – and by the way, he’s just a smoking great guitar player – in the beginning I said to him, ‘Right now it’s all about your right hand. It’s all about your wrist. It’s all about your palm. It’s all about those subtleties.’ And that, I think, is a great foundation to start with.”
He adds, “How far you want to go after that is really up to you. I mean, Jimmy Page is just a killer rhythm player who happens to also be a spectacular lead player and arranger. But his rhythm playing is as good as anybody’s, and better than most.”
View the full list of remaining Kiss tour dates via the official Kiss website.