Paul Stanley’s Passion Project Has Soul (Flashback 2016)


PAUL STANLEY’S SOUL STATION plays The Coach House Feb. 26

Flashback: PAUL STANLEY / KISS 2016 interview…

Following a private show last summer, Paul Stanley’s R&B cover band Soul Station figured it was only a matter of time before they expanded their audience.

“We all looked at each other and wondered when we were going to do it publicly. It’s not just because we want people to hear it, but because we love doing it,” Stanley said. “To be able to faithfully reproduce and recreate those songs is not a science project–it’s a passion project. There’s nothing sterile about it.”

Just a few months later, the 13-piece band found itself doing just that, performing classics like “My Girl,” “O-o-h Child,” and “Let’s Stay Together” onstage at The Roxy in Hollywood. Despite receiving positive reviews, Soul Station haven’t had another show since–until now.

If the first show was any indication of what’s to come, then it seems likely that there won’t be issues with any overzealous fans from Stanley’s other band. For the longtime KISS frontman, it’s a matter of being honest, and somewhat blunt, about what to expect at a Soul Station concert.

“I made sure well in advance that people understood I wouldn’t be playing guitar and that if you were expecting to hear ‘Love Gun’ then you went to the wrong venue,” Stanley said. “Everybody knew what they were going to come and see. It was up to them to decide whether or not they wanted to.”

In other words, don’t expect a modern makeover of soul music’s most memorable hits. There’s no guitar solo added to “Get Ready” by The Temptations or an electronic beat added to The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back.” And for Stanley, it’s the only way to do it.

“We don’t believe in rearranging these songs or adding too much that veers away from what it is. I’m always terribly disappointed when I hear songs that aren’t done as I know them,” Stanley said. “We try to keep the songs a cohesive set and not be all over the map. Since I’m very secure in my place in the band, I’m happy to turn the spotlight over to our other singers as well which only makes the show that much better.”

Gracing the stage alongside Stanley are a number of different top flight musicians, each of whom bring an extensive musical pedigree to the band. One of the group’s keyboard players, Alex Alessandroni, served as Whitney Houston’s musical director while Sean Hurley, the band’s bassist, has toured with artists such as John Mayer and Ringo Starr.

Surprisingly, forming the band proved to be a rather simple task. It only took a few phone calls.

“Everybody I called said, ‘yes’,” Stanley joked. “It was a very short process. I just called the best people I could think of and everybody said, ‘I’m in.'”

Although the formation of the band took place a little more than a year ago, in many ways, Soul Station can trace its roots even further back–to a young working class Jewish kid from Queens.

Despite suffering from a deformity in his right ear, which left him struggling to hear on that side, Stanley relished in the music of artists across all genres.

“I was not somebody who wanted to be fed one kind of music anymore than I wanted to be given one kind of food. There’s two kinds of music to me–good and bad,” Stanley said. “I love rock music and choose to sing it, but on the other hand, I’ve also starred in Phantom of the Opera and here I am doing Soul Station. There’s just so much great music to be made and I’m too passionate to wear just one hat.”

Soul Station will play three consecutive shows in the SoCal region beginning at The Coach House Feb. 26.