During an appearance on episode 19 of Richard Marx's "Social Distancing" talk show, KISS frontman Paul Stanley was asked how he is taking care of his voice on the "End Of The Road" tour, in light of the fact that many of the band's songs are challenging to sing.
"Is my voice what it was 20 years ago, 30, 40 [years ago]? No," Stanley replied (see video below). "A great athlete can't replicate what they did in their early years. So I tend to think of myself in that way. Because vocals that I've done in the past almost were athletic in nature, and it's not possible in the same way at this point.
"Somebody will come to me and say, 'You don't sound like you did on 'Kiss Alive'.' 'Kiss Alive' is what? Almost 50 years, or 45 years ago. And I said, 'If you wanna hear me sound like that, put on the album.' It's not possible."
He added: "What I found, interestingly, is that the singers that I know who do something similar to what I do, we all commiserate and we all talk to each other, and one of the first things we say when we meet up is, 'Are you having a hard time hitting those notes?' 'Are you still singing in the original keys?' And one of my friends said, 'If I knew I would be singing this song in my 70s, I would have written it in a different key.'"
Ever since KISS's "End Of The Road" trek launched in January 2019, there has been persistent online chatter about Paul allegedly singing to a backing tape. The speculation stemmed from the fact that Stanley had been struggling to hit the high notes in many of the band's classic songs for a number of years.
Former SKID ROW singer Sebastian Bach defended KISS against claims that the band is using pre-recorded tracks during its farewell tour, saying that Stanley sang "his ass off LIVE" during an early 2019 concert in California. "I have seen way more obvious use of backing tracks than with KISS," Sebastian wrote.
Bach's comments came just hours after MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist Nikki Sixx called out another band for using taped vocals during its live performances after it previously derided other groups for doing the same thing.
Sixx wrote on Twitter: "Certain band out on the road right now putting other bands DOWN and saying that they are a REAL rock band, no background singers,and other old people cranky comments except his lead vocals are on tape.People in glass houses shouldn't throw rocks. #GetOffMyLawn #WizardOfOz"
Most fans assumed that Sixx was referring to KISS, especially since KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons has previously slammed bands who used backing tapes for not being honest enough to include that fact on their concert tickets.
After KISS played on NBC's "America's Got Talent" in September 2018, Stanley was asked by Rolling Stone if that was actually a live performance or if he and his bandmates tracked it earlier. "What you tend to do is record it live and that way you know that everything is as it should be," he responded. "It's not like going into the studio or anything like that. It's… with all its imperfections, it's live."