I've been waiting a few months to be able to talk about this—and I have talked about it to some degree in a few online interviews, but not really in any detail. Back in April of this year I received a telephone call from out of the blue—from somewhere in South America. At the other end of the line was KISS' Paul Stanley. It'd been more years than I cared to remember since we last spoke. That was when I had done the cover art for "Rock and Roll Over"—KISS' 5th album and their 2nd to go Platinum. So you can understand my surprise when Paul asked if I'd be interested in designing the cover art for KISS' first studio album in 11 years—which Paul himself was producing.
That's when I started remembering how exciting it was the first time around, to have been involved in that fast-paced world of entertainment and music. For me it had been a far cry from doing the corporate logos, magazine and book covers I had been working on at the time. An "edgy" job for me then was doing a spread for High Times (yep, they've been around for a while)! I've always enjoyed the fact that doing what I do has enabled me to straddle many different design worlds, from the fairly straight to the totally off-the-wall. I always tried to say "yes" to just about anyone who was adventurous enough, and had the vision to see how having me design for them could work to their advantage. At any rate I had said "yes"to KISS the first time around (even though I had no idea what I was doing), so of course I again said yes to Paul. We agreed to meet when he returned at the conclusion of their South American tour.
Much to my surprise the "Rock and Roll Over" cover had in recent years become one of the most—if not the most—talked about piece of art in my portfolio. It was a little bewildering to me how over the years that cover had become an icon for this iconic group. I've been contacted by more people about my KISS artwork in the past 6 or 7 years than in all the years prior, and more than any other piece I've ever done including the New York Knicks logo. So the expectations for this new art I was to work on were quite high.
Next: the new cover design revealed.