Young Southpaw chats to David Ryder Prangley about his debut solo album Black Magic & True Love, KISS & their solo albums, Shampoo & swatches, Twin Peaks, and Prangley’s Great Van Halen Smiths Theory, leading Southpaw to conjecture post-interview ‘what if Johnny Marr had joined KISS?’
Young Southpaw: What’s your favourite of the KISS solo records?
David Ryder Prangley: I think they’re actually all amazing. Some KISS fans judge them by how much they sound like regular KISS records. Which to me is obviously not the point of them, they don’t really sound like KISS records. Gene Simmons’ album is just incredible, with all those guest artists on it, and the orchestration, and the fact that all the songs kinda sound a bit like The Beatles. I think they’re great. And even Peter Criss’ solo album, which people were just like ‘it’s kinda like an easy listening album’, but there’s some great songs on that and he’s got a fantastic voice. I like them all for different reasons. I think Paul Stanley’s solo album is incredibly exciting. And the guitar sound on it is just phenomenal. Then you got Ace’s album which is...he doesn’t go around the obvious pop songwriting route, he goes down the real almost like Black Sabbath - here’s a riff and here it is for five minutes (laughs). And I love that. And the kind of weird...on his album he was using the early Roland guitar synth and it’s just totally out of tune. You listen to it and you’re like ‘it’s completely out of tune’, but it’s still on there.
And I love all that stuff. It’s really exciting. When I was a kid, they were the first band that I got into, that I discovered myself, cause I was really into Marvel comics. You’d see the adverts, and it didn’t even say it was a band. It would just go KISS...nothing (laughs). And it was like ‘what is this? are these some superheroes or what?’ And at the time I was just really into music and Marvel comics and Star Wars, and then KISS come along and they’re like the perfect blend of science fiction and rock n’ roll.