During a recent interview with Another FN Podcast With Izzy Presley, Dream Theatre’s former drummer and Liquid Tension Experiment’s founder Mike Portnoy discussed Peter Criss’s drumming skills while saying that it’s not the only talent that has helped him stand out.
Peter Criss is now a retired musician and actor who achieved worldwide fame as the co-founder and original drummer of KISS. He established the Catman stage persona and is best known for his great drumming skills and raspy voice. Criss was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.
Peter Criss left KISS in 1980 and while his bandmates Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley insisted that he was fired, Peter Criss never confirmed this statement and said that he was the one to quit. Although he reunited with the band on a couple of occasions, he never officially became a KISS member after 1980.
Since then, he released two solo albums and collaborated with a number of bands but the 75 years old rockstar is now a retired musician. In his recent interview, Mike Portnoy discussed Criss‘s contribution to KISS and stressed that his drumming skills are not the only talent that makes him a great musician.
Portnoy discussed KISS’s first albums and said that Criss’s vocals were amazing and that singing the vocals in some of the band’s early songs really made him stand out. He recalled a live performance of KISS back in 1973 when Criss sang parts that were originally sung by Stanley and Simmons on the album and said that being one of the lead singers, in the beginning, was when his star shined the most.
Here’s what Mike Portnoy said in the interview:
“If you listen to the solo on ‘Alive’, ‘100,000 Years’, it’s amazing. I think the problem with Peter is that after ‘Alive’ and ‘Rock And Roll Over’, I felt like he didn‘t push himself anymore; he just played whatever was good for the song, and that was it. But he definitely had the best snare drum tones on certain songs.
I think they were still hungry for [the early albums]. Then once ‘Destroyer’, ‘Rock And Roll Over’ and ‘Love Gun’ [were released], they became one of the biggest bands in the world, and it probably was less inspiring and less hungry. But another thing about Peter, you can‘t forget about is his vocals. In the first album especially, he’s singing a lot of lead vocals…
[There’s] this amazing bootleg of [KISS] from Long Island, playing a club in Amityville in, like, 1973, and Peter is singing on a lot of that stuff — even stuff that Paul [Stanley] or Gene [Simmons] ended up singing on the album, but Peter was one of the lead singers back in those early days.”
Click here for the source and you can listen to ‘Black Diamond‘ in which Criss was one of the lead vocals below.