brian bell - paul stanley
former lead vocalist and guitarist for seizure, brian knows what it takes to front a successful rock ensemble. his vocal range and exceptional guitar technique fuel his fire to prance and strut, giving paul a new dimension as a rock icon.
frank bullington - gene simmons
a proficient bassist and drummer from houston, texas who loves to flick his tounge and spit blood and fire. after a successful 3 years touring with the houston band ink, he decided to lend his powerful voice and bass skills to the greatest kiss tribute band that exists.
lani ordone - ace frehley
"a master of the fretboard" is how the houston press describes this powerful guitarist. classically trained, he has lent his talent to rock bands bang bang! and sac. he was born on jupiter, but came to earth to rock and roll all night and party every day!
mike henry - peter criss
sticks and skins are the tools of his craft. pounding rhythms and thunderous beats are the trademark of the drummer for austin's wilt. he brings these skills along with the mysterious spirit of the cat as he completes the backbone of rip and destroy.
2.) how is the kiss tribute band business now that the original line-up has reunited?
increased exponentially. all the original fans from the 70's are realizing how much they missed the band and are flocking to the reunion and psycho circus tours as well as coming out to see tribute bands.
3.) what sets rip and destroy apart from other kiss tribute bands?
has to be the sound. i think we are about as tight as can be and we surround you with tone. the costumes and show are important, but if you don't sound good, you are not really paying tribute to kiss.
4.) what's the hardest aspect of re-creating a kiss show?
the scale of the show. it is still pretty elaborate with explosions, blood, lights and fire but you just can't do it as large and as big as the real thing.
5.) which songs do kiss fans request most at your shows?
christeen 16, detroit rock city, and beth. with the occasional "freebird! stairway to heaven!" chants that accompany any rock show.
6.) what are your personal favorite kiss songs to perform at rip and destroy shows?
shock me, i stole your love, christeen 16
7.) any interesting rip and destroy road stories?
on the way to a show in dallas we got pulled over by a texas sherriff. he took one look at us in the make-up and costumes and asked us if we thought it was halloween. we told him we were the real kiss and we were late for a show, so he let us go with a warning.
there was also the time brian [paul] almost blew an entire gig by getting stuck in an embarassing state of undress by part of his costume. he'd just gotten his first pair of honest-to-god platforms added to a pair of knee-high black boots, and had to rush home to try them on. apparently, he stripped down to his underwear since the tight-fitting riding boots won't go on over regular pants, and he didn't want to bother putting on the black body-suit just to try the boots on. he plunged his feet into the boots, and found them a touch snug as one would expect from new un-broken-in footwear. after jumping around for while (in front of the mirror, no doubt) he discovered that he couldn't get them off by himself. his feet had probably swelled up, it's impossible to get a good angle on a pair of riding boots with just your hands, and mr. bonehead had totally forgotten to get himself a boot jack. so there he was, stuck at home in nothing buy knee-high platform boots and his tighty-whiteys. even if he could have gotten a pair of pants on over them, he had no chance of driving a 5-speed stick (he has a little honda) in those boots. needless to say, none of us have won the lottery lately, so we're not all walking around with cell-phones, and he couldn't get ahold of anyone else either. he sat there for 4 1/2 hours trying to get those boots off until we finally got in touch with each other and i went over there to help him get the things off so he could get out of there and get ready for the show. that took a while in itself since i had to spend 20 more minutes laughing my ass off at him before i could muster the strength to yank those things off his feet. needless to say, the show started fashionably late.
the other one i really like was the time we were taking a break out in front of a rehearsal space we use in downtown autin. i was wearing a vintage judas priest t-shirt, from the unleashed in the east album. the back of the shirt has only the words "live in japan" printed on it, as in - the band played shows live in the country of japan, and they were recorded for this album. well, this girl and her friends come walking up the street behind me, and she stops and looks straight at me (which i didn't mind at all...) and totally serious, she says, "why would i want to live in japan?" she got a little bent that we were all doubled over laughing at her, but we talked to her for a while and she was really cool. we put her and her friends on the guest list and they really dug the show, then they stuck around and partied with us afterwords...ahem. and the rest, as they say, is kisstory.
8.) what was your favorite, and least favorite, rip and destroy gig?
least favorite was probably a private party where the people really did not get it. last halloween in austin, tx was my favorite to date. we are also doing a parade next spring that should be fun.
9.) what goals do you wish to achieve as a kiss tribute band?
just to pay homage and have fun while entertaining as many people as possible.
10.) what's in the future for rip and destroy?
more and more rock.