Kiss may not be planning on hitting the recording studio any time soon, but vocalist/guitarist Paul Stanley is heading down the solo route.

Kiss may not be planning on hitting the recording studio any time soon, but vocalist/guitarist Paul Stanley is heading down the solo route. As first tipped here in 2003, Stanley is nearing completion on his first non-Kiss release since his self-titled 1978 album, issued in tandem with solo projects from the other three original Kiss members.

"So far everybody that's heard [the album] thinks it's great, so I'm real pleased with it," Stanley tells Billboard.com of the as-yet-untitled set. "Again, at this point, if it sells 100 copies or 100,000 copies or 10,000,000 copies, it won't change my life either way. All it's about is doing what I want to do and what I have the freedom to do. That being said, it's a very mainstream album. I don't think I'm going to surprise anybody being mistaken for somebody else. It was important to me to do the album I wanted to do, without any regard for anybody else's opinion or direction."

Stanley did not reveal specifics about the sonic direction of the project, but says time has only sharpened his skills. "It's not 1978 anymore," he says. "It's certainly the same mentality, and certainly I'm a better singer today. My perspective and where I'm at in my life at this point, and what I've experienced and seen, brings something else to the table that wasn't there then. But I still look back on that album as a really great snapshot of who I was and what I was doing then."

Joining Stanley on the album are session drummer Victor Indrizzo, guitarist Corky James, former Marilyn Manson guitarist John5, former Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick (who plays bass on a few songs) and noted string arranger David Campbell.

"It was great because there's a freedom to also being the director," Stanley enthuses. "In the studio, it's called the producer, but in actuality, it's the director -- the person who puts the scene together. It's great to not be limited by having to use a set group of people, because then you have to tailor to their ability or to their taste. So in doing something like this, you have total freedom to not only do what you want, but to bring in the people who can do it well. It's been great."

When the album is done, Stanley is hoping to support it with live shows. "I would love to go out, and my plan is to go out and play," he says. As previously reported, Kiss' 2004 Rock the Nation tour is chronicled on the DVD "Rock the Nation! Live," due Dec. 13 via Image Entertainment.

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