Eric Singer (Kiss)

Best known as the Drummer for rock band Kiss, Eric Singer was born May 12, 1958 in Cleveland, Ohio. He grew up in Euclid, Ohio. His father, Johnny Mensinger, was of German descent and was a local big band leader who played around the area as well as on cruise ships from the States to Europe and back. Eric began playing drums from an early age, and was inspired by bands such as Humble Pie, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, The Beatles and Queen and drummers such as John Bonham, Keith Moon, Cozy Powell, Roger Taylor, Bill Ward, and Buddy Rich.

In 1985 he joined Black Sabbath, replacing original drummer Bill Ward, who had left the band after the Live Aid reunion. Singer participated in the recording of the albums Seventh Star and The Eternal Idol and was invited by his Black Sabbath colleague Ray Gillen to join the latter’s new formed band Badlands.  Coincidentally American Rock singer Ray” Gillen was also born May 12, 1959  He is a best known for his work with Badlands and Black Sabbath in the mid-1980s and recording most of the vocals on Phenomena’s Dream Runner album.  Singer played on Badlands self-titled debut album but left the group in 1989 and joined Paul Stanley as his touring drummer on his solo tour of the United States and Canada. Singer alao toured with Queen guitarist Brian May. He was asked to rejoin Kiss in 2001 after Criss’ departure shortly before the Australian and Japanese leg of Kiss’ Farewell tour. Singer officially became the drummer for Kiss in 1992 after the death of Eric Carr and debuted in full “Catman” makeup and costume for the first time on the tour, which caused some controversy as the persona had previously been used only by Criss. Singer was replaced again by Criss in 2003 but returned to the band by the end of the year after Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley opted not to renew Criss’ contract Singer, debuted with the band on the album Revenge, on which he was originally slated to fill in on some tracks while Eric Carr recuperated from heart cancer. Singer played on Carnival of Souls: The Final Sessions and toured with Kiss until 1996, when the band reunited with original drummer Peter Criss and guitarist Ace Frehley for the Alive/Worldwide Tour. He also played on the KISS album Sonic Boom, the first studio album to feature the new line-up. It included the track “All for the Glory” (written by Stanley and Simmons) with vocals by Singer.

When not touring with Kiss, Singer performed with Alice Cooper. Singer had been a member of Cooper’s band since the release of the album Brutal Planet in 2000. Singer had already performed with Cooper years earlier, during the tour for the album Hey Stoopid. Singer has been featured on three Alice Cooper albums to date, namely, Brutal Planet, The Eyes of Alice Cooper, and Along Came a Spider. Due to his growing commitments with Kiss as well as with the Eric Singer Project (ESP), he has not played in Alice Cooper’s band since 2008. He has also occasionally performed and recorded with his own band ESP, featuring, among others, his former Kiss bandmate Bruce Kulick and former Mötley Crüe lead singer John Corabi. They have released the albums Lost and Spaced (1998), consisting completely of covers from classic rock songs; the live album Live in Japan (2006); and the DVD Live at the Marquee (2006).

Singer has also played in the band Avantasia, replacing drummer Alex Holzwarth after a guest performance in the song “Into the Unknown” from the album The Metal Opera Part II. Two EPs and one full album have been released with Singer’s performance on the drums: Lost in Space Part I, Lost in Space Part II, and The Scarecrow, and on several songs from The Wicked Symphony and Angel of Babylon. In 1987, he served as Gary Moore’s drummer on the Wild Frontier tour. In 1989, he made a brief appearance in the Wes Craven film Shocker, as a member of a fictional rock band. In 2004 Singer was featured on Italian rock singer Chris Catena’s debut album, Freak Out. He recorded drums for two tracks, “Sweet Talker” (a Whitesnake cover) and “The Stronger You Are, The Harder You Fall”.

In October 2012, KISS released their 20th studio album Monster which includes a track called “All for the Love of Rock & Roll” sung by Singer (written by Stanley)In a 2008 interview, Peter Criss stated that he thought Singer was a great drummer, despite being upset about Singer using his image. Singer has also played with Olivia Newton-John in the music video for “Culture Shock”. He has also performed with artists such as Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, Lita Ford, Badlands, and Gary Moore as well as his own band ESP. In 2015 Singer was elected to the jury of watch making’s highest awards, the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG). He is a well known in collectors circles as a collector of eclectic and expensive timepieces. During his career Singer has appeared on over 75 albums and 11 EPs.

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