Our friend and fellow journalist Mitch Lafon has a great new 40th Anniversary KISS Tribute CD in the works featuring members of Tesla, Cinderella, Guns N’Roses, Dokken, Great White and many more. It’s an album you are going to want but best of all it’s a great concept for a great cause as all of the proceeds are going to benefit cancer hospice care We recently had a chance to talk with Mitch about the new Pledgemusic drive to make his amazing idea an actual reality, read on…..
LRI: Thanks for talking with us Mitch, before we get into your new KISS tribute album can you explain how you first fell in love with the band and how that initial taste as a kid shaped you and your career?
Mitch Lafon: I first fell in love with KISS while sitting in the living room playing records that had been left out by my brother. I remember the imagery of the Love Gun album and figured I should listen. Who knew I’d be introduced to brilliance such as I Stole Your Love and Shock Me. It shocked me for sure.
LRI: Many people know you from your time at Bravewords and now you are busy writing for Pure Grain Audio and regularly podcasting as well as getting this project going. Are you still gonna have time to take in a couple Canadian “Monster” tourdates and what is your opinion on the state of the KISS fanbase in 2013???
Mitch: I always have time for KISS and will take in as many shows as possible. In fact, I volunteer to have KISS take me on the road with them this summer. It seems evident that the KISS fan base is very healthy and also regenerated with younger fans coming in every year.
LRI: I lost my father to cancer and it can be such a demoralizing disease due to the odds against defeating it. One of the most comforting things to both families and patients themselves is the option of hospice care. I like the idea of giving to a cause that is so directly therapeutic…what made you or moved you to select hospice care as opposed to other typical cancer charities?
Mitch: Simply put, my father-in-law passed away at a hospice on Jan 4th 2013. The treatment there was dignified and humane. Sadly, it is not government funded. It can only survive with donations from people like you and me. Places like this must not only stay open but must thrive. The idea of giving directly to them helps ensures their survival.
LRI: Having the idea and mapping out the game plan are two very different things. “A World With Heroes” is a great title….when did your idea start taking shape and how complicated does this figure to be?
Mitch: It started taking shape about a month after my father-in-law’s passing. Getting the artists to jump on board was relatively simple. They all have big hearts and were ready n’ willin’ to help. Getting the funding through Pledge Music is a little more difficult as it requires the fans to donate.
LRI: I have been excited about this project since you mentioned it to me. There have been many KISS tribute albums over the years but many have been purely profit motivated or lacked a true fan’s touch. How did you set out to make this album a different KISS tribute from all the others???
Mitch: This one comes from the heart. There’s no playing games, no egos, no favortism. It’s about raising money for a great cause and giving those who believed enough to help out a great ‘product’.
LRI: The amount of and quality of artists agreeing to donate tracks to this album was phenomenal from the get go and has only improved. Are they all big KISS fans or do they simply have an appreciation for the cause?
Mitch: A bit of both – most of the artists LOVE KISS, but sadly, most also have a personal story of cancer ravaging a loved one. The participants here are doing it for the love of the music, but also to remember.
LRI: Eric and Jeff from Cinderella are a major part of this project and are contributing the basic tracks and many of the other artists are stepping up to do vocal or lead guitar spots. You have some idea of who wants to do what already but is there also a potential that artists keep coming forward and you include special digital bonus tracks?
Mitch: I do have a tracklisting established, but at this time it seems pointless to reveal. If we don’t reach the 100% pledge point – the project falls and most of this music will not get done.
LRI: One of the cool things for fans of PLEDGEMUSIC is the opportunity to get directly involved in helping to contribute and produce a project like this but also to get some pretty cool rewards for contributions. Ive seen everything from Peter Criss drumsticks to private lessons and concerts from some of the artists being offerred. Does that excite you as a fan almost as much as it does as as the person in charge of all this??
Mitch: It very much does. How cool would it be to have Russ Dwarf play an acoustic show in your living room?
LRI: PLEDGEMUSIC is pretty well respected and secure as a company….have there been any questions or difficulties from people wanting to get involved? Any misconceptions about the whole project or process overall ?
Mitch: The only complaint I’ve been getting is that people have to sign up to pledgemusic before donating. Many would like to simply pledge via PayPal or credit card without going through a whole registration process. Many have admitted bailing out when asked to register to the site.
LRI: Thanks for talking to us again Mitch. We have contributed to “A World With Heroes” and we urge all of our readers to as well, no matter how much they can afford to give. Its not only a good cause but an album they will NOT want to miss. Any last comments or late breaking information you want to get out there???