Eric Singer

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Eric Singer
Eric Singer 2012.jpg
Eric Singer, Hollywood, California on March 20, 2012
Background information
Birth name Eric Doyle Mensinger
Also known as "The Catman"
Born (1958-05-12) May 12, 1958 (age 55)
Euclid, Ohio, United States
Genres Hard rock, heavy metal, progressive metal, power metal
Occupations Musician
Songwriter
Instruments Drums, vocals
Years active 1984–present
Associated acts Kiss
Alice Cooper
E.S.P.
Avantasia
Lita Ford
Gary Moore
Black Sabbath
Badlands
Brian May
Seventh Wonder
Gilby Clarke
The Cult
Warren DeMartini
Website www.eric-singer.com

Eric Singer (born Eric Doyle Mensinger; May 12, 1958) is a hard rock and heavy metal drummer for the rock band Kiss and formerly for singer Alice Cooper. Over the past two decades, Singer has appeared on over 75 albums and 11 EPs.

Early career[edit]

Singer was born Eric Doyle Mensinger 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. Young 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.

Eric worked at King Musical instruments before going pro.

Singer's first professional drumming job was as Lita Ford's touring drummer in 1984. In 1985 he joined Black Sabbath, replacing original drummer Bill Ward, who had left the band after the Live Aid reunion. Singer would participate 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. Singer accepted and played on the band's self-titled debut album. Singer left the group in 1989 as he would join Paul Stanley as his touring drummer on his solo tour of the United States and Canada. Singer played with Olivia Newton-John in the music video for "Culture Shock". He later revealed in an interview that he obtained that gig because he was working for Lita Ford at the time.[1]

Kiss[edit]

The Catman

In December 1991, Eric Singer officially became the drummer for Kiss after the death of Eric Carr. Singer, who had performed with Paul Stanley on his club tour along with Bob Kulick two years earlier, was hired and 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.[2] 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.

After five relatively quiet years, during which Singer toured with Queen guitarist Brian May, Singer was asked to rejoin Kiss in 2001 after Criss' departure shortly before the Australian and Japanese leg of Kiss' Farewell tour. Singer debuted in full "Catman" make-up and costume for the first time on the tour, causing some animosity because the "Catman" character had previously been solely portrayed by Criss, including during many of the band's successful years; even when Eric Carr replaced Criss, Carr did not don the makeup (he portrayed the "Fox" until Kiss dispensed with the makeup in 1983).[3] 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. Since then, Singer has been playing drums in Kiss as their permanent drummer. In 2009, Singer, along with lead guitarist Tommy Thayer, played and sang 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. 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).

Singer also was said to be a great drummer in a 2008 interview by Peter Criss, despite being upset about Singer using his image.

Alice Cooper and other projects[edit]

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 his side project ESP, he has not played in Alice Cooper's band since 2008.

He has also occasionally performed and recorded with his own Eric Singer Project, featuring, among others, his former Kiss bandmate Bruce Kulick and former Mötley Crüe lead singer John Corabi. Three releases have resulted from this collaboration: the studio album 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 toured with Gary Moore on the wild frontier tour and 1989 he also had a small appearance in the Wes Craven film A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child as a member of a fictional rock band.

Eric Singer performing with Alice Cooper

Equipment[edit]

Throughout his career, Singer has used Pearl drums, hardware and pedals, Terry Bozzio Attack signature drumheads, Zildjian Cymbals and Ddrum acoustic drum triggers.

Kiss live set-up (2009–2010)[edit]

Drums

Pearl

Pearl Masters

Smoked acrylic

  • 24" x 15" bass drum x2
  • 12" x 8" Tom
  • 13" x 8.5" Tom
  • 16" x 14" floor tom
  • 18" x 16" floor tom
  • 8" x 7" Tom (to left of hi-hat)
  • 10" x 8" Tom (to left of hi-hat)
  • 14" x 6.5" free-floating snare
Cymbals

Zildjian

  • 14" Avedis Rock Hi-Hat x1
  • 21" K Custom Hybrid Ride x1
  • 19" Z3 Medium Crash x8, 8" Splash on the upper part (inverted),
  • 16" Oriental China Trash x1
  • 9,1 / 2" Zil-Bel X1
  • 8" A Custom Splash x1
  • 6" A Custom Splash x1
  • 12" Z3 Splash x1
Percussion

Latin Percussion

  • LP Bongo Bell Chrome x1
Hardware

Pearl

  • C1000 straight stand x 5
  • Pesados boom stand B2000
  • H2000 hi-hat stand
  • S2000 Snare Stand
  • P2000C pedal x2
  • CH70 Cymbal boom
  • T2000 double Tom stand
  • 75X Cowbell Adapter
  • HA100 Hi hat adapter
Drumsticks

Zildjian

  • "Eric Singer Artist Series" size 2B
Electronics

Ddrum

  • Pro Drum Triggers (on each drum)

Singer has his own Signature Series snare drum and artist series drumsticks, "Pearl Signature Series Eric Singer" snare drum and Zildjian "Eric Singer Artist Series" drumsticks.

See also[edit]


References[edit]

  • Leaf, David; Ken Sharp (2003). Kiss: Behind The Mask – The Official Authorized Biography. New York, NY: Warner Books, Inc. ISBN 0-446-53073-5. 
  • Sherman, Dale (2009). Black Diamond: The Unauthorized Biography of KISS (10th Anniversary Edition). Burlington ON, Canada: CG Publishing, Ltd. ISBN 9781894959926. 

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ kissfaq.com[dead link]
  2. ^ Leaf and Sharp, Kiss: Behind The Mask – The Official Authorized Biography, pp. 387, 390.
  3. ^ Sherman, Black Diamond, p. 161

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Eric Carr
Drummer for Kiss
1991–1996
Succeeded by
Peter Criss
Preceded by
Peter Criss
Drummer for Kiss
2001–2002
Succeeded by
Peter Criss
Preceded by
Peter Criss
Drummer for Kiss
2004–current
Succeeded by
Incumbent