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“I’m really happy with the way Space Invader has been received,” Ace says over the phone. “I had a lot of fun recording it and I think that in some way that’s come through on the record. A lot of the reviews have cited that too. They say it’s kind of a feel-good record. My head was in a good place while I was recording. I broke some new ground.” Part of this involved collaborating with other writers; two of the songs were co-written with Ace’s fiance, Rachael Gordon, while he wrote with his assistant John Ostrosky on ‘Gimme A Feelin.’ And Warren Huart, who mixed the record, was even given a co-producer credit on the title track for his work in bringing the song to life. “You may have read or you may not have read that that song was an instrumental while we were mixing,” Ace explains. “While Warren was mixing other tracks I went back to my hotel room and wrote the lyrics and melody. And Warren is actually singing the high harmony on the choruses. So it was a lot of fun. Everything just came together beautifully and I think that came through on the record.” “I’m really excited about touring in Australia,” Ace continues. “A lot of good things are happening since the record has been so well received. Tickets are selling well and I’ve got a good line-up. I’ve got the bass player from The Cult, Chris Wyse. I’ve got my old guitar player back, Richie Scarlet. And I’ve got my drummer back, Scot Coogan.”



Ace is well known for his triple-humbucker Les Paul Customs, usually with a DiMarzio Super Distortion in the bridge position. “To be totally honest with you, live I only use the treble pickup, the bridge pickup,” Ace says. “And for simplicity I always disconnected my other pickups. Because if I ever tried to do the toggle switch effect, which I do from time to time, if the volume isn’t off on the other pickups, it will negate that effect. So I never switched to the other pickups live anyway. I would always disconnect my pickups to make life easier. And three pickups look great!” On Space Invader Ace used plenty of Les Pauls (“About eight dozen,” he jokes) as well as four or five different Fender Telecasters and Stratocasters, plus acoustics by Gibson, Taylor and Guild, while his old Fender Precision bass – the same one used on his first solo album in 1978 – was also called into service. “I always like to double the Gibsons with the Fenders because they have different harmonic ranges and when you blend them together you get a thicker sound,” Ace says. “Live I pretty much use Les Pauls exclusively but in the studio I’ll use anything to get an effect or thicken up a track. I don’t want to limit myself in the studio by using any one guitar exclusively. Gibson and I have a great relationship. They just called me up a couple of months ago and they want to put out another Ace Frehley model. So that would be my third that’s coming out. I don’t have a release date yet but we are gonna put out a third Ace Frehley model and it looks like it’s going to be my flame-top from 1978. That’s going to be an exciting thing.”



Frehley grew up in a musical family; his parents both played instruments, as did his brother and sister. As the youngest of three children he was able to listen and absorb from everyone around him, showing an early skill for identifying scales by ear long before he ever learned to play them. “And I just picked up my brother’s folk guitar one day and started learning chords. That Christmas my dad got me an electric guitar and it’s been a love affair ever since. And I just realised I’ve been playing guitar for 50 years now. I don’t really dwell on time much …god, I’ve been in this business now for 40- plus years… but every day feels fresh to me. This new record feels fresh.” So what gets Ace Frehley excited about playing guitar after 50 years? “Well, for me it’s playing these new songs that I wrote. I didn’t realise I could still write the way I write. At this point in my life I thought I’d lost it, and y’know, the fact that I threw this album together in ten months and during that time wrote 11 songs made me realise that I still have it, and it was mainly effortless for the most part. And I record today the same way I recorded in 1978, just me and a drummer. We’ll cut the basic tracks, I’ll throw on a scratch bass line and we’ll build it from there.”