Interview with Dennis Woloch

The design wizard

Ever since I since I discovered Kiss in the 70′s, the design and packaging of the albums and merchandise have always fascinated me. And the ‘magic world’ of illustrations and typography It showed me had a lot to do with my own choices later in my working life. So It’s a real pleasure to be able to publish this interview I have done with the Kiss design ‘mastermind’ in the 70′s and 80′s, Dennis Woloch. It’s a dream I have had since I read the great interview he did with the ‘Kiss This’ fanzine in the beginning of the 90′s. And thank you very much Dennis for being to willing to answer these questions. You have made my day.

Q. Tell us a little about your background and what kind of work you did for you did for Howard Marks before you started working with Kiss.

I was the Art Director at Howard Marks Advertising in New York for 22 years. Eventually I became the VP/ Creative Director.
As an art director, my job is to come up with concepts for the project at hand, then design it and do the layout. If the job calls for an illustration or photograph, it’s the art director’s job to select the right person for that particular project. You bring it to life.

Some of our clients were Wall Street firms, Women’s shampoo, Cosmetics and Diaper Services (they competed with disposable diapers) So my experience and challenges were all over the place. We also had a greeting card Company (American Greetings) for a client. We did a large project which used pop star music celebrities, their photos and lyrics to some of their music on posters and greeting cards. I was getting experience in showbiz. We had so many projects and clients that I could not remember 5 percent of what we did in those days. We were busy. Continue reading

Gene Simmons: A Rock ‘N Roll Journey in the Shadow of the Holocaust

Gene & Flora in Ross Bergs eyes

One of the real characters in the “Kiss web world” is Ross Berg. He has always been very vocal online about his interest and admiration for Gene and Floras (Genes mother) life, and how the Holocaust and their life in Israel after the second world war has formed them as humans, when It comes to Flora to a degree I really didn’t totally understand myself. When Ross told us all that he would be publishing a book on his own I was really interested in how the result would come out. And maybe It would help me understanding his fascination for Flora. So how did It all turn out?

Ross Berg’s “A Rock ‘N Roll Journey in the Shadow of the Holocaust” is probably the strangest Kiss related book I have ever read. And I have read It three times now, and still are not sure what I think of the book. First of all. I like what Ross has tried to do with this book. The narrative way he writes the book could bring characters more to life. But It takes a really strong author to do something like that. I just don’t know how well I feel he has succeeded. Some parts of the book works really well but other parts doesn’t. More than one time the characters thoughts become to much fiction and a little to dramatic for my taste.

Another problem I have with the book is that I’m not really sure If Ross was the right person to write a book like this with his background. It is written with a very “Jewish American” point of view. And for me who has a very different point of view when It comes both religion and the state of Israel some of his conclusions in the book are a little hard difficult to agree with when Ross seems to write from a slightly religious perspective. I’m sure that Ross and Gene may have some of the same views, but It becomes a little to subjective for my taste. And Gene seems very little like a religious person.  So the characters probably become a little more what Ross want them to be than who they really are. Even if his facts are good and interesting to read. Continue reading