“I’m working on it; it’s my masterpiece in the making,” Vincent said during his Merry Metal Christmas fan gathering, held last weekend in Nashville. “We’re creating extra books to go with this – really high-quality picture books. … It’s quite an expensive project. This was supposed to be six cassette tapes of home demos, and then unfortunately I got detoured for 25 years. So, I’m picking the pieces up. … It’s been a long time trying to find daylight.”
Vincent showed off a dummy of the proposed Archives package while being interviewed on the Rock n Roll Experience with Mike Brunn program; watch the video below. The guitarist added that the final set could now expand to as many as 20 CDs “because of the amount of material,” and that the project would be released on vinyl, too.
“It covers everything from when I was kid, 13 or 14, my first songs I ever wrote, to my first band, my first recording of my band that my dad paid for in 1966,” Vincent told Brunn. “That was amazing – that was $175 for four hours to bring my band into a studio. And I remember my dad saying, ‘How can we afford it?’ ‘We gotta afford it!’”
Plenty of Kiss-related material would also be included on Archives. “[I]t has the very first songs that I wrote with Gene [Simmons] and with Paul [Stanley],” Vincent said. “It’s all so visual, instant recall. They were magic moments and it’s all captured. … We just jammed it out, you know, hours. Really private stuff. … Unreleased songs that we wrote – we just wrote, never recorded. Early versions of ‘Unholy’ and ‘I Just Wanna’ and stuff [from] Revenge that we never used, which I always thought we should have used.”
The issue with the long-delayed box remains production costs, Vincent confirmed. “I’m just hoping that all the funds come together so we can have it,” he said. Despite the delays, Vincent remains positive: “As long as I’m still here, above ground, this thing’s gonna come out. When, I can’t say, because of the expense involved, but it’s gonna come out. … This is my legacy.”
Earlier this year Vincent abandoned plans to appear alongside a band, and now says he prefers to jam on his own. “This is really how I am the most comfortable, right now,” Vincent told Brunn. “I’m able to switch modes, tonalities, go where I wanna go without anyone trying to follow me. The right people are very, very difficult to find for me. It is a very unique chemistry that I have to find with someone, and if I can’t find it I’m happy to … stick with this.”
His career-spanning Archives project isn’t the only one that’s in limbo. Vincent also announced a re-release of the 2002 instrumental album Speedball Jamm in November, with a whopping price tag of $250, then later pulled it from his website store.
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