Peter Criss Drum Q&A

Q - Hey peter, how are you? My name is nathan and im from Australia. Im 13 years old and i love playing the drums. Ive been playing since i was 9. I have heaps of your dvds and i noticed you wear gloves when you play the drums. Is that to stop getting blisters, because i have a problem with getting blisters on my hands from playing so much. Do you wear a certain kind or is it just part of your costume. Thanks heaps...nathan (Australia)

Peter - Hi Nathan, I wear them so not to get blisters and I wear Easton gloves.
God Bless

Q - Peter: You used large kits live with KISS in the 70's. When you recorded a
majority of the KISS studio albums. Did you use a smaller set up such as a 5
or 6 piece?

Peter - Hi Greg, In the beginning I used a large kit and then I went to a 6 piece kit.
It was just better to record with.
God Bless

Q - Hi peter, I am Dillon and I am 11. I started listening to you and the rest of kiss a couple months ago. I loved your drumming. Now to the question,I was wondering how you came up with the drums for all those songs. thanks.
-god bless

Peter - Hi Dillon, I just listen to the song and then just magically...I start playing, I shouldn't say magic...It's a gift from God.
God Bless

Q - Hi Peter, I'm a dutch fan of KISS since 1979, and was inspired playing an instrument due to KISS. I chose drums and play drums ever since. I think the best period in Kiss history is that from destroyer to Dynasty. I have a question regarding your solo on god of thunder at aliveII. Were you accelarate, is this a paradiddle with accent at the first 16th and lrll rlrr hand setting? One other question, did you play at rocket ride?
Tx/rgds, Herman.

Peter -Hi Herman, No, It's in 4 time and one and two on the snare. Straight time on the high hats 8th. For the verses you play the high hat and for the choruses I play straight timing on the floor tom with the right hand and with the left play 1 and 2 on the snare.
Yes, I did play on Rocket Ride.
God Bless

Q - Hi Peter. Awesome interview with Eddie. My question is: was the drum solo during 100, 000 Years off the Alive album done in one take or was some of it edited from other shows on that tour. Thanks. Ernest Jagnjic (Canada)

Peter - Hi Ernest, It was probably 3 or 4 different shows.
God Bless

Q - Hi Peter, What is the most important thing you look for in a drum manufacture
when deciding what brand you will use? Why did you switch from Pearl drums that
you used in the 1970's with KISS to DW drums now?
Thank you, Dave Cerminaro Your biggest fan

Peter - Hi Dave, Because DW makes the best drums in the world. Their quality is the best and they last for years.
God Bless

Q - How big is your drumset and how many cymbals do you have? Johannes Andersson

Peter - Hi Johannes, At one point, I used a 20 piece drum kit with at least 34 cymbals...but, now I use a 6 piece drum kit with 7 cymbals (counting the high hat would be 9 in total).
God Bless

Q - Hi Peter my name is Tom and ive been a fan of yours and the founding members of Kiss since i got my first album (Dynasty) when I was15 now 40.Im currently playing an 8 piece Ludwig kit. My question for you is that I was reading an article in Drumscene (issue32) with you on the cover and in the article you said that your first kit was a Slingerland snare with garage lid cymbals, you said that oneday you may re-create 'the kit', Iwas wondering if you had got a chance to do that yet or is it still in the pipeline, one last thing cant wait to read your up coming book.

Peter - Hi Tom, In the future, I might rebuild that kit...just for fun.
God Bless

Q - Hey Peter! My name is Max. I'm 13 and I've been a fan of yours since I first heard my
first ever Kiss song which was Beth. I've been playing the drums for 3 years.
So far I'm able to play I was made for loving you and Love Gun.
Do you have your own Pro-Mark signature drum sticks?

Manchester, England

Peter - Hi Max, I play Ahead sticks (which are my signature sticks) as well as Zildjian sticks, but I think Pro-Mark makes a great stick.
God Bless

Q - Hi Catman:
Hi, my name is Christian, and a fan of you since 1978, im 32 years old. I think your work has being just great, i love your playing and sound on R&R over, and for me your greatest voice and drum playing "Baby Driver" well... "shock me" and "Journey of a 1000 years " from Psycho. I love the feeling on your voice on the song "easy thing" i dropped some tears with it....."bad boys".. the great"let it go"....yea..
My question is ..can i play drums on my age of 32? i actually play bass and guitar . What do you suggest for learling to play drums? Well catman ..God Bless to you and your family, He will keep you always on the run...Thanks.

PETER - Hi Christian, You are still very young. Get a good drum teacher, like Jim Chapin...Go on line to Jim's site. Hope that helps. I am glad you like my stuff.
God Bless - The Cat

Q - Hi Peter, i'm a Italian fan and i hear you from 24 years!!

only 2 questions: 1) You play on Ace Frehley's Hard times on Dynasty?

2) How comes your new solo cd, and what kind of sound you put inside (rock/jazz)?!!

Thanks, God bless you!! Luca from Rome

PETER - Hi Luca, 1)- I only played on my song "Dirty Livin" off of Dynasty. 2)- Ballads, Jazz, then Rock. I hope you like it when it comes out.
God Bless - The Cat

Q - hello catman i am the drummer in dressed to kiss italian kiss tribute band
we played with you in 94 in milan,vienna and prague and had a great time
.doin it .anyway i was wonderin if you could answer this question ..i have
heard on interwiews on drummers the term.. turning the beat around ..what
does this mean and how would you do that ..please if you can help to clear
this for me i would really appreciate it thank you again and till the next
question now that i know about your site i want to ask you some more
,,,thank you

PETER - Hi Andrea, It's like doing it backwards. It's like, hit the snare 1 and 3.
Turn it to 2 and 4. Same on Kick Drum. I can do it so easy, but to explain it? I hope this helps. There is
a song called "Turn the beat around" try to pick it up. Good Luck.
God Bless - The Cat

Q - Greetings, Catman!!

I have been listening to you and the boys of KISS since 1975. I love
playing drums to the group's songs!! I have a "fitness" question for
you. I am 44, and am just starting to get back into playing actively
again, after a 20-plus-year absense. The problem is: I have been
rather "lethargic" in my health, and if I want to get back to playing
like I used to, I have to get in shape. Do you have any suggestions
in that regard??

Brent "Koradan" J.
"Fellow Brother of the Skins"
Kent, WA.

PETER - Hi Brent, Go to the gym. 3 days a week. Play on your pad everyday. Play drums as much as you can.
You got to throw yourself back in to it...All the way. Don't be crazy, start slow, but you must also eat right. Good Luck, It ain't easy, but you can do it, If I can at 58...WOW.
God Bless - The Cat

Q - Hey peter.I am a 12 year old kid in Bagdad Arizona. You inspired me to play drums. I've played for two years and just got another drum lesson yesterday.
I love playing it is so cool. My dad has been a fan for 25 years and I've been to 2 concerts and 1 coming up in Phoenix. ill be there.
Here is my question. when you put out your add in the village voice then what happened? Thanks Michael Piccolo. Love alive IV.

PETER - Hi Michael, The Village Voice ad got me in "Chelsea". The Rolling Stones ad was the one Gene read and the rest was KISStory...Thanks.
God Bless - The Cat

Q - Hey PETE!
I have always had a good sense of hearing and as I was watching the KISS
SYMPHONY dvd, I heard you talking to the Orchestra players by your drum set.
But, I couldnt hear what you were saying because Gene Or Paul was speaking. So,
I kept replaying it louder and louder and I realized that you said you have a
750 year old snare drum! Do you have a picture of it? Also how did you get it?
thanks so much- Joe Murphy, West Des Moines, Iowa!

PETER - Hi Joe, DW makes a 750 year old snare. I don't have one yet? Gene and Paul are always talking over me.
God Bless - The Cat

Q - hi peter,
when i saw you on those drums for the very first time man you were bigger then life and you still are in my eyes.
thanks for being my superhero your the greatest. my question is
where did you get that chrome bass head ? man i would love to get one for my drum kit!
maybe your drum tech could tell you.
thanks and god bless joey..

PETER - Hi Joey, My drum tech gets them made special for me, but you can go online, there is a company that makes drum heads, all kinds...personal ones. Good Luck.
God Bless - The Cat

Q - Dear Peter,
Just wanted to ask you if you were ever in the marching band. Also, what
kind of warm-ups and stuff do you do before a show? You are an such an
inspiration to me. I am 14 years old and hope to be as awsome as you some
day. Thanks for being such an awsome inspiration.
Brehnan Miller

PETER - Hi Brehnan, Thank you, Yes I was in a marching band in school, but I was crazy and wanted to play my way.
I got thrown out after 2 weeks, but I still remember the warm-up. I can't write it down on paper. I heard that they use "Love Gun" as a warm-up in some schools? That's so cool.
God Bless - The Cat

Q - Hi, I'm Bryan a 19 year old drummer (I'm on the fan of the month section.) I was wondering how do you monitor stuff such as in a studio,
cause when I do I use headphones at full blast sometimes and I still can't hear the metronome or whatever it is cause the drums are so loud haha.
Anyways headroom is always a problem for me. Any advise? Thanks for the inspiration and awesome music, Bryan.

PETER - Hi Bryan, That's always been a problem for drummers? I play with one headphone on and one off. I started losing my hearing. The drums will always be louder. When you play that way, Unless you mike every drum and put them thru the mixing board...that would be perfect. I do that to, as I have my own studio. I am a lucky guy.
Hope that helped.
God Bless - The Cat

Q - Dear Peter:I am an undying fan of kiss. and you guys,are my guys are the greatest band in all the world.
no one can hold a candle to one.i would have loved the chance to go see you,but i have never been able to go to one concert.
not one. which i am dissapointed about.i am currently,trying to learn the drums,and i think your technique,is awesome.
but i am wondering how you get that solid sound.i have tryed diferent types of insulation,and read many books on the subject,
but i can never,get the sound just right.practiceing the guitar and bass as well.can you give me,any advice on the drums?
My technique isnt good, you have any pointers,peter?i know you have a busy life,and being with paul,and gene,and now,tommy,is a part of it.
but i want to learn,really badly.write some songs and try and make it big,for my sons sake.
once again,i want to thank you,for giving the world,such excellent rock and guys are,and always will be,my idols.
thanx,dude. billy henry

PETER - Hi Billy, Thanks, like I say, "Just can't find the sound?" It's all in the feel, the touch, the way you hit. It's just magic for me. God gives out talent, but you have to practice your ass off. I still play everyday. All you need is a Bass drum, Snare drum, Hi Hats. Start slow. I am busy working on my new CD and Book.
Gene, Paul and Tommy are not in my life...Thank God.
God Bless - The Cat

Q - Peter, first of all, you the main reason Ive been
playing drums for 30 years, YOU ROCK. my question is
of all of your live performances which is most
memorable to you and why. Thanks buddy (next to Gene
Krupa your the greatest) Jeff Sallee, Nashville, Tn

PETER - Hi Jeff, You Know I love Gene Krupa, cool. The first time
I played Madison Square Garden. My Mom and Dad were living.
It's my favorite place to play, I am a New Yorker.
God Bless - The Cat

Q - Hi Pete, I have enjoyed you shows since 70's. My favorite old style
Drummer is Gene Krupa. I play a little but can't get the same sound, even
though I have a Slingerland kit w/A. Zindjians. I have a theory the drum
shells were thinner back then, and the cymbals wer made differently.
What do you think? Thanks, Gary

PETER - Hi Gary, You are right, My DW's are much heavier than my
Gene Krupa Silingerlands. And my old Cymbals are a little different,
But I like the sound of them. But not for Rock, great for Jazz.
God Bless - The Cat

Q - What do you think of the new Delta D.W. pedals? I love ya man, and had a great music life thinks to you, and inspiring to play drums when I was 12 , 36 now and Come visit my Drum Shop when you guys swing through Charlston,Wv. Jungle Drums, its five star all the way, and is about 5 mile from civic center, move lots of D.w.kits.Will john g , and don l. put out a Peter Criss sig. kit? And when, I want one.D.W. are the best, once you play and hear them its over.

PETER - Hi Jon, I love the Delta DW, I play the 5000 it fly's. ALL of DW's hardware is great. Good luck. Maybe someday, I'll jump by?
God Bless - The Cat

Q - Hey Peter im just about 2 years into being a big kiss fan I found out my dad was really into you guys. But for some reason drums stood out to me. OK, to the question: with my set when im playing along with a song I (SOMETIMES) drop a stick, have you ever dropped a stick in a concert before if so what happens?thank you catman your the best!!!! Blaine

PETER - Hi Blaine, In the 40 years of playing, I have dropped many a stick. Back in the day, you put sticks on the bass drum in the grooves. I would just grab one. Now there is a big bag next to my Hi Hats, So I just grab one out of there. NEVER stop playing, even with one stick. It happens to all of us. Good luck. Hold On.
God Bless - The Cat

Q - Hi I'm a big fan of yours, I wanted to know if you have any music books that have all your best drum solos and songs.
I like watching you on DVDs and I know how to play 2 songs God of thunder and Do you love me. Well see ya! From Ryan D

PETER - Hi Ryan, I am sure there are some books out there...? Go Online, you will find something? Good luck.
God Bless - The Cat

Q - Hello name is danny,im 15 yrs old and im from san antonio texas..i went to your show last year and it was the best ever!! it was the 4th time i have seen yall..u blew aerosmith have inspired me to play the drums..YOU got me to play...and youre the you have any tips about what i should do with my band?(Rise2Fall) on playing at gigs and such? Thx Alot and God Bless you!!!!

PETER - Hi Danny, You practice a lot, get really tight. Must have Original songs, A good look to the band. Play the clubs, It will give you experience and record people can come and see you play. When you got a couple of good tunes, record them. It is not easy, but go for it and get someone who really cares about the band.
God Bless - The Cat

Q - Hi Peter,
You have truly been an inspiration to drummers all over the world. I
myself have been playing the drums 1977 because of you. My question is, over
your career you have used Pearl & DW drums. Have you ever given any
consideration in the future of owning your own company that manufactures drum
kits, cymbals, drumsticks etc...Thank You Peter, Dave Cerminaro

PETER - Hi Dave, I love my DW's. I just want to play them. Not make them.
I am not greedy, Just Blessed.
God Bless - The Cat

Q - Pete,
It was a travesty that you and Frehley didn't play on Psycho Circus. The loose
sound that you both add to the group was sorely missed, and it was quite
disingenuous for Gene and Paul to have pulled the wool over the fans eyes
like they did. Why did it happen? Scott W. Reed

PETER - Hi Scott, Because Gene and Paul are controlling, "Ego's."
They forgot were it all started, "The Sound" and always give the "Fans"
what they want. You are right.
God Bless - The Cat


PETER - Hi Kevin, I love the shore. You will have to read my book, about the "Impostor." I play some piano and a little guitar. God of Thunder, The end of Hotter than Hell, some other songs, I can't remember all of them...?
God Bless - The Cat

Q - Dear Peter,
I was wondering if you could put some tips on small 4 piece drum sets on your site, or e-mail them to me. I was at your concert last year on Sept. 12th 2003 in Auburn WA and it was awesome!! I'm 11 years of age and I'm just starting out. Thanks! Zac

PETER - Hi Zac, I am playing a 5 piece again and I love it. Less is best. I started out with a 3 piece to a 4 piece, I didn't have my 16 Floor Tom Tom, Only could afford 3 pieces...Just go slow, you got time and time is what a drummer is all about. Good Luck.
God Bless - The Cat

Q - Hello there just wanted to know if there gonne be new sticks available with
your sign on it>If so were can I get them.
THANX Kris(The Netherlands, Europe)

PETER - Hi Kris, I am working on a stick right now. I still play Ahead and Zildjian wood sticks, but I am working on a personal stick. Keep Looking...
God Bless - The Cat

Q - hey peter, my name is tim weed and i am 14. i have liked kiss for 3yrs now and the first time i heard the intro to love gun it blew me away. I recently bought a 5pc peavey set and it came with 1 peavey crash cymbal and the peavey hi-hats, afer i had saved up sum more money i bought a sabian splash cymbal and a cow bell. My question is, would u recomend me to buy a new crash cymbal and hi-hats if i want a better sound.Thank you for inspiring me to start playing drums and i wish you and your family the best. Tim

PETER - Hi Tim, I don't know how much money you have, but Zildjian Cymbals are the BEST. There was a short time in my career that I did play Sabain, and they are very good cymbals. Sabain or Zildjian are better, than peavey to me. Hope that helps.
God Bless - The Cat

Q - hi pete im a huge kiss fan and was over the moon when you rightfully took your chair back in the question is what happens to all the old tour kits that you use i.e. the 70's etc..? where do they go..all the best gary from london

PETER - Hi Gary, All the '70's kit's, were left in the '70's? I like to collect snare drums, So I have some snare drums...Where do they go? - To drum heaven.
God Bless - The Cat

Q - Hey Peter your the best,,Just got one question ?? Did you get Destroyer drumset made at Winklers drum shop in the mid 70"s??I started taking drum lessons there because of you of course, And there was a very nice picture of you Tommy and Lydia, So Tommy told me the story and gave me a leftover piece of covering from that set."Just curious,,Your the ""Best .. God Bless James

PETER - Hi James, To be very honest, I don't remember, long time ago...It's possible. Hope that helps...?
God Bless - The Cat

Q - Hello Peter! I know over the years you have made friends on tour with many other drummers, such as Neil Peart, Carmine Appice (Yo Brooklyn), but I was wondering if you could post a picture from the current tour with yourself and Joey Kramer together backstage or onstage. Is that possible? It would also be VERY cool to dig out some more photos from your own albums from the 70s with such backstage pictures-like the one with Peart on the Hotter than Hell tour. You were very cool to me when I met you. It was at a Balls of Fire show. You actually let me and my friend into your dressing room and take some photos. You also answered many questions. I will never forget the kindness you showed me. You made a dream come true that night, so thanks again, and please consider my suggestion, although I know you're kind of busy right now! God Bless you!
Drummer for SOCKEYE

PETER - Hi, I do not have one picture of Joey Kramer and me, back or front stage. It just never happened. I don't know where my head was. Joey's a nice guy. I'll look around for more pictures.
God Bless - The Cat

Q - hey pete im 15 years old and i play guitar and every time me and the boys practice i end up playing the drums and absolutely love it! i wanna get a drumset but i dont have enough money to get a whole kit so i wanna get like a snare, bass, and hi hat ,or whatever . what do you think i should get to start of with? "you know you got nothing to loooooooooose, you got nothing to lose!"keep rockin' thanx for the good music. god bless you ! , Tony .

PETER - Hi Tony, I love this! I am getting more and more guitar players wanting to play drums. Your right on. Bass Drum, Snare, Hi Hats...that's where it started. Good Luck!
God Bless - The Cat

Q - My name is Brandon Weeth. I am 9 years old and have been a fan of KISS for
a couple years now. I'm using my dad's e-mail to tell you that I want to
one day be as good a drummer as you are because I think you're the best. My
favorite thing you do is the little solo/drum roll down at the end of Black
Diamond where you go "ting" on the little cymbal. My dad and I call that
"Tingage." What kind of cymbal is that one? Also, how do you remember what
to do during your drum solos? Thanks,

PETER - Hi Brandon, Thanks, during a drum solo, I play what I feel. I also have so many cymbals. I think it's one of my small ones in front.
God Bless - The Cat

Q - Hi Peter,
I've been watching you since 1976 (I'm 35 now), and I remember the Alive
drum configuration, which seemed to be the 22" bass, snare, then the
concerts from 6" to 16" in that silver wrap. They were the Pearls.
Anyway, later on, like during the Love Gun period and Alive 2, you had
those black Pearl drums and to your immediate left you had the 6", 8",
10" and 12" concert toms, then from there on, I'm not sure what sizes
you used. Did you have some drums that were the same diameter, like two
14" and/or two 16" concert toms. Maybe even a custom 18" concert tom.
Anyway, I've looked at the pics repeatedly, and can't figure it out.
Anyway, I appreciate your time. I just saw you at the Shoreline, in
California on Oct. 10th. Great!
Thanks Peter!
Joe C. - 27 Year Fan!

PETER - Hi Joe, Maybe my drum tech. can look back in the drum cases and find some sizes? I just don't remember. I had so many drums, but I can say, one was NEVER the same size as the other.
God Bless - The Cat

Q - Hi
Im going to bye a sett of drums And I think Kiss is the best so I wonder
whitch drum brand you use.
I also wonder if you have a learnig DVD or Video for beginers becuse I have
never played drums before.
If you have that is it posibel to send it to Norway
From your biggest fan Andreas Thorvildsen.

PETER - Hi Andreas, Thanks. I will have out in the near future a DVD Drum thing...If you are a beginner, go for lessons, find out about yourself. Start slow, you will get there. I play DW, but that may be out of your range of money. See what the teacher says. Start on a drum pad. Hope that helps.
God Bless - The Cat


PETER - Hi Jordan, Thanks. I am now playing a 5 piece set, Two Floor Toms, one in front, basic. There perfect for my Jazz and I still kick ass on the Rock stuff. I love a 4 to 5 peace kit. It's all you need. Bass, Piano, Guitar - WOW!!!
God Bless - The Cat

Q - Hi Pete!
My name is Teddy, and just turned 40, and have been
playing rock and country drums since high school.
Still play in a band currently.
My question, I asked Gene what may have been a corny
question to him, or he just did not have time to
answer, but my question is.. The Pearl kit that you
played back in like 78-79, the mammoth pearl kit and
gong...what happened to it??
Is the kit in in a museum or hard rock cafe somewhere
or do you personally have it?
Do you keep your "older" kits or do they get auctioned
off to charity or something?
BTW...I downgraded from a starclassic maple to a
performer series, and since I can only dream of a DW
kit, let me know when you "retire" one of those DW's
and ill send you my address :)
One other thing while i have your attention.
I also play with Easton Ahead drumsticks... At one
point in time i had developed carpal tunel. I
switched to a lighter stick and seem not to have this
problem anymore.
Do the easton's still give you a problem with carpal?
BTW... I saw you when you were here in Dallas even
though YOU thought you were in Houston :)
keep rockin dude!

PETER - Hi Teddy, You say one thing wrong on stage and everyone remembers...About Houston. I sold the Pearls. I forget to who. I think KISS has the Gong. ALL the older kits, I just gave away. That was a long time ago...Hope you get your DW's some day. I LOVE them so much.
God Bless - The Cat

Q - hey peter, im a real big kiss fan i was going to go see you in nashville, but i couldnt get off work. anyways about a year ago i took up drums, i just wanted to know how do you choose the cymbal set up. theres so many different ways i just cant figure out which one i liked. thanks, Troy

PETER - Hi Troy, That's hard. Each drummer like's his cymbals different. You know that, when you look at a set of drums. Keep moving them around, until you feel comfortable. Cymbals are personal.
God Bless - The Cat

Q - I just recently started to practice on my drumpad and I have been trying to lead more with my left hand. It's been a real struggle but in the last few weeks I've noticed a big difference in the strength of my left hand, It's been encouraging. I would like to know if you noticed any weaknesses in your playing when you started taking lessons with Jim Chapin, and what were they. God Bless Terry

PETER - Hi Terry, I told you the pad rules. I play everyday on it. It is a struggle, but you see the difference right. Jim was the man who got me on the pad. There is a lot Jim showed me. So, go on his website (you can find a link to it on his Cat's Meow page on my site)...The Molar system. On your pad try singles to doubles to triples. It's a lot of fun.
God Bless - The Cat

Q - Hi Peter I'm a really big fan. To a drummer to a drummer, I'm a Female
Drummer the only one at my school, and I have been playing the drums for 8 to
11 years. I want to know what it's like for you when you up on the stage drumming?
I want to make a Kiss band. How can I make my Drumming skills better?
Thank you so so much Peter.

Peter - Hi, From one drummer to another drummer, being on stage is like being in heaven to me, NOT always, but there are moments. Work on a drum pad, everyday for about a half an hour to an hour, play to music, so you get a groove and a feel.
It's fun. Start your own band and always be ORIGINAL.
God Bless, The Cat

Q - Hi Pete,
First of all, I wanna say that you inspired me to play drums back when I was
5 years old (22 now). I can't thank you enough for your guidance. And I
love your solo work (especially '78), but I think I would give my right arm
to see you play Strange Ways live. You are definitely my favorite. Always
will be. My question is: Why did you decide to go back to Pearl Drums for
the ALIVE/WORLDWIDE TOUR? Was it because you wanted to give Pearl a second
chance, or because you wanted to make the reunion a little more authentic,
considering you used Pearl in the 70's. Thanx Pete. You are forever my
inspiration. Robert Collins

Peter - Hi Robert, I am glad I turned you on to the drums. I love my DW's.
I only used the Pearl kit because they were a little more authentic, but I was not happy about it. Pearl, I helped make that company, but I love my DW's. Keep playing.
God Bless, The Cat

Q - Hi Peter!
First of all, I want to say that you are one of my favorite drummers! =^_^= I've loved the drums since I was a little girl, I used to dream about playing them, unfortunately I never did. Anyway, two of my other absolute favorites are Ringo Starr and Keith Moon. I was wondering, were you ever inspired by either of them? Also, Ringo changed his last name to "Starr" from "Starkey." (Starr with a double "r"...) Did that have anything to do with you switching from "Criscoula" to "Criss" with a double "s"? I'm just curious!
Anyway, thanks Peter... as always, YOU'RE THE GREATEST!!!! Keep rocking!
Stacy =^_^=

Peter - Hi Stacy, I love Ringo and Keith and they did inspire me, but Gene Krupa was it. I did the name thing, because there were two S in KISS, like Criss...
Cool right...You can still play the drums.
God Bless - The Cat

Q - On Rock & Roll Over & Love Gun you're snare drum sound was massive and even on those tours as well
what type of snare drum was it and what were the specs on it. I've seen some pictures and it looks huge and not your typical snare dimensions.
Next to Alex Van Halen's snare I've yet to hear a snare so massive and with such a pop to it.
Thanks for giving us drummers and chance to ask you questions like this, this is so cool.

Peter - Hi Byron, I played a Pearl marching snare drum. It was big chrome/silver. I forgot the dimensions, and by the way I love Alex Van Halen.
Be Cool.
God Bless - The Cat

Q - Hello Peter! I really enjoy reading the Drum Page on! I'm a 38 year old drummer
that has had a life-long love of the drums, but was actually inspired to play the drum set after hearing your 100,000 Years solo on Kiss Alive! To date I love playing my drums and remain a loyal Peter Criss fan- since 1975! I hope you will answer my drum questions:
1. What active/current drummer(s) do you most enjoy listening to/watching play?
2. I read that you like to practice by playing along to records. I do too. Could you list a few of your favorite albums to play along with?
Thanks for your time Peter. All the best to you and your family, with continued health and happiness!
God Bless,
Dan Lowrey

Peter - Hi Dan, I just don't listen to the new guys, I will start...I get asked this a lot. I love Jazz, Swing, Latin Jazz and Good old straight Rock and Roll.
God Bless, The Cat

Q - Hey Peter,
When you are choosing what hardware to use for your drums both in the studio and onstage, what exactly are you looking for as far as performance goes? I play Pearl drums, but use all DW hardware because it seems more durable, easy to set up, and quicker. Also, have you done much with double kicks at all?
Lifetime Fan,

Peter - Hi John, I just love everything from DW and their hardware is great, you are right. Durable, easy to set up. Forget about it as we say in Brooklyn, I did try double kicks. I tried two bass drum's and the DW Double pedals. If you like it cool, but I am a single bass drum guy.
God Bless, The Cat

Q - Your solos are magnificent. Truly works of art. I've seen two live, Cincinnati '79 and
Cleveland '98 (was right there! row twenty-one, stage left ). As a percussionist, I would be
most interested in seeing, as Paul put it in the one book, " What is he doing up there?".
Do you have video of your solos that are available (or could be made available)? I would be most interested in checking out your sticking. You get a sense of it from audio, but sometimes I just don't understand how you do it.
Roy T.

Peter - Hi Roy, Thanks. I don't know what Paul put in a book? They put the books out, but I am playing my ass off back there, with all my heart. Maybe some old KISS videos going around with 100,000 years? I do remember seeing some stuff back in the day. Good luck, I hope you find something on me. In the future I will be putting out my own Drum DVD.
God Bless, The Cat

Q - First off, let me say that you have been a huge inspiration and influence
in my playing. What types of workouts do you do to stay in shape, and how often do you
David Jones

Peter - Hi David, I am glad you like to play. I go three times a week - 30 minutes on a tread mill, Some light weights, Work on some of the weight machines,
About 2 hours. The heart is very important, you must keep it strong. Vitamins are important and eating healthy. It all goes together. Hope this helps.
God Bless, The Cat

Q - Hello Peter. My name is Nils and i live in Norway.My age is 40 and i ve been a fan since i was ten.Because of you i started to play drums my self. I wondering about your old drum kit that you used in the seventies? Where are they and is it possible to buy them? With love and respect Nils Mathisen

Peter - Hi Nils, I am glad I made you play. I don't have old sets, some snare drums. I will put my reunion set up some day, the Pearls, but I will NOT sell
drums. I have some DW's that I am going to donate to some music schools that need instruments...Poor schools.
God Bless, The Cat

Q - Peter Criss, In my mind, the GREATEST drummer ever been. Really. Pete, I love everything you did and still do... the drumming, the voice, the music and the songs. You're one of the coolest artists ever been.
Just a question. A very IMPORTANT question. You stated that you didn't play on ONE studio song of ALIVE II. Kramer stated there were TWO songs where you didn't play. What are these songs if they are two? Rocket Ride and Larger Than Life? Please, please, we fans are going mad...
In the end: THE CATMAN DICTATES LAW ON EARTH !!!!!!!! Tiziano Caliendo, Naples.

Peter - Hi Tiziano, I really don't remember, but I did play on Rocket Ride and Larger than Life. Don't worry about it...It's all cool. Thanks.
God Bless, The Cat

Q - Hi Peter,
It was indeed a great honour for myself to meet you back in 1992 after your solo show at the Rockin' Zoo in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada. I told you that I started playing drums many years before because of you, and I remember that you seemed to appreciate statement a great deal.
1 - How true is the rumour that, back in 1980, you were considered to replace John Bonham in Zeppelin? Your drumming on "Larger Than Life" is quite Bonhamesque.
2 - Do you keep in contact with any of the bands who opened up for Kiss in the early 70s? (ie. Rush?)
I hope to see you perform yet again in Toronto soon,
Moe Cullity, Toronto, Canada

Peter - Hi Moe, Forget about it, NO one can replace John Bonham.
Sadly to say, NO, but I do keep in touch with Ted Nugent.
God Bless, The Cat

Q - Hey Peter, Been a KISS fan from the beginning…Can you tell me why you use that 2 piece bass drum?? Does is give you a deeper sound? I’ve noticed it on the last few tours and I’m curious. Keep rockin’ !!!!!!!!!!! Brian Foster

Peter - Hi Brian, DW made an extension, with a microphone in it. It gives it a BIG sound and hits ya right in the heart. Keeps it nice and tight. Full sound, a deeper sound. I love it. Hope that helps.
God Bless, The Cat

Q - Peter please help me im Matt Carrafa form Melbourne im a violin major i was present at the KISS symphony, my
Teacher lead the orchestra Wilma Smith. i so BAD wanna get some copies of some of the violin 1 parts to some
of the song so i can play with my DVD Take care rock forever blessings Matt

Peter - Hi Matt, Sorry, I can't help you. I don't have any of that stuff. Try Gene or Paul. Good luck kid.
God Bless, The Cat

Q- I've been a fan of yours for 16 years & you inspired me to pick up my sticks when I was 15. My question is: What is your feeling on double bass drums? I prefer using a single bass drum, but I do occasionally use a double bass pedal on my single bass drum. I have read interviews with you in the past, but I don't recall ever reading about your thoughts on this subject. Thanks Pete You're The GREATEST! Sean Hefner (no relation to Hugh, unfortunately!)

Peter- I love one bass drum. It started out with one. I am honored I inspired you. I have tried the double pedal, but am better on one. If you love double bass drums, great. Just keep playing the drums. Thanks The Catman

Q- I have ordered an electronic kit, I like the variety of sounds. Wondering, if you have ever played them and have tips? Brandon (30 year fan)

Peter- I have played Roland, Very cool. After this tour I am getting a set, just to mix with or maybe record, Who knows? Thanks The Catman

Q- Hi Peter, First off, I'd like to thank you for being an inspiration to myself and countless other drummers. You truly are my Gene Krupa and are the reason I took up playing the drums many years ago. My question is this: Considering your jazz and swing influences, do you ever play traditional grip in live situations? Also, how are your arms feeling, considering your carpal tunnel diagnosis? God bless you and your family and may you have many happy and healthy years behind the kit, Cat!
Jesus Avalos, MBA

Peter- I am honored I inspired you to play drums, Gene Krupa was my god. Yes I do play every so often it depends on the music or song. I am feeling great I never had carpal tunnel.. Too many shows just needed a rest. God bless you and your family. Thanks The Catman

Q- Dear Peter, I am curious how you divide your practice time. Do you own a drum machine or play along with records? You are the reason I play the drums, YOU ARE THE GREATEST! Thank You, JIM AIELLO.

Peter- I am honored I inspired you . I hate drum machines. I practice to records, All kinds of music that's what makes playing drums so cool. Keep playing. Thanks The Catman

Q- Hey hows it goin Peter, I just listened to ALIVE IV and was impressed with your playing. Prob. The best you've sounded in the Reunion Tours. I just wanted to know, is their anything differently you have been doing the last year and a half, in terms of practice regime, new techniques,etc ? Thanks in advance, Joseph

Peter- Thank you for the complement. Yes I have mixed things around, Lower cymbals, Tilt snare, Seat lower, Hold sticks different. I'm more in total control. I practice on my pad every day or on my drums if I am home. Thanks for noticing. Hope that helps. Thanks The Catman

Q- Hello Peter! I was wondering if you could explain what the difference is, if any, there are between the drums you use in the studio and the ones you use in concert? What drums are you using for the upcoming jazz album? I looked at the photos of you working on the album on your page, but I don't know too much drums and was curious. Thanks! John Morrison

Peter- I do have a favorite set for the studio and a set for concerts and a set for jazz. I am truly blessed. Some guys only have one set and have to play this everywhere. I had to do that in the beginning of my career. God has been good to me. Thank you The Catman

Q- Hi Pete! First, I would like to thank you for this Web Site. It's a great way for us fans to keep up with the COOLEST Drummer ever put on God's green earth. My question is this: How do you put your solos together? They are always so cool, and fit you perfectly. Thanks! Jamie

Peter- Thank you so much for the complement. Sometimes I listen to Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich and some Jazz, Rock, Latin, put it altogether and outcomes a solo. Than sometimes I just play and don't think, just play and go away, and that's a solo. Thanks The Catman

Q- Dear Peter, I am a drummer who performs 3 - 5 nights a week in the new jersey, new york area. I am a huge fan of yours! Here is my question: I have used the pearl master custom kit for the last 5 years, and i love it because the HARDWARE never has let me down. You, however have peaked my interest with your total dedication to DW! My question is do you feel that the dw hardware is top notch? I have used them in rehersal studios and it seems flimsy to me? Do you know if there are different levels of dw hardware for different levels of drums? Thanks in advance for the answer! THANKS AND GOD BLESS, Joey V

Peter- D.W. is the best in the world. I played it all. I don't know what you played, All there hardware is great. Only the best play D.W. trust me. One level with D.W.- great! God Bless you - The Catman


Q - Dear Pete, First off, your the greatest around!!! My question is at what point in time was the biggest kit you ever played on and could you describe it or post a picture if you have one? Thanks for all the memories and keep rocking!!!! Tom-Lima, Ohio

Peter - Thanks! I believe 1976 to 78, I had a Gong back than. I really like a 5 piece these days. Thanks The Cat Pictured to your left is Peter's Love Gun/Alive2 Kit.

Q- Why not offer some clinics or a drum video? John DeNobile

Peter - You are right, After the tour. I will have all the time for the World of PeterCriss. There are all kinds of COOL things planned, Music, Acting, My Book, A DvD...on and on. How to play drums like me. Hang in their as The Cat would say. God Bless, The Catman

Q- Hi, I am a drummer for about four years now. I have been a KISS fan for about 25 years now, So when I started playing naturally KISS was what I learned first. What were your influences when you started playing? Most of my playing style is like yours and I would love to hear were you got your style from. On your Drum Page the picture of your drum set , The toms to the left of your High Hats, What song do you use them on?. Thanks! A big fan!

Peter - First, Gene Krupa. Chuck Weeb, John Bonaham, Ringo. Buddy Rich. Louis Benson. I love Jazz! On my page, I don't think they are set-up to play, Just to see them. Their is a diagram on D.W. of my set-up. I will put one of mine up soon. With all my set-ups, From Rock to Jazz to Concerts. Thanks, The Cat

Q- Peter, What brand of Drums is the new bronze kit your pictured playing for your new album with the "PC" on the head that looks like the Gene Krupa "GK" logo? I love the look and I wondered if they were Slingerlands or DWs and if they are a signature set are they available to the public or custom-made? Thanks..Chad

Peter - They are D.W.'s, and Yes, Mr. John Good - V.P. of D.W. - Who I love to death, custom made them for me for my Jazz and I played them on KISS Symphony/Alive4. They are maple wood with champane sparkles. I love them! Yes, That's my "P.C." logo on the front, Like Gene Krupa. Cool Right. The Cat

Q - Peter, I am currently playing Pacific drums. How do you like them? I think they sound real good. Let me know if you like them. I know there made by D.W. Thanks a lot Donny from the band GRAVOL.Rock on!!!!

Peter - If DW makes them, Their great, DW the best in the world. Mr. John Good, VP of DW - The man told me and showed me the Pacific and they sound really good. Welcome to the family of DW. Thanks, The Cat

Q - I was just wondering why you now use the clear/coated and coated Ambassador heads that come standard on DW drums instead of the coated CS and clear Pinstripe heads you used on the 96-97 tour? How high or low do you tension the heads, and also, what type of wood sticks are you now using? Thanks very much! Michael Grillo, Somerset, MA

Peter - Well to be very honest, Ed my drum tech handles my drum heads, He tunes them for lucky me. I am playing 2 or 3 different sticks, Zildjian - Ahead - Vic Ferth - All different feels. I'm always experimenting. You got good eyes. Thanks, The Cat

Q - You're love of Gene Krupa and big band style drumming was evident in the early years of KISS. How much of that same influence was in your heart when KISS reunited in early 1995 - '96? And do those early influences still have a place in your playing today? PaulieG Bones

Peter - Gene Krupa is my God of the drums. He will always come thru my playing drums. I was so and still am excited by his playing. I have a natural swing in my playing, I pray to God that I never lose it. I think I have it even more today - 2003. Swing, Swing, Swing. Thanks, The Cat

Q - I was wondering what you consider your finest recorded drum track... I think some class Criss includes anything off of Dressed to Kill, "Almost Human" and "Shock me" on Love Gun, and "Hooked on R&R" from your '78 solo album. I also can't leave out "There's Nothing Better" from Out of Control...Man, I could go on and on. Peter, What do you regard as some of your greatest work? I'm a Hooligan, Ron

Peter - This is hard. Destroyer. KISS. Love Gun. Out of Control. Criss and Let me Rock you. Thanks, The Cat

Q - Hi Peter, What's your favorite Drum kit from KISS? I think the reunion Tour is the Best. The sound's good. Marco

Peter - I disagree on the Reunion Tour. I play DW drums, There are no better drums in the world for me. I don't really have a favorite kit, I love them all. God bless, The Cat

Q - Do the upside down cymbals really make that big of a difference combined with the other cymbal for you? Any brand of drums other than Pearl used for recording a specific album in the '70's? If so could you name one and the specific album? Lee Johnson

Peter - They make a different sound, and sometimes I like that crazy sound, Cymbals talk to me. The 1st and 2nd albums (KISS, Hotter than Hell) I played Ludwig. God bless, The Catman

Q - Peter, How has your style evolved during your 30+ year career, and How have you been able to maintain the power and precision that a band like KISS obviously requires? Glenn Sherman

Peter - As a young drummer, I was a bat out of hell, But age does weird shit. Eat right, No drugs, No booze, Exercise, Good sex and Love God, most important love God and Family. You will always have your skills, You just get more aware of them as you get older and that's cool. All drummers go thru life changes. Just keep Playing. The Cat

Q - Hello Peter, On the farewell tour, in your drum kit you used some kind of trick so that your playing was a bit softer but with the same volume...right? Now that I've heard the Symphony...I listened no more trick about it...You just play like a monster...My question is: Did you use that "help" on the Symphony? and if so are you goin' to use it on the KISS/Aerosmith tour? Alfredo

Peter - OK, It's not a trick, It's Triggers and all the top bands and drummers play them. There name - Ddrum. To me they make my drum sound BIG and I still hit the shit out of them. I use them on every tour. Read about triggers - There NO trick. Be cool, The Cat

Q - Hi Catman! Why don't you use a double pedal on your bass drum? Thanks for initiating this "Drum Forum" and many thanks for answering. Pierre (Annecy, France)

Peter - I am a one bass drum man and I can do just as much as two bass drums. I love to play solid time, Keep the pocket. If you like two bass drums - cool - Just keep time, That's a drummers job. God bless, The Cat

Q - Dear Mr. Peter Criss, How many different drum sets did you use during the '70's with KISS? I noticed a sliver/white set around '73-74 then a black set around the same time. Could you tell us how many different sets you did actually use during those years and If you ever used any older sets again after introducing a new one? Thank you, Ed Lee

Peter - There were Silver/Black - and all Silver set, Black set, Silver with this crazy design in it, about 5 to 6 sets thru-out the years. Never used old sets again after I played them on tour. God Bless, The Catman

Q - Hi Peter, I'll have the chance to meet you this summer since I purchased a Platinum Ticket Package. I was just wondering what exact snare drum (Company and Dimensions) that you use and what cymbals do you use? Please let me know. Love ya man! Peace! Marc

Peter - See ya this summer! I play D.W. drums - 14 by 6 I believe. Ed my tech would know better than me, I just hit them. Zildjian Cymbals. God bless. The Cat

Q - Peter, It is truly an honor to be able to ask "The Greatest Drummer in the World" a couple of questions! 1st - How do you tune your heads to get that thunderous sound? 2nd - The sound of your cymbals is second to none for a basic setup, What do you recommend that I use and in what positions, Also your ride cymbal, Is it a ping ride? I love your ride and high hat sound. Peace be with you Catman. God bless. Dave Poling - Grafton, WV

Peter - I stopped tuning my drums a long time ago, Soon my Tech Ed will answer all tuning questions. It's not a ping ride. Zildjian are the best. DW are the best. But tuning is important. You will get answers soon on "Ask Ed The Tech"...Coming Soon. Thank you for the compliment. God bless, The Cat

Q - Hey Peter, Someone recommended me using Drum "Triggers". Can you tell me what they are and do you recommend them? Your fan, Eddie brown jr.

Peter - Drum Triggers are great. They make your drums sound really BIG. You don't have to hit so hard, But I still do. They give your drums a full sound, All around the arena or outdoors. I use them and If you can, Go for it. I still don't know much about drum triggers, So my drum Tech Ed will be answering the Tech questions, "Ask Ed The Tech"...Coming Soon. God bless, The Cat

Q - Hello Peter, I was wondering if you ever recorded or performed with a double-bass Drum Kit? After the early days with KISS, Did you ever consider switching to a double-bass kit? Thanks, Your the best!

Peter - I am a single bass drum man. When I was very young I put together two bass drums, I just didn't like it. If you like two bass drums - cool, But that ain't me. You should always be who you are. Thanks, The Cat

Q - What was your longest drum solo? Was it during 100,000 years? Thanks, Rob

Peter - I believe so, Next to God of Thunder. Thanks for listening. The Cat

Q- Hi Peter, It's well know that your primary musical choice is jazz. I was wondering why you never used any type of swing pattern on the ride cymbal? Were you discouraged from this because you were playing rock music? Sean Serna

Peter - I played jazz first than rock and roll and if you listen very close my friend you will hear lots of jazz. I live in the light of Gene Krupa. He always comes out some were. Thank you The Cat

Q- Hi Pete! I just wanted to know if it's possible to have an autograph drum skin or drum sticks from you? So I can put it beside my drum kit to let people know who is the person that influence me to play drums. Best Regards, Debois

Peter - Not at this point, But just keep me in your head and heart. That makes me feel great! Just play Beth before you play, You will know I'm their. Thanks The Cat

Q- Hey Peter, When you are choosing what hardware to use for your drums both in the studio and onstage, What exactly are you looking for as far as performance goes? I play Pearl drums, But use all DW hardware because it seems more durable, Easy to set up, and quicker. Lifetime Fan - John

Peter - The secret to success, From the Cat, The live life is to live life right. I love DW hardware, I am blessed not to have to set my drums up, But my tech. Ed Kanon and I talk about everything about drums. So DW Rules! The drums are great! Thanks The Cat

Q- Hello Peter, I only have 2 short questions - Why and when have you changed from Pearl to DW? Which sort of cymbals have you been using in the 70's on the road with KISS? Christian Cishmack, Sereetz(Germany)

Peter - Pearl is good, But DW are better. At a time Pearl was going thru some shit around the late 80's and I meet John Good VP of DW. He was just making drums, I fell in love with their hardware. I love my Zildjians, I played them in the 70's, Then I went with Sabian for a short time, But I had to get back to Zildjian. Keep playing it's fun. Thanks The Cat

Q- Are you the ONLY drummer that played on Rock and Roll over? I know about Anton Fig playing on most of Dynasty and all of Unmasked, But I need to know who did the incredible drumming on Love em' Leave em, Calling Dr. Love and the rest of the album? Please tell me it's you!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks Long time fan-Met you in California, I have my picture with you on my wall in my office. Thanks Paisan! Luke

Peter - Yes, I did play on Love 'em Leave 'em and Calling Dr. Love and on Rock and Roll Over, Good Years. Thanks for being a fan. God Bless, The CatMan

Q- Hi Peter, I've always been a HUGE fan of the drums. I wanted to play them when I joined the school band in 5th grade, But was too afraid because I thought they were a boy's instrument. (Well, that was a dumb way of thinking...) Now I'm 19 and I really want to play drums-or at least try to anyway. My question is there a certain age when a person is too old to learn to play drums, and be good at it? I know you've been playing since you were 9 years old? Most drummers seem to pick up the instrument at a young age. What would you suggest to an older person who wants to be a drummer? Thanks Peter! YOU ARE THE GREATEST!!!!!!!!!!! Love, Stacy

Peter - I started at 5, No big deal. You can start at any age, It's never to late, Well maybe 100. My teacher Jim Chapan started in his early 30's, He is one of the Greats. So just play, The drums will if not for nothing make you fell great. If you really want it, You will get it. Just thank God everyday. Love, The Cat

Q- Hello Peter. Forever my Teacher/Hero. My question is; When performing live what do you like to have in your monitor? Bass, Rhythm Guitar, etc... Has it changed over the years? Lee B Johnson

Peter - I am honored you feel that way about me as your teacher-Cool. In the old days, You had two floor monitors facing you on each side - Right and Left. LOUD, That's why my hearing is shit today. So now we have little monitors in our ears - Right and Left. I like Bass, Rhythm guitar and a sniff of Lead guitar, My Kick and Snare, Hi-Hats and I am a happy man. Be Cool, The Cat

Q- Hey Peter, I'm a KISS fan of 25 years (was featured on VH1 Kiss Fan club) and started playing drums at age 5 because of you. I always loved seeing pictures from the 70's of your monstrous kit complete with gong. I now play a pretty monstrous DW Kit myself and brought a 30inch gong to accurately come out of your Alive 2 God of Thunder solo. Any chance you might bring a gong out with you this time? I have Platinum tickets for Chicago so I will finally get to meet you then. Thanks Ron Ivanjack

Peter - Forget about the gong, Fun in the 70's - "But you never Know". See ya in Chicago one of my favorite places to play next to N.Y.C. Thank you. See ya - The Cat

More answers to your questions will be posted soon!!!

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