Gary James' Interview With Louis Fatale,
The Personal Manager Of
There are quite a few Kiss tribute acts in the world, but none like Mini Kiss. You just have to see these guys, because seeing is believing. Louis Fatale, the personal manager of Mini Kiss, spoke with us about the group.
Q - Somebody was just in Syracuse, New York!
A - Yeah.
Q - Louis, would I be correct in saying Mini Kiss is the only Kiss tribute act like it in the world?
A - We are the one and only, Hottest, littlest, tribute band in the world, yeah.
Q - That's what makes this group different.
A - Yeah. It's awesome.
Q - Is Mini Kiss officially endorsed by Kiss? I know they know of you because the group has had their picture taken with them.
A - First of all, we were on the Gene Simmons Family Jewels (TV show). I think that's pretty much of an endorsement right there. 2010 we did the Pepper commercial with Kiss and Mini Kiss on a Super Bowl Sunday commercial. The commercial was awesome! I would say yeah, we have Gene's blessing.
Q - You're based out of New York City?
A - New York City. I think Kiss was born in New York.
Q - You're in the right city. If you were in Montana, the group would be wearing cowboy hats.
A - That's okay. A cowboy hat and some make-up on, we're still Rock 'n' Roll!
Q - You regularly play venues from 100 to 1,000 seats. How does it pay the band to play for 100 people? Unless tickets are up there.
A - There are times we played for 10 people. We played recently for Ray Romano's manager from that show Ray Romano. We played for some private gigs out in the Hamptons. We've done bar mitzvahs. So, we've actually done crowds from 10 people to 5,000, 10,000.
Q - I would imagine the days of playing for less than 100 people are in the rear view mirror.
A - It depends on their budget. You have people that will pay you. We get paid to perform for 10 people in their back yard.
Q - Mini Kiss started out lip-synching to a Kiss CD and playing blow-up guitars in this Lava Lounge club in New York City. Does the band now play their own instruments?
A - Before that club we were doing like some local bars and restaurants. They were standing on the bar with jeans on and make-up on. They would just play Kiss music. They had rubber guitars. Then we did that Halloween party in New York City and that's what really put us on the map. We usually have a 'live' drummer because there are so many of them. We do have back tracks to back us up. So, I can't lie to you and say we play 'live'. We have back tracks. Do we sing? Yes. The whole Kiss show.
Q - You're the manager of Mini Kiss?
A - I am the owner / operator / manager.
Q - So, you're not in the show?
A - No. I just run everything. I have about 30 little people throughout the country. I do mini acts on the side too, mini Elvis. I have four main guys I try to stick with. One's in Arizona, one's in California, one's in Indiana. So, people have to fly us all in. So, like this weekend we did Syracuse so I just took my local crew, my local crew. They flew up there. They didn't have to buy airline tickets. I do have fillers throughout the country.
Q - How many gigs does Mini Kiss perform?
A - That's up to the economy. On average, it's hard to say. I'd have to go back to my records and look at them.
Q - You met the guys in Kiss, didn't you?
A - Oh, when we did the commercial, yeah.
Q - You must be a fan of the group.
A - Of course.
Q - What was it like for you to meet these guys? What kind of a feeling did you get from that experience?
A - It's an aphrodisiac. It's a band that I loved since I was a kid. That we are a tribute to them and actually got to hang out with them on the set and do a commercial with them and just sit down and talk face to face with them, it's just like surreal. But we had to keep our heads on. We didn't ask for autographs. We didn't bother them. We shot the breeze. It was surreal. That's all I can really say. I was numb, but I had to cover it up, you know?
Q - What kind of place was this Lava Lounge?
A - It was really a mixture. They had bands once in awhile. They had DJs. It was just a mixture of music, house music, Techno. But, that Halloween he wanted something different. He (the bar owner) asked my brother to come up with something different. My brother's like, "Hey, Mini Kiss, man!"
Q - Your brother was in the group?
A - Yes. By the way, Syracuse rocks! There's some awesome people up there.