Matt Porter (THE KISS ROOM, PodKISSt) interview

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How old were you when you became a KISS fan and how exactly did you get into KISS?

The first bands that I really liked were KISS, Cheap Trick and The Monkees. I don’t remember the first time that I heard or saw KISS, but I was one of those 8 year olds who got swept up by the KISS ARMY in the summer of ‘76.

Our neighbors were fans and one was an older kid who would blast KISS out of his bedroom window. By fourth grade, everyone was a KISS fan. By the time KISS appeared on the Paul Lynde Halloween special, everyone was KISS crazy. I would draw pictures of them all the time. My brothers and I covered the walls of our bedroom with KISS posters and pictures. We played the albums over and over.

What are some of your favorite KISS albums and/or songs and why?

I’m a fan of all eras of the band, but the original albums are still my favorites. Rock And Roll Over, Dressed To Kill, Destroyer, the debut album… so amazing.

For me, part of the magic of KISS is that the albums, the artwork, the different lineups… all of that stuff reminds me of different parts of my life. Certain songs and pictures can take me to different memories, different places in time.

Favorite song? Hard to choose just one. I’m still a sucker for “Rock And Roll All Nite”. It still says it all. I never get tired of hearing them play it live.

How many times have you seen KISS in concert and what have been some of your favorite KISS shows and/or tours and why?

I didn’t see KISS live until the Asylum tour when I could finally drive. I know that is super late in KISStory but I had my license and could go. I haven’t missed a tour since and have seen them multiple times on a lot of the tours. I know people who have seen them a hundred times. My co-host in THE KISS ROOM, Frank Hagan, has seen them over 100 times. I’ve only seen them around 25 times, not sure of the exact number, plus solo tours and stuff like that. I’ve never really counted the number.

Favorite show: Reunion Tour… October 9, 1996… fourth row, center, at the Corestates Center in Philly. To be that close to the original four… yeah… blew my mind.

The Revenge “club tour” also stands out. I was in the second row at the Trocadero in Philly. It was a madhouse. I was at the show in Bristow, VA that was recorded for the Rock The Nation DVD. You can see me for about 3 seconds around the start of “I Want You”.

I was lucky enough to meet them before the show in Philly in 2009. That night stands out in my mind.

Yeah, I could go on and on.

Do you have a favorite KISS member(s)? If so, who and why?

The first member that I dressed as was Peter Criss. I kinda gravitated toward him as a kid. Overall though, I’d say Gene. Who wouldn’t want to be a powerful, fire-breathing, blood-spitting demon?

When and how did you come into contact with Gary Shaller and Ken Mills of PodKISSt?

Hmmmm… I was a fan of the PodKISSt from around the time that they interviewed Ace. I don’t remember how I found it but I remember being totally impressed by it.

My first podcast appearance was on Cassius Morris’ Creatures Of The Net episode #12, which was a KISS ARMY special. I had connected with Cassius during the “Ultimate KISS fan” contest during the summer of 2009. I connected with a lot of great KISS fans through that contest. Cassius asked me to be on his show and it was a blast. I love talking about KISS and it was so cool to talk to Cassius and his co-host, Saphire Tillmon. It was fun to hear from kids who were still kind of new to the whole KISS thing. If you add their ages together, I’m still older… but they were totally psyched about KISS.

At some point, Ken commented that he had listened to the show and that Cassius should have me on again. Somewhere along the line, I connected with Ken via Facebook and my first appearance was on PodKISSt #52, “KISS Halloween Memories”.

What were the circumstances that led to you becoming a part of PodKISSt?

They asked. HAHAHAHAHA see above.

Like I said, I am a lifelong KISS fan and I love talking about KISS, so I was thrilled to be able to join them. Ken and Gary are very cool and it’s fun to record with them.

What’s your favorite episode(s) of PodKISSt and why?

Okay… for totally selfish reasons, I am going to say it’s the Halloween episode. I was so thrilled to be asked to join them for that show, and it gave me the chance to share some of my favorite KISS memories.

I really like the KISSmas episode from last year, PodKISSt #54. Ken does incredible imitations of Gene and Paul in the “storybook” portion of the episode, and I just remember laughing like crazy when we recorded it.

Discuss THE KISS ROOM, your KISS radio show.

THE KISS ROOM broadcasts live on Montco Radio, from Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, PA. I have a cool job in the Communications program at the college and over the years, I have done random KISS specials on Montco Radio, usually around Halloween or during Spring Break or on my birthday or on May 11. Anyone who listens to my show knows how May 11 fits into KISStory. If you don’t, you can find the info on my website – thekissroom.com.

This past year, I did another May 11 Special and it got tons of great feedback from KISS Fans from all over the planet. The overwhelmingly positive reaction set the wheels in my mind in motion and I decided to do a monthly series of KISS SUPER SPECIALS, officially dubbed “THE KISS ROOM”.

Frank Hagan and I have been friends for years and he has joined me as the co-host of the show. Frank is the creator and publisher of the KISS MASK fanzine and we’ll be bringing you exclusive interviews, KISS talk, contests and, of course, tons of KISS music.

The next live show is Friday, August 24 from 3-5 PM EST on Montcoradio.com. It’s a blast. I love doing the radio show. I like the live element that radio offers. I love the idea that fans from all over the globe can be joined together all at once, tuned in and enjoying the show together.

Discuss what’s in store on upcoming episodes of THE KISS ROOM.

The next live episode of THE KISS ROOM is Friday, August 24 from 3-5 PM EST. The show will continue to follow the formula that we have established – a mix of music, talk, interviews, etc.

What are some of your other favorite bands/artists and why?

My favorite bands:

KISS – obviously.

CLASHING PLAID – my brother’s band. Total rock and roll. I listen to a lot of Clashing Plaid. You can get their new CD, ALL IN, via iTunes. Check out clashingplaid.com. Rock fans should definitely check them out. Great stuf
f.

FUTURE MUSIC – Yeah, you might not have heard of them. This was my friend Rob’s band. Rob passed away a few years ago but his music still means a lot to me. You can hear just about every Future Music song on his website – https://faresources.us/futuremusic//index.htm.

Cheap Trick, Y&T, The Zeros, Manowar… these are other bands that I have every album plus bootlegs and stuff. Starz, Dio, Iron Maiden, love that stuff.

I’m pretty much a “Hair Nation” and “Boneyard” kind of guy. I have tons of CDs from ’80s metal bands, all of the Poison, Ratt, Teeze, Britny Fox, Big Bang Babies kind of stuff.

Feel free to discuss any of your other musical or non-musical endeavors here.

I like to do creative things. I do a lot of video and audio production at work. It’s fun. I’m a down to earth guy. I spend a lot of time with my family. Life is good.

I’m thrilled that a lot of KISS are enjoying THE KISS ROOM. Hopefully everyone who reads this will check it out. Did I mention that the next live episode of THE KISS ROOM is Friday, August 24 from 3-5 PM EST via montcoradio.com? Yeah. Join us in THE KISS ROOM.

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