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What happened to Paul Stanley's voice?

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ThePowerOfOne
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KISS is in my top 5 all time favorite bands. Paul Stanley is one the greatest Rock frontmen/vocalists of all time.

Some of Paul's performances, like the KISS Unplugged show from back in 1995 and countless live performances throughout the years, for me personally, set the standard to what a rock vocalist can and should sound like, meaning one that can actually sing and have a pleasant voice and not rely on screaming or weird gimmicks.

Something happened several years ago, and Paul's voice started ripping to shreds, cracking left and right and it just sounds bad and can be somewhat embarrassing to listen to.

Some nights are better than others, but it hovers around "It wasn't that bad - it was somewhat decent" as opposed to "Wow, that was great"

Rock singers blowing out their voice due to misuse or lack of proper technique is nothing new, but Paul always seemed/sounded to me like someone who had great technique, never seemed to be straining and was in full control of their voice.

Paul admitted to having problems, and there was a story going around about a year ago that he had a surgery performed on his vocal folds to fix the problem, and I recall the article saying it was a success.

However, either Paul never actually had that surgery or the surgery failed, cause he doesn't sound any better.

In 2012 KISS started tuning a whole step down to help him out, but that doesn't seem to really help either.

It seems like he completely lost access to his higher register/head voice and he cracks like a teenage boy whenever approaching his higher notes. He seems to be in constant struggle to stay focused on pitch in an unnatural way

I wonder in your guys' educated opinion, what do you think could be the issue, and do you think it's something that can't be fixed or maybe Paul doesn't wanna risk even more damage by going under the knife? or is it just normal wear and tear after 40 years of high octane Rock singing and that's just the way it is??

Here are a few clips from recent years, so you can see what he sound like nowadays:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkhXXvFVbrE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hq0IHKWVAvg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bY8aSMUYXQ

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Actually, in the David Letterman video he sounds like he has full control - not pitchy - good screams - no cracking. In the other videos he sounds plain fatigued. With the David Letterman performance they only played one or two songs so we get to see him "fresh". The others are from concerts where he is singing song after song. What I believe is happening is related to singing pretty heavy, thick folds up to Bb4 / C5. This requires a lot of Interarytenoid activity and strength. Dante told us that the IA's get fatigued quickly. I think it is a fatigue thing - maybe he isn't conditioning himself properly. He doesn't have the endurance he needs to sing these demanding rock songs. But judging from the David Letterman performance I don't think he has permanent damage.

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Actually, in the David Letterman video he sounds like he has full control - not pitchy - good screams - no cracking. In the other videos he sounds plain fatigued. With the David Letterman performance they only played one or two songs so we get to see him "fresh". The others are from concerts where he is singing song after song. What I believe is happening is related to singing pretty heavy, thick folds up to Bb4 / C5. This requires a lot of Interarytenoid activity and strength. Dante told us that the IA's get fatigued quickly. I think it is a fatigue thing - maybe he isn't conditioning himself properly. He doesn't have the endurance he needs to sing these demanding rock songs. But judging from the David Letterman performance I don't think he has permanent damage.

The "Letterman" clip was probably touched up in post production.

Prior to the actual show (an hour before or so), KISS did a live webcast from the "Ed Sullivan Theater" and Paul sounded shot and as bad as ever from the word go.

As the set progressed he wasn't even going for certain high notes and leaving them out all together.

I also wonder if there's a psychological element to whatever is going on with his voice, as I heard some recent interviews, and his speaking voice doesn't sound different at all.

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Interesting. Do you have any links to live performances before his voice went bad? I never really paid too much attention to his live performances.

Do I ever?

There are endless amazing live vocals from Paul. These are just some of my favorites.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5urvH19S9U

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Arena venues have crappy acoustics, making it hard to hear yourself, so you end up pushing the voice and getting breaks. David Letterman, controlled acoustics, less volume, probably even a good night's rest. Aside from that, Paul is singing with more distortion than he used to use. Probably to cater to the modern market, something that Kiss has been guilty of from day one. Do you really want me to bring up Kissco?

The modern sound that is making money is lower vocal lines with more "grit" and that is what he is doing.

Highlight of the links for me was the "Spinnal Tap" moment on the "Love Gun" performance where the stage hand could not free Paul from the zip line stand. Priceless.

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