With only two more shows left for this leg of the Ace Frehley Space Invader US Tour 2014, Sin City Presents Magazine’s RockStar Executive correspondent, Traci Marie Smith had a chance to catch up with Drummer / Vocalist Scot Coogan. Here’s an exclusive story and interview with the one and only “Coogiemonster! Yes, you need to read to the end for that major announcement we have all been waiting for…
It was early 2007 when former Brides of Destruction Drummer/Vocalist Scot Coogan flew in from Australia, where he was living at the time, to New York City for an audition with the “Ace Frehley” band. Like most kids growing up in the 70’s, Scot had a few KISS records, he was a little frightened, yet very intrigued by the band.
So what was it like being in the room with Ace for the first time?
“Intimidating, lol, but Ace has a knack for making a person feel comfortable. Jason Hook (Five Finger Death Punch) was auditioning with me for rhythm guitar, he was a little more nervous, lol. We went over the songs a few times before Ace arrived, but that was it. I think the first song he wanted to do was Love Gun, so I had to drum and lead sing. Then we played Cold Gin and Shock Me. I guess Ace was excited about the band, because the very next morning, Ace called and invited us to his place to jam. I remember he picked us up from the train station in his jeep. Next thing I know, I was moving back to the US and I was in the “Ace Frehley” Band. Unfortunately, I never had the chance to perform live with Jason; he ended up getting an offer from Alice Cooper.”
After being hired by the “SpaceMan” himself, rehearsals began immediately. The successful Rocket Ride US and World Tours began in 2007 and continued through 2009. Many fans and critics agreed this tour was Ace’s big comeback and notably, this was the first tour that embraced the Space Man’s new sobriety. The “Coogiemonster” was a force behind the drum kit for Frehley during those first 2 years, performing once again at UK’s Download Festival and Sweden Rock Festival, as he had a few years earlier with Brides of Destruction along with Nikki Sixx and Tracii Guns.
In 2009, Frehley’s much anticipated album, Anomaly, was released to critical acclaim. Fans loved that Ace kept with tradition and had legendary ’78 KISS solo record and Frehley’s Comet drummer, Anton Fig, perform on most of the songs. However, Ace did ask Coogan to contribute vocally to a few tunes and lay down a thunderous drum track for the song Sister, which became a staple in shows from this point forward. Another tour, this time in support of “Anomaly,” rolled through the United States, Europe and Australia from 2009 through early 2010, with Scoty on drums and lead vocal duties again for Paul Stanley-led KISS classics that were included in the set.
Summer Festivals and events filled the Ace Frehley Band’s 2011 calendar, culminating with a fall tour of the East Coast and Midwest called “No Regrets.” This tour coincided with the release of Ace’s New York Times Best Seller, entitled… “No Regrets.” Both the book and the tour received an incredible amount of media attention. Although “Coogie” loved performing with Ace, during this tour, he was having second thoughts about the rest of the band, He said “We were in Green bay, WI, last show of the book tour and I knew this was going to be it for a while, it didn’t feel right anymore”
In 2012, “Coogan” took a hiatus from Ace’s band to pursue other opportunities, such as recording and touring with “Lynch Mob” and drumming for “Lita Ford” on the Rock of Ages Tour with “Def Leppard” and “Poison.” According to Scoty, “I was honored to be Ace’s drummer. We had performed hundreds of shows together since 2007. In 2012, I needed to spread my wings; Ace had to replace me for only 6 shows. During that time, I moved to Las Vegas, a place with an incredibly supportive music community. I am lucky enough to surround myself with some of the best drummers in the world, my co-workers at “Blue Man Group.” Being around that level of talent on a daily basis has definitely increased my chops and made me a better drummer. I also lead sing and front for a few bands in town, which has strengthened my vocal and performance skills tremendously.” Continues Coogan, “After I left the band, Ace and I have always stayed on touch via phone or text, we even reunited for a few days in February 2013 at “Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp” when I was a RockStar Counselor. Now, fast forward to August 2014, Ace sends me a text, asking what I thought about Space Invader. I think it’s great! Next, he asked about Blue Man Group. I told him I am very happy there, but I miss working with him too. We have a great chemistry on stage and much respect for each other off stage. After Blue Man Group gave me their blessing, I told Ace I was available to do this first Space Invader run.”
The “Space Invader” tour kicked off last month on November 13th in New Brunswick, NJ, hosted by Eddie Truck of “That Metal Show.” Besides the return of Scot Coogan, Ace also welcomed back long time friend, collaborator and “Frehley’s Comet” band mate, the “Emperor of Rock,” Richie Scarlet on guitar. A new face to the loyal Frehley following is bassist Chris Wyse, who just happens to be the long time bass player for “The Cult,” fronts his own band, “Owl” and appears on the Ace’s chart topping record, “Space Invader.” Even though he did not play drums on Space Invader, Coogan does justice to the new songs featured in the almost 2 hour set list, while adding his own little nuances that lift the song during a live performance. There has also been much talk about his vocal performance on the classic “KISS” songs in the set, Love Gun, King of the Night Time World, Strutter and Detroit Rock City.
What does Scot have to say about it?
“Paul Stanley is a Rock Icon, so when Ace says I sound like Paul used to back in the day; it’s such a huge compliment. I don’t try to mimic Paul’s voice exactly; it’s more about singing the classics in a way that will invoke memories of what KISS meant to the fans back then. I sing those songs the way I want to remember KISS, and if the audience thinks I capture that moment in time, then I am doing my job right!”
“With 16 shows down, two to go and rave reviews in every city the tour has invaded, it seems Frehley was right when he predicted during rehearsals that this is quite possibly the best band he has ever assembled. This tour has been awesome! I am so glad I had the opportunity to show Ace how much I have grown as a player, a performer and as a person during our time apart. I think these are the best shows I have ever done with Ace, by far the most fun. I have known Chris Wyse for years and I could not have picked a better situation to start working together. We are a hell of a rhythms section. We’re already planning to write new music the week after the tour is over, lol. I love working with Richie too, his energy is contagious and he brings it every night. Ace seems very happy with the performances too, he’s having fun again, it’s great… Ace is back!” beams Scoty.”
The first leg of the Space Invader US Tour is ending this Sunday at the House of Blues in Anaheim, but we are excited to announce that Scot Coogan is back permanently as a member of the “Ace Frehley Band” and the “Space Invader” Tour will continue in 2015 with more shows in the US and will go World Wide with tours planned for Australia, Europe and Japan! “I am so looking forward to 2015” says an elated Coogiemonster “I will be touring with Ace, working with him and Chris on the new record. Of course I will continue to perform at “Blue Man Group,” host my “All Star Jam Night” at Backstage Bar and Billiards in Downtown Las Vegas, and gig with all my friends!”
Congratulations Scoty, we hope to see the Space Invader tour in Las Vegas sometime in 2015! Catch the next Scot Coogan’s All Star Jam on December 18th at Triple B with the return of 6 Foot Nurse, Arsenal and many more to be announced!!
Traci Marie Smith, Sin City Presents Magazine