Interview with Rett Carr, Sister of the Late KISS Drummer Eric Carr




By Mick Michaels




COSMICK VIEW: Hello, Rett! Welcome to The Cosmick View. Thank you for taking some time out of your day to chat with me about your brother, drummer Eric Carr, it's greatly appreciated.

Rett Carr: Hi and thank you for having me!

CV: One's legacy can be carried on in many ways. For any musical artist, their music and the fan appreciation is often theirs.  Why do you feel, still now, 29 years after Eric's passing, fans globally continue to keep the flame burning bright for him? What was his special magic that made him highly loved?
RC: I think it’s the fact that KISS fans, even those who never meet him, have read so much about him and his kindness to the fans. The older fans also now have children who they have introduced them to KISS…most of these parents were able to see Eric play with KISS.

His playing also is still regarded as an influence on new, young drummers.

Most important, are the new fans, who through social media, have 100’s of KISS and tribute pages dedicated to him.

CV: Though Eric was primarily considered a drummer who kept the back beat going during the 80s with KISS, he was, however, so much more; singer, songwriter, guitarist, artist and designer just to name a few. Was this multitude of diversity part his ability to connect with so many people in your opinion?

RC: I think he could do it all. LOL Even from a young age, he was playing drums, guitar, piano…you name it he could play it. He was also a really good singer and song writer. He wrote 2 songs, “I Cry At Night” and “Your Turn to Cry.” They were both played on the radio in 1967.

He was also a photographer and artist. He created his own animation band called “THE ROCKHEADS.” They can be found on Facebook and were featured in many animation magazines. The 2000 release, ROCKOLOGY with former KISS member Bruce Kulick, featured music which was originally written for The Rockheads.

CV: When Eric joined KISS and was introduced to the world, the fans immediately embraced him. Without a doubt it was one of Rock history's most immediate love affairs.  It’s well documented how Eric went out of his way to connect with fans and show his gratitude. Paul Stanley called him ‘a gentle soul.” Was Eric always an outgoing person even in childhood? 

RC: Very, very shy with girls…did not date till he was around 18 and that was just more friendship. He was by no means a loner, though. He had tons of friends…he was just a shy guy.

That being said, he was also a jokester. Our mom would always get letters from school saying that he would kid around too much in the classroom and make the kids laugh. So I guess you can say he was a bit outspoken in other ways.

Paul Stanley was correct about that. In all my years…even 29 years later, you never read a negative word about his dealing with people. He never had a bad thing to say about anyone.



CV: Why do you feel Eric had such an immense admiration and connection to the fans?

RC: He always remembered who he was…he never lost site. If not for the fans he would not be where he was. He truly loved and respected them.

CV: Eric's drumming on KISS' 1982 "Creatures of the Night" album is considered the high point of the record.  His bombastic and heavy back beats gave both the album and the band the boost in power and performance it desperately needed; basically introducing a new modern version of the group’s sound and writing style. Paul Stanley is quoted as saying that “Eric brought calm and an optimism that refocused our priorities so we could move forward.” Was Eric aware that his contribution at the time was ushering in a stylistic approach that eventually played throughout the 80s?
RC: I know that he was always looking on the bright side of things. Sure he had some things in the way of music he was not happy with, but he always tried to work it out with the band. They were like family and we don’t always agree with our family.  I don’t know if he realized how important his sound was to making Kiss go in a better direction. I do know that “Creatures” was his pride and joy. He himself could never figure out how to duplicate that drum sound…it was over the top. His favorite song to play was “SAINT AND SINNER.”

CV: Was Eric someone who planned for the future or was he more of a "here and now" sort of guy? Did he live life in the moment?
RC: BOTH…he loved Kiss, but was also thinking one day of having a family and buying a house…that was his dream. Ironically, the first home he would ever call his own was in late 1990…he would pass away less than 8 months later.  

CV: What were some of Eric's favorite non-music things to do?

RC: Photography and art were his other passions. 

CV: Family seemed to be an important component in Eric's life.  Was family support a key ingredient in his success? Did he draw strength from it?

RC: Oh yes…he worked very hard all his life with his music and my family was always there.

My dad was his manager with his bands and always co-signed for him on any equipment he would need. He drove him to gigs and my sister and I were his roadies. Yep, we helped carry his drums.

My parents always told him to never give up his dream, and he would always relay that to fans later in his life.  He would always tell them to follow their dreams.

Eric's father, sister Loretta, Eric, then girlfriend Carrie Stevens , Eric's mother


CV: If Eric was still alive today, do you think he would still be making music, either as the drummer of KISS or on his own? Or do you feel he would have taken a completely different path as time went on…exploring new horizons?
RC: Well if this was his destiny, it was meant to be. Now selfishly, if I had to choose, I would rather see him fixing gas ranges today with my dad and still be here then be in KISS and not be.  I can’t say which he would choose. Of course, that is beyond our control.

CV: Several years ago, a CD was released that contained tracks from Eric's career, a lot of the tracks were non KISS related.  Are there more "yet to be released" recordings that fans can look forward to hearing someday?

RC: Rockology, which was for the Rockheads, and I released a CD called “UNFINISHED BUSINESS” which had many different unreleased songs. Many of them were completed by other artists, i.e. Bruce Kulick, John Humphrey (Seether), the late AJ Pero (Twisted Sister)…some members of the band Europe and more.

Music ? OMG...yes! I have reels and reels of music recorded by him with bands, ranging from 1965 till the early 80’s.

Can I release????? Lots of legal stuff involved…but never say never 


CV: What do you believe to be Eric's greatest contribution as an artist? What was his greatest contribution as a person? Or do you feel they are one in the same?
RC: His influence and positive attitude towards fans and people in general…mix that with the music aspect. Hopefully his memory should  remind us all to be humble and treat others kindly…there is no excuse to be self indulged.

CV: Thank you again Rett for spending some time talking and sharing with our readers about Eric. It was a pleasure. I wish you all the best.

RC: It has been my pleasure. My special thanks to all the KISS and rock fans everywhere. Love to have you visit. Stay safe.

Check out all things Eric Carr at:

Official: www.ericcarr.com  
Facebook: www.facebook.com/eric carr - kiss   
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Official Eric Carr   

 

 

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My name is Mick Michaels...I'm an artist, music fan, songwriter, producer, show host, dreamer and guitarist for the traditional Heavy Metal band Corners of Sanctuary. Writing has always been a creative outlet for me; what I couldn't say in speech, I was able to do with the written word.  Writing has given me a voice and a way for me to create on a multitude of platforms including music and song, articles, independent screenplays, books and now, artist interviews. The Cosmick View is an opportunity to raise the bar and showcase artists in a positive and inspirational light. For me, it's another out-of-this-world adventure.




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