While Vinnie Vincent was the perfect fit in the early ‘80s, Simmons has some harsh criticism of his old bandmate in retrospect.
When talking about Vincent as a writing partner, Simmons talked about having trouble reasoning with him on the song “Killer” saying,
“We liked it, but he fought tooth and nail over the solo. Vinnie wanted to make every solo this massive thing. But Paul and I would bring him specific solos; we gave them to him and asked him to play them verbatim, but he refused.”
While Vincent had decent chops, Simmons thought that he was more style over substance saying,
“He didn’t want to do that, but honestly, everything that Vinnie did sounded like Yngwie Malmsteen on crack. You know, the kind of stuff that the rest of us normal human beings hate. It was ridiculous, and it certainly wasn’t KISS.”
Though Vincent may have been stifled, Simmons thought that the written solos led to some KISS classics saying,
“We said, ‘Look, you’re going to play the notes exactly as we tell you to.’ And that’s how the solo for I Love It Loud came together. We didn’t need to be ripping apart the puzzle pieces of his solos and trying to splice them together, and that’s what was happening.”
According to Stanley, it didn’t get much better on the road saying,
“He was hell-bent on using every solo as an opportunity to showcase himself. We used to call it the high point of the show, because everybody in the audience left to go get high. He had no sense of what to play and when. He had no idea how to self edit.”
Vincent might have been a great guitar player, but serving the song is always better than shredding.