How Peter Criss Left Retirement For ‘The Catman and the Emperor’
He came out of retirement to collaborate on “The Catman and the Emperor,” which the pair released last week. They’d previously worked together in Criss’ solo band, while Scarlet, who was also a colleague of Ace Frehley, brought in Frehley’s Comet bassist John Regan to appear on the track.
“I've been close to Peter for many, many, many years, and we've talked the talk about recording something many times, and it's now finally materialized,” Scarlet told Eddie Trunk on SiriusXM. “Peter originally was gonna play on another track, a different song I wrote; but then this particular song… it was just crazy how it just came out of me. The first thing that came out of me was, ‘The Catman and the Emperor just left the building / One's off to Brooklyn, the other's just chilling.’ And from there, it just kind of materialized very quickly.”
Along with referencing both Criss’ and Scarlet’s well-known nicknames, the lyrics also touch on Kiss history. “Like '100,000 Years,' and I mention 'Beth,’” the guitarist said, adding that there was also a nod to Frehley’s song “2 Young 2 Die.” He continued: “Peter and I are both half Italian and half Irish… and we both grew up in New York City… so there's references to that on the bridge section of the song.”
But he argued that the key point of interest for Kiss fans was Criss’s performance. “He really slammed it. It was a beautiful thing to see that,” he said. “And that's what I think his fans are gonna really appreciate, because people haven't really heard him play this heavy in a long time. If anything, it will certainly give his fans just a taste that he's still here, and he's still around.” He added: “I think it's a great track. It's a catchy tune… It should give rock ’n’ roll people a vibe, and especially Kiss people."
Richie Scarlet and Peter Criss - ‘The Catman and the Emperor’