Music Learning Systems - Guitar, Piano, and Drums

Drum Cover – Kiss, “Parasite”

by Omar on March 16, 2012

in drum cover, Education

I must’ve been seven or eight.

I was in the bathroom, brushing my teeth.  As I was brushing, I started to sing “Parasite”, by Kiss.  By that time Kiss Alive I had been out a couple of years, and I, as well as my other three brothers (how convenient), were well into Kiss.  I couldn’t help myself, so I spent over three minutes brushing and singing.

When I got out of the bathroom, the whole family was there waiting for me, and they burst out laughing.  They all knew what I was doing, and could only imagine what I looked like, blathering lyrics and toothpaste all over the place.  I was embarrassed to say the least, but I had fun anyway.

Years went by, and soon I discovered another band that would change forever my perception of what good music is, that band being Rush, and that drummer being Neil Peart.  So I forgot Kiss for a long while.

Fast forward many years later (to, like, now), and I’m perusing YouTube and I come across some videos of Kiss.  The memories came flooding back to me from my childhood.  I loved Kiss.  They definitely were a sight to behold, but looking back, their live performances were absolutely stunning.  For the type of music they played (i.e., straight ahead in-your-face rock), they were awesome.  Ace Frehley was such a phenomenal lead guitarist, and to this day remains one of my all-time favorites.  Musically, the roles were clearly defined:  Peter, drums; Gene, bass; Paul, rhythm guitar; Ace, lead guitar – that was it.  And they made it look easy, too.

So now I’m going through all these videos, and I come across a couple of live performances of “Parasite”.  Besides the embarrassing episode mentioned earlier, I marveled at how awesome this song really is.  Great riffs, pure straight-ahead rock, and just 3 ½ minutes long – a neat little package of Rock greatness.  There were some great songs from that era of Kiss, but this was the one I wanted to cover.

I decided that I wanted to cover the live version off of Kiss Alive I instead of the studio version (Hotter Than Hell).  The studio version was very raw and too slow for my taste.  It seemed like Kiss got the song the way they wanted by the time the ‘Dressed to Kill’ tour came along, and has pretty much remained unchanged since.

The aforementioned YouTube perusing had me come across a fantastic live version of the song, titled ‘Kiss – Parasite – Cobo Hall 1976’.  I really liked the speed of the song, which I think made it sound to me as one of the best live versions I’ve heard.  But I also wanted to play to an officially released version, a la from Kiss Alive I.  However, this version is a little slower than the Cobo Hall performance.  So I cheated.  🙂

I imported the Kiss Alive I version into the Audacity audio editing program.  I then increased the tempo of the song without raising the pitch.  This allowed me to play at the speed I thought the song sounded the coolest (as played at Cobo Hall), while still playing to the released version.

As far as the video production of this cover goes, I’m going to reserve the details for the upcoming ‘using just your camcorder and Windows Movie Maker’ course.  Several techniques are implemented such as effects, animations, multiple camera angles, etc., that will be explained in great detail then.  You can make very good drum cover videos with very little – I think this cover is an example of that.

So enjoy my tribute to Peter Criss, leave your comments, and I hope you’re inspired to produce great drum covers of your own!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Keith Galeano March 16, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Thank you Omar!! I grew up around the same time as you, I’m a few years older. This is one of my favorite KISS songs and KISS is still one of my all time favorite bands, they were a BIG influence for me. Great job, looking forward to your camcorder/windows course, i have some old KISS covers I’d like to do


Omar March 16, 2012 at 6:48 pm

Glad you liked it Keith! Once there’s more news regarding the course, you’ll know! 🙂


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