MiniKiss: Life in a Little People Cover Band MiniKiss is a cover band devoted to the face-painting rock music group, entirely comprised of "little people." Madeleine Brand talks with Joey Fatale, founder of MiniKiss, about how the band now faces some competition from other bands, and what life is like as the miniature Gene Simmons.
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MiniKiss: Life in a Little People Cover Band

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MiniKiss: Life in a Little People Cover Band

MiniKiss: Life in a Little People Cover Band

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And now, who could resist the story about a Kiss tribute band? Certainly, not us. And it's not just your run-of-the-mill tribute band. This one is comprised entirely of little people. Joey Fatale is the front man for MiniKiss. This Gene Simmons wannabe stands 4 feet 4 inches tall and says MiniKiss is the real thing when it comes to tribute bands.

Mr. JOEY FATALE (Founder of MiniKiss): We've got the blood; we've go the tongue; we've got the fire; we got it all.

BRAND: The shoes, the boots?

Mr. FATALE: Everything, the whole look.

MINIKISS BAND (Kiss Tribute Band): (Singing) I want to rock and roll all night and party every day. I want to...

Mr. FATALE: We play from New York to LA to Hawaii to Germany, all over, all over the place.

BRAND: So, aside from the difference in stature, are you pretty much Kiss?

Mr. FATALE: We added a couple little things here and there. We did our makeup a little differently, but the stage show--you cannot--you have to duplicate that, because they are the best stage show I've ever seen in my entire life, and that's exactly the stage show that we do. We do the fire, the blood, the whole nine yards, and you know what's funny about the whole thing is that I'm mini Gene, and how it became that--I have a long tongue. Not bragging, but that was weird how that came about, and everybody knows Gene has a long tongue.

BRAND: That's true.

Mr. FATALE: That's pretty cool.

BRAND: But things recently haven't been so cool. There's another little people Kiss tribute band on the scene.

Mr. FATALE: To each his own. You know what? I said that in an interview a long time ago. I said there will be a copycat one day. There will be, and, boom; here it is.

BRAND: It, is Tiny Kiss, featuring three little people and, reportedly, a not-so-tiny, 350-pound female singer. They've taken over some of MiniKiss' gigs in Las Vegas, and that's led to a legal dispute, though Fatale won't go into details about it. There are reports of a cease-and-desist letter, and Fatale has allegedly tried to disrupt Tiny Kiss gigs, but he downplayed the dispute when I talked with him.

Mr. FATALE: There is room for a lot of us, because, you know why? I think I'm kind of helping the little-people world-oh--I think I'm opening a door in the little-people world to really open the door for the music. I think so because people are not degrading enough. People really like us when we perform out there. That, I got to say.

BRAND: What's your favorite Kiss song?

Mr. FATALE: My favorite Kiss song is God of Thunder because Gene, if you ever saw the show, Gene comes down on this wire, and he just does this huge bass solo and had blood. Oh, it's insane. I love it.

(Soundbite of Kiss music)

BRAND: Joey Fatale, the front man for MiniKiss, a Kiss tribute band of little people. MiniKiss plays tonight in Albany and next week in Chicago.

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