Tod Howarth Sets Record Straight On Exit From Frehley's Comet

Four By Fate

Four By Fate frontman, and former member of Ace Frehley's 1980s solo band Frehley's Comet, Tod Howarth sat down with Sleaze Roxx to discuss his current group and also touched on his exit from the former KISS guitarist's band. The site sent over the following excerpts:

Sleaze Roxx: I remember reading the reviews for [Frehley's Comet sophomore album] 'Second Sighting' and them being mixed. I guess someone had to be the 'fall guy' and I guess you were it in the eyes of critics and fans?

Tod Howarth: [Laughs] Of course! At first it hurt my feelings to a degree. I've learned to deal with it over the years. Listen, Ace is not a singer. He's a better singer now than he was at that time. When we were recording the albums, he wanted to sing. He knew he needed to sing because the fans wanted to hear him sing. You have to give the fans what they want because that would translate into album sales. I think the fact that I sang on half of the record and he sang on the other half of the record, the fans weren't too happy about it. So that's how things transpired and I got blamed for it.

Sleaze Roxx: Realistically, if you didn't sing those songs on 'Second Sighting' - than who would?

Tod Howarth: [Laughs] I know. They wouldn't have been on the record. Ace is a 'character' singer. It's like his laugh. It's identifiable. He has a certain style. He was never a singer where I've been singing since I was seven years old. I think people would have been happier listening to his style, his voice that to listen to my smooth vocals. Then again, there are people that really loved my vocals on that record yet they won't vocalize that. That's okay. You can't please everyone.

Sleaze Roxx: So when did things begin to go south with Frehley's Comet?

Tod Howarth: We ran out of money on the Iron Maiden tour. We were broke. We had to go home to reassess what we were going to do next. Around the middle of 1998, it was brought to my attention that I wouldn't be on the album and that Ace would be writing and singing all the songs.

There's several things wrong with that statement which I won't get into here. In the music industry, you make money from publishing, merchandising and touring if you're in a big enough band. Well, if I don't have any of those three, I don't have an income. How am I supposed to survive? I have heard this millions of times - "Oh, Ace fired Tod." Listen, Ace didn't fire Tod - Tod quit! There was no future for me there so I had to bow out. So after many attempts, I secured a solo deal though Simmons Records, oddly enough. It was right as the grunge thing was coming along so I got my ass kicked there. I was dropped and here comes Nirvana! [laughs]

Sleaze Roxx: You'd be open to a Frehley's Comet reunion show I imagine?

Tod Howarth: Oh for sure, if nothing else for the fans alone. We've talked about it but we've gotten a tepid response from Ace. I feel that from a business standpoint, it would behoove Ace to do it. Right now, Ace has some things going where he won't be paying much attention to a 'Comet' reunion at the moment. I don't think. In fact, Ace lives right here in San Diego! I met up with him at a book signing years ago and he has my contact information but I haven't heard from him. As I said, John and I would love to do it but it's in Ace's lap. He wants to do what he wants to do. Right now, my focus is Four By Fate.

Check out the full interview here.

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