by Kyle Kessell
WVU Parkersburg is home to an array of diverse students; students coming right out of high school to start their degree, to the students who have families or a career looking for a more successful life and to enhance their knowledge. Sometimes that person you pass in the hall is just your normal, average student heading to class, but if you were to pass Stephen Storey, you would be passing Gene Simmons.
Yes, Stephen is living with a demon inside of him, but not your typical spawn of Lucifer. Rather, it is the spirit of the KISS bass player rushing through the veins of his body.
Stephen has been part of a local KISS tribute band, the Kings of the Nighttime World, since November 2016. He was asked by friend, and fellow band mate, Delaney Shannon, who portrays KISS front man Paul Stanley. As a fan of KISS since the age of three, Stephen was quick to make the decision to say yes.
The Kings of the Nighttime World practice at least once to two times a week, unless they have a show coming up. In that case, they try to practice more to get everything perfect. Speaking of perfection, when Stephen practices with the band, he tries his best to make everything perfect, but when he steps on stage, he lets the demon loose.
It becomes easier to feel the power of Gene Simmons course through your bloodstream when you consider that the band comes to the venue dressed in complete KISS attire. From head to toe, Kings of the Nighttime World do their best to look like the spitting image of the classic rock band. The make up and wardrobe is done as if you were going to see them participate in a KISS costume contest. Not to mention, they also play for two hours in all of that gear. Mind you, it is typical for bands to play 30-45 minute sets, and they more than double that length.
For Stephen, performing is more about having fun and making loyal KISS fans proud while creating fandom for those on the fence or ones who may have never heard of them before.
“I really just want to play Rock Band, but with real Instruments,” Stephen said. “I don’t have to come up with any ideas, I just want to emulate KISS. If I didn’t, we’d make less money. “
Stephen’s real passion is the radio, and is currently working on a degree to pursue a career in that field. You can catch his current radio show, “Psychic Mothman,” on 96.3 WPKM, the WVU Parkersburg radio station, from 6-7 p.m. every Tuesday.
While Kings of the Nighttime World may not be what he wants to do for a living, he says that he could play on stage until he dies. The passion for performing is clearly made evident when Stephen speaks of the band.
You can follow up with Kings of the Nighttime World on their Facebook page and stay up to date on upcoming shows or other important news from the band. Be sure to catch Stephen’s radio show to get to know just how passionate he is about music.
Next time you pass someone in the hall, you may just be passing your typical student, or you could be passing a Rockstar incognito.