GENE SIMMONS SAYS “IN KISS, WE CAN’T CONTINUE LONGER THAN THE EARLY 70S”
Marko Syrjala Finland’s Imperiumi spoke with KISS frontman, and bassist, Gene Simmons. Highlights of the interview appear below.
Imperiumi: How did you pick up the guys [in your solo] the band?
Gene Simmons: Well, they played on the KISS Kruise. And they do a tribute; they have a big rock show or something. You know, it just happens. I didn’t pick them; we had a different drummer. We had two different drummers before, and they just said, “Hey, you’ve got a show coming up. Our drummer can’t make it; he’s got to go.” So, I said, “Well, get another drummer. Don’t think about it.” If you plan something too much, sometimes it doesn’t work. This band just came together without any planning. We get along great. Nobody uses drugs, no drinking.
Imperiumi: Do you ever have days when you’re doing absolutely nothing?
Gene Simmons: Well, even when I have a day off, you have all these businesses, emails all the time, and lawyers, and everything. I’m even starting a company for vegetables. In about a month in grocery stores and it’ll come around the world. But it’s a new kind of vegetables. You take grapes and tomatoes, and you mix them up. And that’s big. It’s a big, big thing. I own this logo; I designed it.
Imperiumi: One thing what the KISS fans have been waiting for a long time is the next episode of Kissology. Is that ever going to be released or is something you’ve decided not to do anymore?
Gene Simmons: Well, number four is finished, but the lawyers are taking their time, I don’t know why. It takes a long time.
Imperiumi: I remember that I read your interview from the year 1985 where you said that there’s nothing more embarrassing than some guys on stage at their 50’s. I think that you pointed to Rolling Stones at the time, but things have changed.
Gene Simmons: When I was a kid, we used to say, “Don’t trust anybody over 30.” When Paul McCartney wrote a song, he said, “Will you still love me when I’m 64?” Well, he’s 74. This rock and roll thing doesn’t have rules because it never existed before. It’s a new thing. Rap is a new thing. Classical music has been here forever. Even blues has been around for a long time. Before the ’50s, there was no such thing as rock and roll, and what are the rules? The people who are writing the songs and playing them could not even read or write music. I can. I can write songs and play a few instruments and do that, but if you showed me a classical music sheet, I can’t read it but those guys that read the classic, they can’t write Dr. Love.
Imperiumi: How long you think you can carry on doing this?
Gene Simmons: Well, in KISS, we can’t continue longer than the early 70s. It’s because the band is the hardest-working band in show business. You see Iggy on stage. He doesn’t have to carry any weight, except it’s a hard show, but wear sneakers and jeans. Me? [laughter] It takes a long time, and the outfit weighs a lot, and the heels are taller even then your girlfriend’s. It’s a lot of hard work, and when we come off the stage, for me, you’re really tired. So, in its present form, KISS can’t do it 75, 74. I wouldn’t want to do it one day longer than it was real.
Imperiumi: The next KISS tour is going to start in February, is it really going to be the final tour?
Gene Simmons: I don’t know.
Imperiumi: Do you have any plans to invite some special guests from the past maybe?
Gene Simmons: We talked about it. But we haven’t decided anything. The problem is if you bring out a special guest, they come on without makeup. They do. We haven’t really gotten that far.
Imperiumi: I’m asking this only because some former members of the band have said in public that they would love to be a part of this tour, in a way or another.
Gene Simmons: Who is? [laughter] I do know, but it’s not going to… yeah. You can’t put on the makeup. You’ve been out of the band 20 years. It’s not going to happen. And it’s a difficult question because if we did bring out anybody that was in the band, they can’t put on the makeup.
Imperiumi: But you have been talking about it?
Gene Simmons: Not a lot. No.
Imperiumi: The very last question; when the time of the very last KISS show comes, would you like to have all living members of KISS joining the event?
Gene Simmons: It sounds like it should be, but I don’t know yet. We’ll see.
Read the entire interview, at Imperiumi.