Gene Simmons talks KISS fans, No. 1 albums

“KISS has a philosophy few other bands have,”?says Simmons, far left, “and that’s to give the fans bang for their bucks.”

For almost four decades, the iconic circus collectively known as KISS has been thrilling the masses, with their trend-defining, still wildly absurd amalgam of muscular, no-nonsense rock music and dark fantasy theatrics. Now, after an up-and-down history that saw their legacy rise, fall and rise once more, KISS are not only deeply ingrained in the collective popculture fabric, but they are at the top of their creative game.

Their latest album — the 20th studio album, in fact — is called, appropriately, “Monster,” and while not due in stores until mid-October, the band hit the road this summer, demolishing stages across the U.S. and Canada with fellow hard-rockers Motley Crue. “The Tour,” as it’s boldly calling itself, condenses both bands’ performances into two 90-minute sets, but, as KISS co-founder and media gadfly Gene Simmons insists, KISS won’t be skimping on any of their pa-tented blood, bombs and pyro.

“KISS has a philosophy few other bands have,” says Simmons, who is 62 and still swinging from wires and vomiting gore.

“And that’s to give the fans bang for their bucks. Not just our show, but making sure anyone on the bill with us is worthy of being on hallowed ground, the Electric Church, the KISS stage. For us, the power and the bombast and, yes, the roar of the crowd and the smell of the greasepaint is what it’s all about.”

What KISS are also all about is the way the band has transcended the fate of many of their classic-rock ilk who are content to tour the hits and pander to the generation that first found them. Instead, a typical KISS audience contains a cross section of fans of every age, with KISS Army lifers sharing space with kids, their faces painted to honor their larger-than-life heroes.

“The KISS Army is a living, breathing thing,” says Simmons, who has never been known for a lack of confidence.

Combine that with international omnipresence, sold-out stadiums and an anticipated new album, and Simmons has every right to brag.

“We have every intention of making ‘Monster’ a No. 1 album,” Simmons states matter-of-factly. “If you’re a world champion, and if you have the heart of a lion, you will stay in the ring. If not, pack up and go home.”

Shout it out loud

Simmons says he always enjoys the way KISS fans get in the spirit for concerts.
   
“You can’t put your finger on it. Through the decades, the fans have always showed up wearing our makeup, some of them tattooed with our faces all over their bodies, and now, with children in tow, who are named after our songs. And when we do the KISS KRUISE in Halloween in the Bahamas, it’s a gathering of the tribes.”
  
Yes, you heard that right, a real-deal KISS KRUISE, one of thousands of branded events and products that bear the band’s seal of grandiose approval.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

New Apple devices include default kill switch

By Marina LopesWASHINGTON (Reuters) - New Apple Inc phones include a theft deterrent system that enables users to lock their devices and wipe them clean…

National

PHOTO: Photographer comes face-to-face with deadly crocodile

A deadly crocodile comes face-to-face with a courageous photographer, who manages to take a set of jaw-dropping pictures of the teeth-baring reptile.

Local

Brooklyn packed for annual West Indian Day Parade

Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway was packed Monday with an estimated one million people showing up on Labor Day to celebrate West Indian culture.

Local

James Michael Tyler on Gunther, Central Perk and…

We spoke with Gunther (James Michael Tyler) at the preview for new pop-up Central Perk, based on the cafe in "Friends."

Going Out

Where to eat and drink during Oktoberfest in…

Paulaner In the Bowery, this Bavarian restaurant/brewery will start the celebrations at 8 p.m. Saturday with the premiere of master brewer Andreas Heidenreich’s Oktoberfest brew.…

Going Out

Where to celebrate Oktoberfest in NYC

Germany is a land of contradictions — is there an explanation for how the same country produced lederhosen and Rammstein? But they all managed to agree…

Going Out

Things to do in NYC this weekend, Sept.…

BEHIND THE SCENES New York on Location Sept. 21, 11 a.m. Kaufman Astoria Studios 36 Street between 34 and 35 avenues, Astoria Free, www.movingimage.us Have…

Going Out

5 things to do in NYC this weekend,…

Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival Sept. 18-22, various times The Bell House, 149 Seventh St. Union Hall, 702 Union St. $10-$20, www.eugenemirmancomedyfestival.com In addition to the usual…

NFL

Eric Decker 'unlikely to play' against Bears: Source

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker's status for Monday night’s game against the Bears is in doubt after he missed practice again Wednesday.

NFL

Preston Parker, not Odell Beckham, will replace Jerrel…

Tom Coughlin noted the next man up will be unheralded veteran Preston Parker.

NFL

NFL Week 3 full schedule (kickoff time, TV)

NFL Week 3 full schedule (kickoff time, TV)

NFL

Fantasy football: Run with Knile Davis, Khiry Robinson,…

Fantasy football: Run with Knile Davis, Khiry Robinson, Donald Brown

Sex

Why don't more couples use condoms?

  Call it the “condom moment.” That’s the name the authors of a new study have given to the pivotal conversation every couple should be…

Sex

Need an idea for a first date? Here's…

Picture your idea of a nice first date. Is it dinner and a movie? A visit to an interesting museum exhibit? Instead, an expert on…

Career

Here's why the newly-crowned Miss America deleted her…

Miss America pageant winner Kira Kazantsev quietly deleted her LinkedIn profile this week after her work history came under attack by conservative critics. Many of the…

Career

Zosia Mamet explains why leaning in is not…

Zosia Mamet is living proof that even if you don't think you can get a job you're going for, you should still try. Along with…