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

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…