In a brand new interview with MLive.com, KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons was asked what keeps the group going after all these years when he and his bandmates could all just easily give touring up and enjoy retirement.
"A lot of young people have stupid ideas," Simmons replied. "And a lot of young people have stupid ideas because they are young; it's called the folly of youth. We think we know it all; we actually don't. We're idiots — myself included. And I remembered as a kid, 'Never trust anybody over 30.' Well, guess what? The the coolest people are. The people that play stadiums around the world are not only over 30, but they're over 60. Will you still love me when I'm 64? Fuck, I'm going to be 65, [Mick] Jagger is 71, [Paul] McCartney is 72, I think it is. They're playing stadiums! Who's 20 years old playing a stadium? Nobody! So all those silly ideas as kids are based on how far we could see. And life is actually much bigger than we think it is."
Simmons also talked about his work ethic, calling it "the immigrant work ethic. I came to America with my mother — as legal immigrants, I might add. There is a difference. And when I realized the greatness of America — even though I was born in Israel — I knew this is the promised land. As you know, there's a big Arab population in Michigan, but in American everybody can walk side by side and have a discussion and nobody trying to kill each other because of their ethnicity or religion. America is a holy land. It's just the place where people can just work it out and talk it out."
During a recent interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune, Simmons said that he believed that the less fortunate should be more grateful for how the rich are supporting the economy. He explained: "The one percent pays 80 percent of all taxes. Fifty percent of the population of the U.S. pays no taxes… The one percent provides all the jobs for everybody else. If the one percent didn't exist, there would be chaos and the American economy would drop dead. Try being nice to rich people. I don't remember the last poor person who gave me a job."
Simmons also hared his thoughts on his extreme self-confidence. He explained, "You know how I spell shameless? P-r-o-u-d... People often confuse, at least in my estimation, my pride and self-confidence with arrogance. Because they are not used to people who have an in-your-face, ‘take it or leave it/this is how I am' point of view. I'm more like an animal in the jungle that urinates on the ground and doesn't ask your permission. ‘This is me, this is my territory.' It's simply defining who I am and what I stand for."
He added: "Others simply hold their opinions to themselves and never say who they are you. You will always know who I am… You don't have to like it; that's OK if you don't."
Despite his wealth and me-first mindset, Simmons did share that he had an appreciation for the smaller things in life. He said, "It's a good thing to take note of the small pleasures in life. If you can appreciate them, you have it figured out… It's true I can buy planes, mansions and all that stuff. But if you don't appreciate getting up in the morning and having a muffin with jam on it, just smear it on there, with some cream cheese, and coffee, and some quiet time… if you don't appreciate the little stuff, you won't appreciate the big. I'm what's considered rich. But if you don't appreciate the pennies, you can't appreciate the dollars."
Simmons will release a self-help primer for aspiring entrepreneurs titled, "Me, Inc.", in the fall. He recently shared some financial advice. He said,"I'm duly diligent. I do a better job of balancing my budget than the U.S. government does with its budget. America is in debt for almost $17 trillion. I've never been in debt. I've always had more money than I spent, which is Rule No. 1, which is what I'll talk about in my book. You are your own business."