GENE SIMMONS: 'This Should Have Been The Lineup Of KISS From The Beginning'

In a brand new interview with Revolver magazine KISS members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons spoke about the making of the band's latest album, "Monster", their second in a row to feature a lineup rounded out by guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer.

"We're so comfortable now, this should have been KISS always: Tommy, Eric, Paul and myself," Simmons said. "We like each other's company, we like playing onstage with each other. And the creative process is just second skin. We could have just as easily gone into the studio and done another record."

He added later in the interview, "I want to go on record: Eric and Tommy have revitalized the band, made Paul and myself realize what lucky bastards we are to be in KISS and to have each other. And this should have been the lineup of KISS from the beginning."

Asked if they are bothered when people complain about founding KISS members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss not being in the band anymore, Simmons said, "Almost nobody does. When you have 3-year-old and 5-year-old fans showing up to our concerts — or even 30-year-old fans — they don't know about Ace and Peter. I mean, next year is going to be our 40th year. We've been touring longer than most of the people who come see us live have been alive. Who's Ace and Peter? By the way, bless 'em both — what I just said doesn't mean that Ace and Peter weren't every bit as important as Paul and myself in the beginning of the band, but not everybody has the same DNA. Some people shouldn't be in a marathon race. They're just not designed for it. Some people are good for short runs."

"Eric's been in and out of the band for 20-some-odd years. And Tommy, too," added Stanley. "The only people who would complain, I think, are people who don't really follow the band at this point. The myth that sometimes surrounds the original lineup is purely myth. Some of it was of our own doing. The whole projecting the idea that it was four guys giving equally. Quite honestly, it was kind of our take on THE BEATLES: four guys that spend all their time together and run down the street jumping up in the air. But it's not a reality. And maybe part of the problem was that some of the guys in the band really bought into believing it. The band always had two people who were leading it and the idea that anybody is entitled to having songs on an album is crazy."

On the topic of why they think they felt like they had to project those myths in the early days, Stanley said, "Well, l think there was a certain amount of truth to it. Just in the sense of you have a band and there's a certain camaraderie, but there's also a sensitivity factor to people feeling minimized or left out. So to avoid that, we sometimes gave people more than their due. In those days, Gene and I shared our songwriting l with those guys because we didn't ever want it to be an issue that anybody was making more money than the other and therefore wanting songs on the album. Well. it obviously didn't work. [laughs] The only thing l did was give money away. [laughs] But all that being said, I've said it before. I'll say it again — we couldn't be here today without what Ace and Peter did in the beginning, and we couldn't be here today if they were still in the band."

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