Even though KISS's upcoming "End Of The Road" farewell tour will feature numerous songs the group has been playing live for more than four decades, band members Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer say they never tire of performing them.
When Madison Vain of BUILD Series asked Simmons to envision the closing moments of the tour's final show, he responded: "How do you not end with 'Rock And Roll All Nite'? We will have played that song, probably without exception, more than any other song we've ever been involved with. You might say, 'Aren't you sick and tired of hearing that?' But I will tell you the roar of the crowd, the smell of the grease paint, there ain't nothing like it. When you hear everybody getting jazzed about that and you get off the stage... [it's] like the fire in the belly. You're dog-tired; you've just done a big show; and you get up on that stage, when you see the joy in everybody's face... We've seen it all. We've been around for generations, but when you see a little 5-year-old kid in KISS makeup on his dad's shoulders who's wearing KISS makeup, next to his father... we're badass kind of guys — nothing affects us much — but that stuff will put a lump in your throat. You have to turn around for a second. It gets me. Yes, it's music, but it's generational, and it brings families together instead of separates [sic] them."
Stanley added that the group takes pride in performing recognizable renditions of its songs in concert. "We will play 'Rock And Roll All Nite' with all its glory and passion and accuracy when we go out on stage," he said. "We don't rearrange songs because we're bored. There's nothing worse than people paying money to go see their favorite band, and the band is bored with a song, so they've rearranged it. You came to hear those songs the way they were originally recorded. That's what you deserve. If a band is bored with their songs, it's because the song's not good enough."
Singer agreed. "Some bands become a little too self-indulgent," he said. "I get it — you have to enjoy what you do as well, but I think sometimes, they start thinking... I've heard some musicians say, 'I play for myself. If people like it, great,' almost like you're doing them a favor. No — you should play the music that the fans want to hear. That's why they came to see you."
One song Thayer says he's surprised that KISS fans want to continue hearing is the 1979 hit "I Was Made For Lovin' You", a song co-written by Desmond Child that was released at the peak of the disco era. "The one that always surprises me, no matter where we're playing," he said. "A lot of times, we play festivals. Sometimes, they're heavy metal festivals [with] heavy metal bands, and we'll come out and at the end of the set, we'll do 'I Was Made For Lovin' You', and the place always goes berserk. Even the metalheads, they're going insane. It just blows my mind."
Added Simmons: "Sometimes, at these big heavy metal festivals, we're looking around going, 'Boy, we're the odd [man out].' Well, we've always been the dark horse. Look at us — we wear makeup and stuff, and we don't care about fashion or style. Maybe that's a good wake-up call for everybody — stop looking over your shoulder to see what everybody else is doing, and just be yourself."
KISS's "End Of The Road" tour kicks off January 31 in Vancouver, British Columbia and is expected to continue for more than two years.