KISS is bringing the curtain down on its epic and storied 45-tear career with the "End Of The Road" tour, which started on January 31 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer recently sat down with national radio personality Dan Neer to discuss this massive undertaking.
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Asked by Neer to envision the closing moments of the tour's final show, Stanley said: "I don't wanna say bittersweet, because there's nothing bitter about it. It'll certainly be incredibly emotional, because I have so much to look back on that the band has made possible, that the fans have made possible, and I wanna know at that last show that I gave it everything I could. And I'll walk away proudly."
Simmons added: "I'm a fairly big guy — I'm 6' 2", I'm probably closer to 250 pounds. I'm not a skinny guy, and proud of it. But I know I'm gonna be weeping like a 12-year-old girl who has someone stepping on her feet at that last show. Tears of happiness, I might add.
"How many people on earth get to do what we've done? You've gotta take that perspective," he continued. "Because KISS has always been more than a band. KISS has been a unifying force for different generations... When you see a five-year-old kid at a concert — our concert — who has KISS makeup and is sitting on the shoulders of his dad who's wearing KISS makeup, who's next to his dad, who's 50 or 60, and he's wearing makeup. And that kid does my hand gesture for the first time in his life… It's hit me before. I turn around, and you're in tears, because you realize it's more than a concert and it's more than songs — it's a part of people's lives. They tattoo their bodies with our faces, they name their kids after our songs. It's a culture. It's a nationhood."
The North American leg of "End Of The Road" is set to run through September, ending with a September 16 date at Oakland Oracle Arena. The multi-year run promises dates until at least 2020.
"We're doing the absolute biggest KISS show," Stanley said. "Everybody who goes to see a band, a rap star, a country star, a rock star, you're seeing a KISS show nowadays. … We go out there and raise the bar. We will raise it again."
Although this isn't the first time KISS has embarked on a farewell tour, Simmons insists that this time, it's for real. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, he explained that he "cannot continue to perform into his eighth decade wearing 40 pounds of armor and platform boots."