On May 19, 2005, KISS fan site The Kiss Underground Archives conducted an interview with KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons. Several excerpts from the interview follow:
The Kiss Underground Archives: What's going on in the world of KISS?
Gene Simmons: "What's going on is that obviously the best way for anyway to find out the latest, is to get online to KissOnline.com. Because when there's news and we're ready to talk about it, it gets posted. My site is a little different because I don't have to check with anybody, and do whatever the hell I wanna do. So there's all kinds of activity, all the time. Almost every day. Paul's [Stanley] working on his solo record. I know he's very, very excited by that. And I bet it's gonna kick ass. We were going to go overseas and tour, and I think wisely decided not to do it at this time. Between Paul doing a solo record, and all kinds of other stuff being worked on at the same time, there's just not enough time. Because before we can go out on tour, there's all the set-ups, rehearsals, we gotta build a stage — it takes a lot of work. So there will be a tour at some point, but right now, Paul wants to concentrate on the solo record, and who knows, maybe he'll wanna go out and tour in back of it. Which I think would rock. I remember the last time I saw him in 1989, and it was a real treat to be able to sit in the audience and watch, if not THE best frontman in the business, certainly one of the best."
The Kiss Underground Archives: The major thing that most KISS fans have been asking for is NEW KISS music. From what I've read, you seem to be pretty gung-ho about doing a record with the current lineup, where Paul seems to be more on the fence about doing another KISS album.
Gene Simmons: "Well, when you're in the middle of a party and somebody says, 'Hey, let's go to a party,' it's not the same discussion if you're not at a party. Whereas if you're not at a party, and somebody says, 'Let's go to a party,' (and then you would say) 'Great idea.' In essence, what I'm saying is that right now, Paul is in the middle of writing and recording his solo record, so the idea of recording MORE music with KISS isn't as appealing. Also, we all know the market place is completely different. It's different for us, it's different for the STONES. It's different for any band that has been around for an awful long time. As we all know, the new STONES record is gonna come out, but it's not going to get the attention that it would have got like when they first came out. But it doesn't dilute the fact that it's a very important group that you wanna go see, because they're legends. So, to be honest with you, it is less appealing to go and try to do new music because the market place is certainly different. I mean, Elton John came out a few years ago and said, 'I'm through making new music. I'm happy to just get up on stage and play songs that I love playing.'"
The Kiss Underground Archives: What do you have to say to the fans who complain about all of the compilation CDs?
Gene Simmons: "There are two points to make, once and for all. One, the compilations DO NOT come from us. They come from record companies who own the rights to do those compilations. Two, and this is a really important one, just because YOU have those songs, doesn't mean that new fans do. So every once in awhile I'll go out and buy a greatest hits album by THE SWEET. And when I look at the greatest hits section by THE SWEET, or SLADE, or any other of my favorite bands, there are TONS of compilation records. But hey, I didn't buy every SWEET or SLADE record. So when I buy one of those records, I buy a compilation. And there's going to be even more new (KISS) compilations. You're going to hear 'Detroit Rock City' and a million other songs A HUNDRED TIMES, and they (the compilations) may not be for you. It may be for a brand new fan who doesn't wanna buy 40 albums, who may just wanna buy a taste of KISS. So those compilations WILL continue, and if you don't like it, there's a simple rule in capitalism: don't buy it. But complaining about compilations and other issues about the band means nothing. You're not in control."
The Kiss Underground Archives: Do you think there will ever be a day when KISS would once again perform without makeup or do you think KISS should remain a makeup entity until the band stops performing.
Gene Simmons: "I've said this before, that we'd never put the makeup back on again, but there we are. We did put it on. I said that we would never play with Ace [Frehley] and Peter [Criss] and then we did. As I stand here now, I would NEVER get on the stage with Ace and Peter again. Put on the makeup, don't put on the makeup, but who the hell knows?! You never know. You live and you learn."
The Kiss Underground Archives: If KISS does decide to ultimately record a new CD, would you keep it to only the current lineup playing on it, or would you be open to bringing in former members to participate as well?
Gene Simmons: "I tell what is great is that you never know. But I will tell you from the bottom of my heart that it's a real treat to play with Tommy [Thayer] and Eric [Singer] because they're positive people. There are no dark clouds hanging over their heads. There's no agony, there's no chemicals. It's a pleasure to play with guys who really love being onstage. And nobody wants to hear this about their Mom and Dad. You don't wanna hear your Mom say bad stuff about your Dad, even if it's true. But I wanna tell you that the fans get really pissed off at me for telling the truth. It's been torture with Ace and Peter. Forget about the drugs and the alchohol and all that, it's just been sometimes beyond miserable. Trying to get along with guys who have a problem with life itself. They're just difficult human beings. That doesn't mean I don't wish the best for them, I do. I love 'em, but for years and decades, they couldn't even figure out a way to help themselves. You can only go so far, and we went so far OVER AND OVER again. And it's been miserable. It's been a REAL FUCKIN' TORTURE!"
Read Gene Simmons' entire interview with The Kiss Underground Archives at this location.