In a brand new interview with Examiner.com, KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons was asked if there was a word he could use to define what success meant to him. "Freedom," he replied. "When you don't have money, you don't have freedom. You don't have freedom of what to do with your day; you've gotta go to work at whatever time to go to work. You've gotta get up at 7 a.m. to be at work by 9 a.m.; there's no freedom there. If you're working for somebody, you don't have freedom to determine what to do, and you will be told where to go, what time to be, and what to do. There's not much freedom to do anything else. Being successful, in other words, being rich, enables you to determine for yourself what you want to do, if you want to do it, and when you want to do it. It offers you the freedom to support your family, give to charity, buy your mother the hip operation she needs, to do everything. Without money, you can't do any of it."
He continued: "[People say] 'But love is the most important thing in the' — well, yeah, that's true, but not really, not in real life. Unless and if you have the money — and the hard work that goes before that — first you need hard work, then you get the money. Without the money, you can't even feed your kids, no matter how much you love them. First money, then the implementation of money, love, then everything else is fine. And whoever said 'money is the root of all evil' probably still lives in their mother's basement. The truth is, lack of money is the root of all evil. If you have all the money in the world, why would you want to hold up a 7-Eleven? The people that hold up 7-Elevens don't have money."
Simmons, who is the owner of the LA Kiss arena football team, Simmons Records, the Cool Springs financial services firm, and Rock & Brews restaurant chain, among other ventures, has just released a new book out based on his approach to business, titled "Me, Inc.", in which he shares the secrets of KISS' 40 years of success.