KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons recently spoke to the Cleveland Free Times about his infamous 2002 interview with National Public Radio talk show host Terry Gross. Gross had previously told the Miami Herald that the interview "turned into an insult fest. It was like a little brawl. We got 3,000 or 4,000 e-mails or letters after that. As a result he was named male crackpot of the year in Entertainment Weekly." Read on for excerpts from Gene's interview with the Cleveland Free Times:
Cleveland Free Times: Your Terry Gross interview on NPR caused quite a stir a while back. What was the big deal?
Gene Simmons: "It was the largest audience they've ever had. Ms. Gross, I thought, came off rude. I give as good as I get. I'm as polite as anybody is to me. I asked, 'Tell me about NPR, which sounds like a disease.' Who gives a shit about NPR? It was very much a case of people in positions of power who believe that they're beyond recourse. Rude behavior is rude behavior. I said I'm happy to be in a band and welcomed her with open arms and open legs. She didn't appreciate it. She was taken aback."
Cleveland Free Times: She kept saying you were being obnoxious — she must not interview many rock stars.
Gene Simmons: "Being obnoxious means you're not willing to put up with rudeness. I thought she came off as self-important when, as far I'm concerned, she's done nothing with her life."
Cleveland Free Times: Have you talked to her since?
Gene Simmons: "I have not, but they keep asking me for the right to rebroadcast. The answer's no. If anybody's making money off it, it will be me first."