KISS' official web site, KissOnline.com, has been updated with part one of a brand new interview with KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons. It is reproduced here in its entirety:
KissOnline.com: Congratulations on "Rock Honors"! Your performance, the tribute to KISS, backstage, everything about the event was great. Did everything go as smooth as it appeared?
Gene: "There was an awkward moment at the end of 'Rock Honors'. We had just finished playing 'Love Gun' (after we did 'Detroit Rock City' and 'Deuce' ...which was cut from the show) and we were initially told to stand on stage and wait for QUEEN, DEF LEP and PRIEST to join us for a closing of the show. Only problem was, the audience went nuts...and the hosts and TV people wanted us to do an encore. So, Paul [Stanley] walked up and said, 'Do you want to do another one?' and I said sure...and we went into 'Makin' Love', though we didn't rehearse it. The awkward moment had to do with the other bands being on stage with us for the end of the show...and then realizing that VH1 wanted us to play another tune. Hopefully, there were no bad feelings...it didn't seem so, at any rate."
KissOnline.com: Was it strange to you that Ace [Frehley] was in a tribute to KISS at "Rock Honors"?
Gene: "Ace has always been his own guy. We love him and he absolutely belonged there to be honored. He knew it didn't work for him to play with us in makeup. VH1 had the idea to have him play with the all-star band. He thought it was a great idea and so did we. Peter [Criss] was asked to join in on the fun and I'm told he and his wife Gigi said no. A good time was had by all."
KissOnline.com: At the end of "Rock Honors" what was going through your mind when you were standing on stage with all of the members of KISS, QUEEN, JUDAS PRIEST and DEF LEPPARD?
Gene: "Standing on stage at the end of the show with QUEEN, DEF LEP and PRIEST felt great. Memories of taking PRIEST out as a support band on their first tour came rushing in. We almost played with QUEEN when they first appeared on the American scene, but it wasn't to be. We never found out if it didn't happen because of scheduling difficulties, or whether their management just didn't like the pairing. Either way, it was a real treat to hear Brian May rip on guitar...Just great!"
KissOnline.com: With the success and buzz of "Rock Honors", wouldn't this be a perfect time for a new U.S. KISS tour after the Japanese shows?
Gene: "We're scheduled to go to Japan in July to do some big outdoor shows and a few indoors. Other than that, quite honestly, we have no plans. Tours are a big undertaking. Fans tend to simplify most things. Come to South Carolina next week. What's the problem? Well, when we tour, we have to engage about 50 people, move tons of gear and about 14 tracker trailer trucks, plus seven or eight buses....and a jet for us. We WILL tour. It's only a matter of time."
KissOnline.com: If by some miracle the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame allowed you in, would you go or make a statement and be a no show like the SEX PISTOLS?
Gene: "I have mixed feelings about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. On the one hand, I believe it's a sham. It has a group of music execs who decide who gets in. Hardly a gauge of what the people want. There are groups in there that have one gold record to their name. Not a complaint, simply an observation. And, while it may be nice to be included, it doesn't in the least stop my days from being fun filled. It's simply not an issue, because the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has little credibility in my mind. However, if we get in, I would like to appear and perhaps make a statement about how insulting it is for the entity to ignore SABBATH for so long and AC/DC and bands that deserve to be in right away."
KissOnline.com: During the early dates of the "Reunion Tour", did you ever imagine that KISS would still be performing over a decade later?
Gene: The 'Reunion Tour' made me realize a few things. I was thrilled that Peter and Ace were back in the band, but (and my hand is to God), things were different and things were also the same. As soon as I flew to NY and personally negotiated the deal with their then manager George Sewitt, the deal started to change. Every single day. There were demands made weekly. There were threats. Saddest of all, was the sad fact that the tour was hardly a 'straight' tour. There were almost daily cases of trying to hold the ship together. The past was repeating itself. We tried to keep it a secret, as we did in the past. Ultimately, the same thing happened, again. Members were asked to leave. And then members came back. And then members were asked to leave again. I've had enough, thank you."
KissOnline.com: Do you envision a scenario where the four original member of KISS reform or have we seen the last of the original four, at least on a full tour?
Gene: "Quite honestly, the four original members have a huge problem, and despite what the fans want to believe, it has to do with not being able to depend on all the members...professionally speaking. And, there have been certain serious health issues. KISS, as far as I'm concerned, is not a baby sitting service and I, personally, have been lambasted by the fans for decades for saying it like it is. I stand by every word I said, then and now."