KISS' GENE SIMMONS Explains Drummer PETER CRISS' Absence From Upcoming Tour

KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons has spoken to KissKollector.com U.S. correspondent (and official KISS designer) Christopher Franchi about the group's decision to utilize the services of drummer Eric Singer during their upcoming tours of Australia and Japan. Asked to clarify the reasons Peter Criss was "let go" from the band, Simmons said, "For the record, I have never stated that Peter HAS a drug problem (not on this last tour, anyway). I DID say Peter HAD a drug problem. And, for the record, Peter is not with us for only one reason: During the entire AEROSMITH/KISS tour, Peter kept saying to the band while we were putting on makeup, and I quote, 'I've had enough of this shit. I've got enough money, I have a great house and a great wife. I don't want to do this anymore.' Add to this the following: He kept admitting that his energy level was very low. He would sleep until one or two in the afternoon on days off. He had to put his elbow into ice water to relieve aches and pains. And, for the record, we DID reach out to Peter's lawyers. The deadline for decision making came and went and... KISS continues.

"The problem, as always, is that fans are not qualified to know what exactly goes on for a simple reason: they are not present behind the scenes. And Peter? We and I have always wished him well. We DO love him. This is not the first time he has missed out of being in the band. This may be the third or fourth time. Decade after decade. KISS goes on. With or without him.

"I stand by every word of this and refuse to bring religion or God into any point I have to make."

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