KISS Vow To Continue Using Pyro Despite Rhode Island Tragedy

KISS guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley and bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons have have vowed to continue using pyrotechnic displays at their concerts despite the Rhode Island nightclub tragedy that claimed 97 lives.

"People want a thrill, people love spectacle and people love to be entertained," Stanley told The Associated Press. "That's why people go to horror movies, why they go on roller coasters, and why a band like us has been able to be around as long as we have.

"But you have to be extremely careful with anything that has to do with fire," he added. "The thrill of a flash pot or some pyrotechnic device becomes very small when you take into account the risk. The unfortunate reality is you're dealing with extremely dangerous materials."

Simmons, who has accidentally set his hair ablaze a half-dozen times while breathing fire onstage, said he "would no more ban pyrotechnics at rock concerts than I would on the Fourth of July."

"It's all about full disclosure," Simmons said. "The venue has to know what it's buying."

KISS, who almost always play large arenas, with plenty of space above and below the sparks, have ditched the pyro on the few occasions when they've played small clubs, such as Asbury Park's Stone Pony in 1990 and The Ritz in New York in 1988 and 1992.

"Clubs are potential time bombs," Simmons said. "You've got enclosed space with combustible materials and lots of people."

"Sometimes common sense has to play a role," Stanley added. "There's always the possibility of a tragedy in small clubs with this kind of thing. It's a recipe for disaster."

"Because you push the envelope at 100 concerts and nothing happens doesn't mean the 101st won't be tragically different," Stanley said.


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