In the weeks after KISS announced its "End Of The Road" farewell tour, fans wondered openly if past members of the group would be involved in any capacity, especially considering the apparent current goodwill between Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons and former guitarist Ace Frehley. Frehley's new album "Spaceman" — a title suggested by Simmons himself — features two songs the pair wrote together, and the duo recently completed a joint tour of Australia, after which Frehley fired his solo backing band and hired Simmons's. Stanley, meanwhile, appeared on Frehley's previous studio album, the 2016 covers set "Origins, Vol. 1".
Former guitarist Bruce Kulick, meanwhile, said during a recent interview with Rock Titan that he'd "love to be there" if given the chance to participate. "Obviously, if there's ever an opportunity where they did want to pay a little tribute to any of the other eras, they know I'd be there," he said. Vinnie Vincent also voiced similar sentiments during an interview with BackstageAxxess earlier this year. "If they ask me, I'll be there," he said. "They're still my buds, my friends, and [there's] a lot of love left. A lot of magic left."
During a recent interview with Madison Vain of BUILD Series, Stanley acknowledged the interest and, while he didn't confirm anything specific, he appeared to offer the group's alumni an open invitation to take part in the tour. "This is a celebration of everything KISS," he said. "This is a celebration of the history of the band, not any individual lineup, but at the same time, it would be crazy for us to be so short-sighted to not want to involve other members in the band, so hopefully, there will be appearances by other people who've been in this band. If they weren't there, it's not because we don't want them there. This really is an all-inclusive celebration."
Drummer Eric Singer — who initially joined the band for 1992's "Revenge" following the death of Eric Carr, and later donned the "Catman" makeup after the group parted ways with Peter Criss — says he's well aware that many fans enjoy all eras of the band, and that the group will try to come up with a set list that pleases everyone. "KISS has a long, storied career, so we're going to try to do our best to represent all the generations and all the eras of KISS, because we realize that one person's time they discovered KISS might have been in the '90s or in the '80s, '70s, whatever," he said. "You want to try to represent that the best you can, but then there's the staples. A lot of people don't like to hear it, but you've got to play those standard songs because those are the classics that have been associated with the band throughout its history. Those are undeniable. They're not just songs that are undeniable; they're concert pieces that are undeniable."
"They're snapshots of people's lives," Stanley added. "It's funny, because when we talk about the setlist, the thing that this show gives us the opportunity to do is more. It doesn't mean throwing in some song that nobody knows. The fact of the matter is, when somebody says, 'Why don't you play a song that's obscure?', obscure songs are obscure because they're not as good. It's exciting for us, because this just means we can play more. On most tours in the last decade, we've probably done 16 songs. On this one, we'll do at least 20."
As previously reported, Frehley rejoined his former bandmates on Wednesday during this year's "Kiss Kruise" to perform an acoustic set of KISS classics. Also appearing with them was Kulick.
"End Of The Road" kicks off January 31 in Vancouver, British Columbia and is expected to continue for more than two years.