Gene Simmons Re-Ups Stance on Rap in Rock Hall, Plots KISS Box Set With Unreleased Material

Joe DiVita | Loudwire

Matt Winkelmayer image

Gene Simmons has made his stance on rap and hip-hop loud and clear in the past, engaging in a war of words with the N.W.A. camp following their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He has yet to soften his position on the matter, re-upping on his stance as well as revealing some plans regarding unreleased KISS material.

“There are people from different genres that I don’t believe belong in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame,” Simmons began telling CantonRep. “There’s disco and rap and all kinds of stuff. And I highly respect rap, but on the day Led Zeppelin gets put into the Hip-Hop Hall Of Fame is the day I will personally accept rap artists as being brought into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It just ain’t the same thing.”

Simmons explained in a simple manner how the styles are exclusive, stating, “You go to Apple Music and you go to different genres and you type in ‘rock,’ you’re not gonna find a single rap band in that category. Likewise, if you look at hip hop or rap, you’re not gonna see AC/DC or KISS in the list in there.”

Later in the interview, Simmons delivered some news that should have KISS fans foaming at the mouth. “I’m working on a box set that is gonna put together 150 songs that have never been released. That news is gonna be released soon,” said the bassist.

KISS recently performed an “All-Star Salute to the Oregon Military,” making a surprise, unmasked appearance to aid in the construction of the Oregon Military Museum.

 

KISS Unmask to Raise More Than $1.2 Million for Military Museum

Jeff Giles | 103 The Loon

Kiss don’t often play without their signature makeup these days, but they’re definitely willing to do it for a good cause — as the members of the group proved on Feb. 18, when they delivered a makeup-free set list to help raise more than $1.2 million for a military museum named after guitarist Tommy Thayer‘s father.

That impressive sum was confirmed by Kiss co-founder Paul Stanley, who took to social media the day after the show to congratulate his bandmate for all his hard work on behalf of Oregon’s military veterans.

As Thayer explained in an interview with Forbes, performing at the “All-Star Salute to the Oregon Military” event was just the latest in a series of fundraising efforts he’s taken part in for the museum.

“This is important to me on a personal level because my father is involved,” he said, “but it is important, too, for people to remember and commemorate the amazing people and their stories of heroism. The things they did for our country are inspirational and help us understand where we came from, what helped make us, as a country.”

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KISS 2017 Tour Dates

Kiss 2017 tour dates

Feb 22: Tulsa Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, OK
Feb 24: Gainesville WinStar World Casino, TX
Apr 21: Reno Grand Sierra Resort & Casino, NV
Apr 22: Laughlin Events Center, NV

May 01: Moscow Olympiski, Russia
May 04: Helsinki Hartwell Arena, Finland
May 06: Stockholm Tele2 Arena, Sweden
May 07: Oslo Spekrun, Norway
May 09: Horsens Forum, Denmark
May 10: Gothenburg Scandinavium, Sweden
May 12: Dortmund Westfallenhalle, Germany
May 13: Stuttgart Schleyerhalle, Germany
May 15: Torino Pala Alpitour, Italy
May 16: Bologna Unipol Arena, Italy
May 18: Munich Olympiahalle, Germany
May 20: Brno BCC, Czech Republic
May 21: Vienna Stadthalle, Austria
May 23: Franfurt Festhalle, German
May 24: Rotterdam Ahoy, Holland
May 27: Glasgow SSE Hydro, UK
May 28: Birmingham Barclaycard Arena, UK
May 30: Manchester Arena, U
May 31: London O2 Arena, UK
Jul 14: Bridgeview Chicago Open Air, IL
Jul 15: Hinckley Grand Casino, MN
Jul 16: Bridgeview Chicago Open Air, IL

Paul Stanley rules out Ace Frehley return

Scott Munro | Team Rock

Kiss main man Paul Stanley has ruled out a return for the band’s former guitarist Ace Frehley.

Speculation has increased in recent months that the guitarist might commence a third stint with the band after Stanley guested on his solo album.

And in December, while addressing a Kiss farewell tour that’s thought to be pencilled in for 2018, Frehley said: “I haven’t heard anything from Paul and Gene – although I did get a text from Gene the other day, wanting to come see me perform this January.

“Maybe he’ll pop the big question. Who knows? Whatever happens, we’re all good. It’s all good.”

But when asked if a reunion with original members is a possibility, Stanley tells Billboard: “No. And that’s not coming from any place of animosity. I sang on Ace’s most recent album and did a video with him.

“I have the connection and the reconnection and to celebrate the good things we’ve done together is terrific.

“The band as it is – I’ve played with Eric Singer for I think 25 years and Tommy Thayer’s been in the band probably 15 years at this point. I have no thoughts of re-visiting the past.

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Massive ’70s KISS Collection up for sale this week

KISSmuseum.com

We have some SURPRISING items in this latest collection we acquired. Been awhile since our last vintage ’70s sale – the stuff is just increasingly difficult to find. We have items starting at a dollar all the way up to some of the rarest and highest grade pieces imaginable. Most are single items, so check them out now!

Click HERE for the KISS ’70s SALE at KISSmuseum.com

Katey Sagal reveals early relationship with Gene Simmons in new book

Music News

Actress Katey Sagal briefly romanced Kiss frontman Gene Simmons after meeting him when she was a young waitress in California.

The Sons of Anarchy star was a 20-year-old employee at a Los Angeles restaurant when she served Simmons following the band’s concert at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in the mid-1970s.

Sagal, who was an aspiring singer at the time, performed for the rocker, flirted with him, and went home with Simmons.

“He was quite persuasive, and I like men,” she writes in her memoir Grace Notes.

Simmons accompanied her to her band practice the next day and introduced her to the president of his record label, Neil Bogart, who signed her group. However, her big break never came to fruition after the band’s first album sold poorly and they were released from their contract.

Sagal maintained her relationship with Simmons even though she knew he wasn’t a one-woman guy.

“I fantasized that I would be the exception,” she continues.

The relationship eventually came to an end after another musician proposed to Sagal. She reportedly told Simmons about the engagement and informed him she would decline the marriage offer if the Kiss star wanted to wed her, but he reportedly laughed.

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Gene Simmons says rock is still dead

Lazer1033

KISS star Gene Simmons is still refusing to backtrack on his “rock is dead” comments that sent the music world into a spin in 2014.

The bassist upset many fans and peers when he told his son Nick rock music had been “murdered” in an Esquire magazine interview.

He said, “It’s that much harder to earn a living playing and writing songs. No one will pay you to do it.”

And, in a new interview, Simmons has defended his three-year-old remarks, stating, “Rock is dead. It’s because of the internet and Napster and all that stuff. Once you download and file-share, then you’re not making it possible for a new band to be able to do this full time.

“There’s every bit as much talent out there as there was when we first started, but the new bands have to live in their mother’s basement because they can’t afford to do this full time, because people are just filesharing and downloading… That’s their prerogative – we allowed it and we haven’t sued everybody’s pants off for doing that.”

He goes on to point out that without traditional record companies “there wouldn’t have been Elvis (Presley), the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix…,” adding, “Even in disco, you got Madonna, you had Prince, U2, AC/DC, us maybe and a few others. And even in pop, you had Michael Jackson… I mean, it’s just endless. Continue reading

KISS off: Gene Simmons on how to future-proof a brand, and when to take the make-up off

Joh Fortt | CNBC

Gene Simmons is the most outrageous member of one of the most outrageous bands of all time: KISS.

There’s a lot more to KISS than shock. It’s the number-one gold-record-earning group of all time, at 30—when you include the four solo albums that band members released on the same day in 1978. Fourteen albums went platinum.


This is a band that’s known for its hits: “I wanna rock and roll all night, and party every day” seems like it’s a phrase as old as rock itself. The band is known just as much for its look. There’s the black and white face paint, the pyrotechnics, and a few details that are signature Gene Simmons. There’s the blood-spitting, the axe guitar, and of course the tongue so long it’s almost a fifth band member. And guess what: They’re still touring.

Fortt Knox sat down with Gene Simmons at the Studio Hotel in New York, to talk business and marketing. Simmons is a guy who not only managed to launch an iconic brand in his early 20s, he and co-founder Paul Stanley remade it several times along the way with different band members, different looks—and a voracious appetite for merchandising.

Simmons also managed to become a brand on his own.

He has had more than one turn on reality TV. He was on the “Celebrity Apprentice” with then star (and now president) Donald Trump. Simmons also had had his own show, “Gene Simmons Family Jewels,” that featured wife Shannon Tweed, and his kids Nick and Sophie.

Here’s a sampling of some of the wisdom he shared with Fortt Knox, in typically colorful fashion.

CNBC

Gene Simmons is the most outrageous member of one of the most outrageous bands of all time: KISS.

There’s a lot more to KISS than shock. It’s the number-one gold-record-earning group of all time, at 30—when you include the four solo albums that band members released on the same day in 1978. Fourteen albums went platinum.

This is a band that’s known for its hits: “I wanna rock and roll all night, and party every day” seems like it’s a phrase as old as rock itself. The band is known just as much for its look. There’s the black and white face paint, the pyrotechnics, and a few details that are signature Gene Simmons. There’s the blood-spitting, the axe guitar, and of course the tongue so long it’s almost a fifth band member. And guess what: They’re still touring.

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Gene Simmons keeps KISS classic

Ken Sharp | Goldmine

Frank White photo credit

Outspoken and brash, arrogant and opinionated, profane and vulgar, supremely narcissistic and sexist, are among the colorful descriptions both the public and media foist at KISS founding member Gene Simmons. Acutely aware of how he is perceived, Simmons even named his last solo album, “Asshole.”

When meeting with the “God of Thunder,” he’s polite and gracious proving there’s much more behind the self-proclaimed “Man of 1000 Faces.” The band, or brand, as Simmons often likes to describe the Roll and Roll Hall of Famers, are not content to rest on their laurels and count their mountainous pile of greenbacks, but continue to press the envelope with a keen understanding of the transformative power of how a rock ‘n’ roll band can be marketed in the 21st Century. Yet as Simmons attests, his aspirations for KISS have far exceeded his expectations.

“It is really weird that KISS, which never really started out as anything, but this bizarre dream of four knuckleheads off the streets of New York just wanting to do one record, that four decades later, the RIAA crowned us as the No. 1 gold record award-winning group of all time in America. It’s amazing especially since we’ve only had three hit singles, ‘Beth,’ ‘I Was Made For Lovin’ You’ and ‘Forever.’”

For a group routinely dismissed by short-sighted critics as a flash in the pan, a joke band comprised of talentless cretinous musical goons soon to be forgotten and quickly discarded on the junk heap of failed rock bands past, KISS are having the last laugh. Detractors be damned, 43 years since the original band — Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss — first came together, KISS continue to transcend the parameters of what a rock band can do; whether starring in their own Scooby Doo cartoon (“Scooby Doo & KISS: Rock & Roll Mystery”), teaming up with menswear designer/clothier John Varvatos or collaborating with Japanese teen sensations Momoiro Clover Z on “Samurai Son,” the band’s first No. 1 single in the “Land of the Rising Sun,” yesterday and today KISS stubbornly follow the beat of their new drum and continue to thrive, loudly.

We sat down with the band’s resident “God of Thunder,” Gene Simmons, who offered a primer in all things KISS, past, present and future.

Goldmine: The act of songwriting was something you worked hard to master.

GENE SIMMONS: Well, initially I just sang in bands. We did cover songs; everything from Otis Redding to Wilson Pickett to The Ventures and, of course, Beatles songs, whatever was happening at the time. Listening to The Everly Brothers helped me learn how to sing harmony, too. Then my mother bought me a Gibson SG Standard and I didn’t know what to do with my fingers so initially I was just pressing single notes. Then I noticed the way people were holding C chords and G chords and all that and started to fool around.

This interview ran in the January 2017 issue. Click here for a digital copy or email missy.fenn@fwmedia.com for a print copy.

This interview ran in the January 2017 issue. Click the above cover for a digital copy or email missy.fenn@fwmedia.com for a print copy.

GM: How would you describe the early songs you wrote?

GS: The first songs, in retrospect, were the kind of things Lennon and McCartney wrote but I don’t mean anywhere near as good. People would ask them what their words mean and both of them would say, “We have no idea, we just put words on there that sounded good.” And initially, the kinds of songs that I wrote as a kid didn’t really mean a hell of a lot. I had a song called “My Uncle is a Raft.” One of the lyrics was “My uncle is a raft and he always keeps me floating.” I had fond feelings about my uncle George and I’m sure all that McCartney stuff like “Uncle Albert” and the lyrics “hands across the water” really don’t mean anything. It’s not like “Penny Lane,” which really meant something about his childhood memories. But a lot of the words in Beatles songs like “I Am The Walrus” don’t mean a lot; they’re just interesting words that are stuck against the melody and the meter. So those first few songs of mine were very simple. Stylistically, they were vaguely Beatlesque or Everly Brothers-ish, “Wake Up Little Susie,” that kind of stuff.

GM: What was the breakthrough for you as a songwriter?

GS: The irony was that I noticed if I was gonna be in a band, I didn’t see myself as a lead singer. Physically I was too big and I didn’t see guys my size doing that. I could sing well enough I guess, at least as good as Eric Burdon and (Mick) Jagger, those guys, who sing pretty straight ahead. I mean, anybody can sing “Satisfaction.” There’s no vocal histrionics on it but I noticed everybody was looking for bass players because there were plenty of guitar players and plenty of drummers. So I could play a little guitar. My mother bought me a Kent bass, a bass which looked like a Hofner, the one Paul McCartney played in The Beatles, but of course was a cheap version made by the Japanese. Bands immediately wanted me to join their group because they didn’t have a bass player and because I knew chords. If someone said, “Play an A or B or G,” I knew where they were on the fretboard. So I immediately joined bands. The first band I joined might have been The Missing Lynx and then I really hit my stride with a group called The Long Island Sounds and then after that we had a group called Cathedral which had a Hammond B-3 organ. By that time I’d been starting to write my own songs or co-writing songs. One of the early ones was a song called “She,” which KISS later recorded for the “Dressed to Kill” album. I wrote that with the guitar player in one of my bands, Stephen Coronel; I used to go to school with him. That song and a few others including “Goin’ Blind,” which was initially titled “Little Lady,” wound up being recorded by KISS.  Continue reading

The success of KISS Kruise VI

Ken Sharp | Goldmine

2016_KISS-Key-Web-360x360By Ken Sharp

Back in 1975, a passionate KISS fan from Terre Haute, Indiana named Bill Starkey took matters into his own hands in attempt to get his favorite band played on the radio. In short stead, the KISS Army was born. That blood, sweat and tears ethos mining fierce dedication and commitment to championing the cause of their musical superheroes continues unabated more than 40 years on. And as KISS Kruise VI: Creatures of The Deep sets to leave the port of Miami, Florida with stops in Cozumel, Mexico and the Grand Cayman Islands for a five-day excursion of frolic, fun, hijinks and rock ‘n’ roll debauchery on the high seas, that same KISS Army are now getting their sea legs adopting an altogether different guise, the KISS Navy. Over 2,400 passengers from 35 countries are back to share an unforgettable journey with the hottest band in the world.

Standing in the port, I’m witness to friendships being rekindled and allegiances reignited as thousands of fans from Germany to Japan, Australia to Brazil, England to France, Russia to Sweden, most decked out in KISS T-shirts, many wearing full KISS makeup, scamper onto the ship with the excitement of the Tin Man, the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion off to see the Wizard on the yellow brick road; and in this case, that yellow brick road leads them face to face with their heroes, Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer — KISS.

This is the band’s sixth cruise and they’re selling out quicker than ever. Greg Hounshell, 46, a realtor based in Wytheville, Virginia has been waiting all year to make it back on the ship and he enthuses: “It’s time for the KISS Navy Reunion. I look forward to this all year. There is simply nothing like it. As a fifth time cruiser, it’s my chance to spend four days with the friends I’ve made from past years and make new friends for the future. The band works seamlessly to give the cruisers dozens of activities to choose from. The band lineups are always good and this year there are some new faces and groups to enjoy. I’ve been blessed to be on these KISS Kruises and wouldn’t miss it for the world. The friends I see on the boat are some of the best people I know. I’ve even started meeting up with them on activities throughout the year. There are no fans like KISS fans and there is no cruise like the KISS Kruise.”

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