June 16, 2024

In a new interview with Backstage Pass, KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons was asked if there are any things that have happened over the past 50 years that he would handle differently if he could go back in time. He responded in part (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Well, I'm sad in retrospect — you know, hindsight's 20/20 — I'm sad that I wasn't more hard on [fellow original KISS members] Ace [Frehley] and Peter [Criss], the two original guys who played guitar and drums in the band."

Apparently referencing Ace's and Peter's troubles with drugs and alcohol, Gene continued: "I'd never been high or drunk and never smoked cigarettes, so I've always been an outcast in that way. The rest of the world seemed to be drug-fueled.

"Ace and Peter… have as much credit for the beginning of the band as Paul [Stanley, KISS guitarist/vocalist] and I do. There's no question it was that chemistry. And they both had unique voices, unique personalities and all that. And they should have been here with us 50 or 55 years later and enjoying the fruits of their labor. But sadly, they're not. And it's their own doing. They were in and out of the band three different times. They were let go three different times because of the same old thing. It's not even unique. Go to almost every band [and] you'll find people ingesting stuff more than the bum on the street corner, except they're richer and they can afford to ingest more. It's sad."

Asked how he managed to not get sucked into the drug-fueled lifestyle of being a global rock star, Gene said: "Well, the word 'no' is in the dictionary. Just by observation, I've never seen anybody drunk be witty or intelligent. Have you? And people who are high sound like aliens. And people who smoke stink like ashtrays.

"Look, I can understand if smoking or drinking or getting high would make you smarter, richer, made your shmeckel bigger, made you more attractive — all those things that we all wish we had. 'I wish this. I wish that.' But nothing happens, really. In fact, you'll probably throw up on the shoes your girlfriend just bought. You won't be witty. The next day your head will hurt, and if you drink enough, your shmeckel is not gonna work. So I don't get it. Chances are pretty good you're gonna get into a fight.

"I remember when I was 13, 14, I used to go to these teenage parties where 16-year-olds would gather because I was always bigger, so they'd invite me," Simmons recalled. "They'd think I was older. And like a vulture on the side, I'd just wait for the guys to get drunk and then just swoop in and take any girl I wanted."

KISS played the final concert of its "End Of The Road" farewell tour on December 2, 2023 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

KISS's most recent touring lineup consisted of original members Simmons and Stanley, alongside later band additions, guitarist Tommy Thayer (since 2002) and drummer Eric Singer (on and off since 1991).

Find more on Kiss
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).