Ottawa Xpress recently conducted an interview with KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.
On KISS' upcoming world tour, which begins in September:
"There hasn't been an important rock band to emerge in the last 25 years that will still mean something in 100 years. But from the end of the 1950s to 1980, there was ELVIS, THE BEATLES, THE STONES, LED ZEP, ABBA — say what you will but they wrote great songs — KISS, there's a hundred bands from that period. All the music from ELVIS to KISS was born before MTV, cellphones and the Internet. KISS still trains hard and every emo band at 19 can shine our boot heels! They're gonna get a lesson [from us]: You blow the goddamn place up!"
On rock critics:
"You know, I discovered a band [over 30 years ago] called VAN HALEN, I signed them [to my record label] and produced their demo. Critics hated them. When singer David Lee Roth was asked why the critics hated VAN HALEN and loved Elvis Costello, Roth said, 'Because they look like Costello.' It's still true."
On Michael Jackson:
"I knew Michael and met him. He was shy and charming and self-effacing and obviously very talented. [For me the real story is] sadly about the little boys — not a single girl — all of them little boys under 13 [who] sued him for child molestation. He was never convicted but we know he paid $20-million to settle a case. I think [Jackson] doth protest too much. The story is not complete. I want to hear what those little boys have to say."
On how Ace Frehley once trashed the band's fans because they were mostly kids, and was taken to task by both Simmons and Paul Stanley:
"Ace is a sweetheart and has a heart of gold. But he was a major drug addict and alcoholic which is why he and Peter [Criss] were thrown out of the band. You know, rock stars are morons. What Ace said about the kids was stupid and uncaring."
On Chastity Bono, the daughter of his ex-girlfriend Cher, who is transitioning from female to male:
"I love Chas. I was living with Cher when Chas and [her brother] Elijah were kids and I was a substitute dad for a while. Life is short and we should all make up and be happy. And everybody else be damned if Chas isn't happy today, God bless. If Chas is happy, then she will have found the secret of life."
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