GENE SIMMONS Reflects On KISS's Final Performance: 'We Did This At The Right Time, At The Right Place'

March 5, 2024

KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons has reflected on the band's final performance, which took place on December 2, 2023 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Speaking to Artists On Record Starring ADIKA Live!, he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I'm proud that we did this at the right time, at the right place. Because, I mean, let's call it for what it is — how many world-champion boxers have stayed in the ring too long? Think about it. The best of the best get knocked out by some new chump because they stayed there too long. And we've all seen shows that have gone on too long. Leave them wanting. Fifty years is plenty. And the other thing is we introduced ourselves with, 'You wanted the best. You got the best. The hottest band in the world.' That's how you're gonna introduce yourselves and you're gonna come out in wheelchairs with fireballs on the sides? So you wanna get off that stage while the getting's good. You don't wanna become fat, naked, bloated Elvis on a bathroom floor when you are the king of rock and roll. That's not the way to go out. And in a very bizarre and sad way, Marilyn Monroe will forever be iconic and young because she died when she was young. We don't have an image of her in her 70s and 80s. And there's nothing wrong with that, by the way. But the great stars of yesteryear, once they quit acting, whatever, they would get off the media stage, if you will, and you wouldn't hear — Marlene Dietrich, I don't know what she looked like when she was 80. Greta Garbo and so on. They would disappear. They became private citizens, and that's the way to do it."

Simmons also talked about the fact that he will perform with his solo band, the GENE SIMMONS BAND, this spring and summer. In addition to Simmons, the GENE SIMMONS BAND members for the shows will include guitarists Brent Woods (WILDSIDE, SEBASTIAN BACH, VINCE NEIL) and Zach Throne (COREY TAYLOR) alongside drummer Brian Tichy (LYNCH MOB, THE DEAD DAISIES, WHITESNAKE, BILLY IDOL, FOREIGNER, PRIDE & GLORY, SLASH'S SNAKEPIT).

"We're going out with the GENE SIMMONS BAND," he said. "Only one show in all of South America, São Paulo, but then July, August, we're headlining some festivals and joining other bands and other festivals — big, big outdoor shows. One of them is 80-something thousand people, Wacken in Germany — big, really cool bands. And we're just gonna show up and play. There's no stage show, nothing. We actually are using wires. We actually plug into amps the way we used to do it. No technology, no road crew, no managers, no nothing. Just show up and have fun, because this band rocks. So it's real easy having a lot of fun. And in fact, I don't know if this is happening or not, but yesterday DEEP PURPLE contacted CAA and wanted to know whether or not I'd like to come out and tour with them. We said, 'Yeah, sure. Just depending on availability.' So we'll see if that happens or not. But I wasn't planning to do that."

Asked if there will be any new music from GENE SIMMONS BAND, Gene said: "I'm open. You always have to have the right thing at the right place in the right time We got the right musicians. We got the right guys. I like them. We like hanging out with each other. So that's good. For instance, Ace [Frehley, former KISS guitarist] and Paul [Stanley, KISS guitarist/vocalist] and I've had our differences, but what family doesn't have problems? And even while we were having differences of opinion, Ace called and said, 'Can you help me write a song or two?' for his last solo record. And I wasn't doing anything at that time. I said, 'Sure.' So I drove out there and started off with titles that I had and co-wrote two things that appeared on Ace's last record."

He added: "There's plenty of time to do anything, but you've got to make the time because other stuff just gets in there."

GENE SIMMONS BAND 2024 tour dates:

Apr. 26 - Summer Breeze Open Air Festival - Sao Paulo, Brazil
Jul. 27 - Kuopiorock Festival - Kuopio, Finland
Jul. 29 - Dalhalla Amphitheatre - Rattvik, Sweden
Jul. 31 - Liseberg Amusement Park - Gothenburg, Sweden
Aug. 02 - Wacken Open Air Festival  - Wacken, Germany
Aug. 04 – Ronda - Utrecht, Holland
Aug. 08 - Den Atelier - Den Atelier Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Aug. 09 - Nirwana Tuinfeest - Lierop, Netherlands
Aug. 11 - Alcatraz Festival - Kortrijk, Belgium

KISS's final concert at Madison Square Garden lasted two hours and 15 minutes and saw the legendary rockers perform to 20,000 fans at the second show of a two-night stand. After the set-closing "Rock And Roll All Nite", a message was displayed on the video screens, "A new KISS era starts now", and digital avatars of the four members of KISS appeared, playing the band's anthem "God Gave Rock And Roll To You". The announcement signaled that from here on out, KISS will perform as digital avatars.

The KISS avatars were created by Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and were financed and produced by the Swedish company Pophouse Entertainment, which is behind the successful "ABBA Voyage" show in London.

A short video was released last night showing the members of KISS hooked up to the motion capture technology that helped generate their avatars.

The avatars will now be available for live shows around the world and in digital online settings, which some people collectively refer to as the metaverse.

KISS will reportedly become the first American band to go fully virtual and stage its own avatar show.

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