GENE SIMMONS Says He 'Literally' Makes More Money Per Concert With His Solo Band Than He Did With KISS

June 13, 2024

During an appearance on the latest episode of Steve-O's Wild Ride! podcast, KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons was asked if he now tours and performs with his solo band. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Yes. GENE SIMMONS BAND already headlined — oh, goodness. We were in South America, São Paulo [in April]… So we're going to Europe [this summer] to headline festivals and other stuff. And [we're] just having a lot of fun."

He continued: "By the way, I designed a business model that is just semi-genius. I show up with my guitar pick. That's it. There's no manager, no roadies, no trucks, no equipment. Everything is provided by the promoter. The flights, the hotels, all the amplifiers, the drums, everything is rented locally. That's the promoter's cost, and whatever six-figure or more amount there is, I pocket. And I literally make more money per gig being Gene Simmons and the GENE SIMMONS BAND than I did in KISS — not counting the ancillaries and all that — because you don't have a 60-man crew, three double deckers, private jet that's on call seven days a week and 20 to 24 tractor trailers."

In addition to Simmons, the GENE SIMMONS BAND members 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).

The GENE SIMMONS BAND played its second concert of 2024 on April 26 at the Summer Breeze festival at Memorial Da América Latina in São Paulo, Brazil. The setlist included a number of KISS classics alongside covers of MOTÖRHEAD's "Ace Of Spades" and LED ZEPPELIN's "Communication Breakdown".

Three days earlier, the GENE SIMMONS BAND performed at the grand opening of the Rock & Brews restaurant at the Ilani dining and entertainment destination in Ridgefield, Washington. It marked the KISS bassist/vocalist's first live appearance since the legendary rock act concluded its "End Of The Road" farewell tour at New York's Madison Square Garden in December.

Prior to the Ridgefield appearance, Simmons told ABC Audio about the show: "There are no rules, which is my favorite thing in life. Anything is bound to happen. I may jump off the stage and get into the audience. We may pull some folks out of the audience. You wanna sing 'I Was Made For Lovin' You'? Here's the mic. Good luck."

Regarding the setlist for the concert, he said: "We get a chance to play songs KISS has never played and some songs have never been recorded. So it's a very exciting event."

GENE SIMMONS BAND will next launch a European tour on July 27 in Kuopio, Finland.

Back in 2017 and 2018, the GENE SIMMONS BAND played a number of shows with a lineup that consisted of Simmons alongside guitarist/bassist Jeremy Asbrock, guitarist Ryan Cook, guitarist Phil Shouse and drummer Brent Fitz.

Six years ago, Simmons stated about his solo shows: "Doing these smaller concert halls, which hold a thousand to three thousand people, means they get filled up by real diehard fans. They don't want to hear the 'same old, same old.' They want to hear nuggets, as they say. It's a hoot for me because I've never really had a chance to do this stuff live. It's been a lot of fun." Gene told the Chicago Sun-Times: "By the end, I get the chance to bring as many people from the audience as we can fit on the stage to sing with me."

Regarding how the idea for a solo tour came about, Simmons told Australia's Advertiser in a 2018 interview: "The GENE SIMMONS BAND was not a plan or anything. About a year ago, a corporate event asked me to be keynote speaker … then they said, 'Won't you get up and sing a few tunes?' I explained that you can't just do that, you've got to have a band and rehearse and all that. They said, 'Well, we'll pay you X dollars more,' and I said, 'I like you!' "So I put together a band from Nashville — these guys back up Kid Rock and lots of other people — and without a single rehearsal, I just told them which songs I wanted to do and they learned them. It just sounded natural — there is such a thing called chemistry. They don't teach that anywhere — I mean, they do teach 'chemistry' but not the kind I'm talking about. It felt right and as soon as the videos went on YouTube and such, people were calling. This little GENE SIMMONS BAND never tried to be KISS… It was just a little bit of fun and stuff. Now all of a sudden, we're headlining festivals in the Czech Republic, Canada, Germany… It's crazy."

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.

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