KISS Announces 'New Era', Plans To Continue As Avatars

December 3, 2023

KISS closed out the final performance of its "End Of The Road" farewell tour Saturday night (December 2) at New York City's Madison Square Garden by announcing that they will continue as digital avatars.

During the encore, KISS's most recent lineup — founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, along with guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer — left the stage before the virtual KISS launched into a performance of "God Gave Rock And Roll To You".

"The end of the road is the beginning of another road," Stanley told the crowd before the last bows. "We're not going anywhere. You'll see us in all different things all the time. We'll see you in your dreams."

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.

Per Sundin, CEO of Pophouse Entertainment, told the Associated Press this new technology allows KISS to continue their legacy for "eternity." He explained: "KISS could have a concert in three cities in the same night across three different continents. That's what you could do with this."

Stanley said: "People say, 'Well, what are you gonna do when you stop?' Well, the band will never stop. Because we don't own the band. The fans own the band. The world owns the band.

"I mean, we've spent 50 years building it to this point. And by working with ILM and working with Pophouse, we're all sharing this vision of taking KISS to a completely different level beyond being just a music band. And we've always thought of ourselves as more than just a music band.

"What we've accomplished has been amazing, but it's not enough. The band deserves to live on because the band is bigger than we are. It's exciting for us to go the next step and see KISS immortalized."

Simmons added: "We can be forever young and forever iconic by taking us to places we've never dreamed of before. The technology is going to make Paul jump higher than he's ever done before."

The KISS avatars Demon, Starchild, Catman and Spaceman are depicted as "superhero" versions of the band.

In addition to the avatar shows, KISS will continue through other ventures, including a KISS museum in Las Vegas, KISS cruises, an upcoming movie coming out and a cartoon show.

Simmons previously talked about KISS's future plans last month in an interview with 519 Magazine. At the time, he said: "This tour is the end of the road for the band, not the brand. KISS is a universe of its own — movies, merchandise, maybe even Broadway. The band will end, but the KISS experience… it's immortal."

He added: "The KISS show will live on in different ways. Yes, that's being planned. It'll also be four to ten different traveling shows. So, you'll be able to be in Japan and have Japanese actors, musicians being us, and at the same time you could go to Vegas or New York or London."

Pophouse was co-founded by ABBA's Björn Ulvaeus in 2014, initially as a way to create unique live events that encapsulate and promote the ABBA brand. Since then, it has expanded into other venue, event and media ventures.

The purpose-built venue and the technology that delivers the "ABBA Voyage" concerts in London reportedly cost around $175 million before the show opened in May 2022.

Within 15 months, the show had generated more than $150 million in sales and sold more than 1.5 million tickets, according to Bloomberg.

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