KISS will take part in a performance and in-studio interview with "The Howard Stern Show" this Wednesday, March 1. The band is widely expected to use the appearance on the long-running program on SiriusXM satellite radio to announce details of the final concert of the "End Of The Road" tour.
KISS launched its farewell trek in January 2019 but was forced to put it on hold in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"End Of The Road" was originally scheduled to conclude on July 17, 2021 in New York City but has since been extended to late 2023. The trek was announced in September 2018 following a KISS performance of the band's classic song "Detroit Rock City" on "America's Got Talent".
Last month, KISS's longtime manager Doc McGhee told "Podcast Rock City" that the band's final show will definitely take place "this year."
Asked about the possibility of KISS continuing without co-founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, Doc said: "There's a lot of talk about everything. And nobody knows what's gonna happen in the future. So what we've kind of put in our minds is let's go through this like this is the end of KISS as we know it. And whatever comes our way, with technology and everything else, we'll look at it. Will be Gene and Paul out there in makeup. No. I can tell you that. They're hanging their hats up after the [final] show, which is gonna be very, very difficult and very emotional for them after 50 years of doing this. And they love it.
"A lot of my bands — most of my bands — [say], 'I hate this. I don't wanna be out there anymore. I don't wanna do this. This is bullshit.' That's not [Paul and Gene]," Doc continued. "They love it. They thrive on it. We have a great time on the road, or an extremely good time on the road. So, it's, like, 'Why are we ending this?' And we're ending this because this is the time to end it. This is it, 50 years of KISS. And let them move on to their next phase of whatever they wanna do, whether it's Gene in business or having a country named after him, the Gene Simmons World; we don't know, however that works. And Paul's got a family. He's got three kids — he actually has four kids, but he's got three kids in the house.
"For us, we're just kind of open," McGhee explained. "People are throwing ideas around to us, and then we'll look at it. But, really, it has to be amazing. We don't fall for gimmicks, as much as some people would think we're a gimmick. But we don't fall for 'em. We didn't do NFTs, we didn't do all that stuff, because we didn't believe in it. We didn't believe that people were gonna get anything out of it. And it wasn't gonna be long-lasting.
"I like to think years and years ahead; I don't like to think days ahead. So with that, we're gonna go and finish this up and see what happens in the realm of the metaverse and the world of that type of things that can come back and people can experience things in different ways for KISS.
"To me, KISS is more like Marvel. There's all kinds of things that can happen with KISS, and probably will. So it's a whole new frontier out there starting in '24."
KISS's current lineup consists of original members Stanley and Simmons, alongside later band additions, guitarist Tommy Thayer (since 2002) and drummer Eric Singer (on and off since 1991).
Formed in 1973 by Stanley, Simmons, Peter Criss and Ace Frehley, KISS staged its first "farewell" tour in 2000, the last to feature the group's original lineup.
In a recent interview with Yahoo! entertainment music editor Lyndsey Parker, Stanley touched upon the fact that the "End Of The Road" tour was originally scheduled to conclude in July 2021. He said: "This tour, interestingly, seems to go on forever. That's because we lost two years to COVID. People go, 'Oh my God. This tour…' Well, yeah, there's two years that didn't count. And it's a big world. So, there've been some countries that I thought we were finished with, and the fans and the promoters wanted us to come back. So we have shows to do.
"The end is in sight — more so than some people know," Stanley confirmed. "But we'll have an announcement about that in the not-too-distant future."
Asked if the KISS farewell tour will end with the band's July 15 performance in Norway, which is the last listed tour date on the official KISS web site, Paul said, "It would only make sense for us to play the States, and I think it would make sense that we would end where we started," strongly hinting that the final concert will take place in New York City.
As for whether he thinks it will be emotional for him to play the final KISS show, Paul said: "More so than I know. There's gonna be some tears shed, for sure.
"You've gotta remember that Gene and I started this together when I was 17 and he was 20, 21. It's 50 years later. We've lived pretty interesting lives, and we have families and children and huge sales in terms of albums and concerts. So it's a big part of who we are; it's a big part of our lives. So, that final show, yeah, that's momentous. And it's gonna hit harder than I think we know. And we know it's gonna hit hard."
Asked whether the last concert of KISS's "End Of The Road" tour will truly mark the band's final performance or if there is a chance of one-off shows or a Las Vegas residency in the future, Stanley said: "I really can't say. But it is the last of any kind of regular shows or touring.
"It's just time," he explained. "And in the same way, it's time consuming. And physically, it's grueling to do what we do. Hell, if I could go out on stage in my jeans and a t-shirt, give us another 10, 15 years easily. But what we do is a whole different sport. I mean, we're athletes; we're running around on stage with 30, 40, pounds of gear, and it's not possible to do it that much longer. So we're not like other bands.
"So, will we do more shows or one-offs? I really have no idea," Paul admitted. "But this is a real clear mindset that the touring days and doing those kind of shows, that's over."