November 5, 2014

During a brand new interview with KNPR News, KISS guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley was asked why he declined to perform with fellow original KISS members Peter Criss and Ace Frehley at the band's Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction in April. "It's a tough question to answer, but there's so much involved in it," he replied. "Firstly, the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame wanted nothing to do with us; they begrudgingly let us in. And my sense was that we were going to be a dog-and-pony show. They wanted to have the original guys play in the band, and all of us in makeup, and, quite honestly, I think it would have done the band a disservice. That lineup has not been together for 14 years, and physically, perhaps, wouldn't have looked that great, and musically, undoubtedly, probably, would have sounded a bit suspect. So, to have people watch it on television and identify that as KISS because there's four guys in makeup would not send a great signal to the people who are not following the band in its current permutation, or what it is today."

He continued: "Look, we just did 42 shows and played to 600,000 people in America, and I would hate for those people to turn on a TV show where we were an unwanted guest in the first place and see us strong-armed into doing something that really does a disservice to something that I worked at for 40 years.

"I never quit the band twice, once, and to dilute what I've worked on all these years just to make a committee happy that really was not all that thrilled that we were there in the first place, it sent the wrong message and it endangered something that I hold very dear to me."

Stanley also spoke about his four-decade working relationship with KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons and what has kept them together all this time.

"I would say we certainly had our times of not wanting to be around each other, or not being on the best of terms, but ultimately, I think that our situation, being together, is based upon a great work ethic and a commitment to doing, ultimately, what's best for the band," he explained.

"I think a great partnership is usually built on understanding the limitations. If you don't expect something from somebody that they can't give you, you won't be disappointed. So I think realistic expectations of the people you're involved with will make for longevity."

Asked what he is still getting out of performing, Stanley said: "There's an exhilaration and a tremendous pride in going out on stage to multigenerational audiences who are embracing and sharing with you something that is as important to them as it is to me."

He continued: "Our concerts are almost tribal events, because you have people there who take a great pride in what they might remember from their childhood and now bring their children to pass it on."

Stanley added: "So many bands are very demographic-specific in terms of age. We don't have that. We have younger brothers, we have dads coming, we have your neighbors coming, and everybody's there as part of this huge secret society. To lead something like that for 40 years against the grain, against the current, against people like the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and to not only survive but to thrive is something I take incredible pride in. And this is… it's a victory lap for me."

KISS begins a three-week Las Vegas residency, "Kiss Rocks Vegas", at The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Wednesday, November 5.

Interview (audio):

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