SAXON's BIFF BYFORD On KISS Avatars: 'I Don't Think They Should Do It'

December 8, 2023

In a new interview with Barry Robinson of Classic Album Review, SAXON frontman Biff Byford was asked to weigh in on KISS's announcement that the legendary rockers will continue as digital avatars. The technology, originally developed for ABBA's "Voyage" show in London, will allow KISS to stay "on the road" in retirement.

Byford said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I don't think they should do it. I think it works for ABBA because ABBA's been defunct for years and years and years, and ABBA, they're a pop act; they're not rock. [But] if people wanna go see an avatar show of them, then fair enough.

"I've not seen the ABBA one," he continued. "I've been told that it's absolutely fantastic. But [it's cost] millions and millions to develop this thing. And they built their own theater. I don't know if KISS is gonna do that. I think it probably works better when it's in a place that's been sort of built and equipped for it rather than touring. Because I've seen some touring things with Ronnie, with [Ronnie James] Dio. It was all right, but it wasn't perfect. Wherever you were sat in the room, sometimes you wouldn't see [the hologram from the right angle]. It just wasn't perfect. But I suppose if you build a purpose-built theater for it and you can see all from every different seat and every different angle and it's all different… But I think it's a curiosity thing as well."

When Robinson raised the possibility of other artists, such as THE BEATLES and THE DOORS, getting their own avatar shows in the future, Biff said: "To do it properly, you have to have somebody that's… I mean, you don't have to have the original artist moving around [while hooked up to the motion capture technology that helps generate the avatars]. As far as ABBA goes, it was actually them that did all the moves, and they sort of just used that for the avatar. But I don't know. I really don't know. To tell you the truth, I don't really give a shit whether they do or they don't — BEATLES or KISS. I probably won't go. I might go see the ABBA one, if they invite me."

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

Unlike the "ABBA Voyage" show, which recreates a 1970s-era ABBA concert in a custom-built London arena, KISS's avatars that appeared at the band's final concert in New York earlier this month will not be as grounded in reality as ABBA's digital replicas. According to BBC News, the KISS avatars were eight feet tall, breathing fire and shooting electricity from their fingers, while floating above the audience.

No details have been announced yet for KISS's plan with the band's avatars. "We're going to figure it out after the tour," Pophouse CEO Per Sundin said prior to the final show at Madison Square Garden. "Is it a KISS concert in the future? Is it a rock opera? Is it a musical? A story, an adventure? These four individuals already have superpowers. We want to be as open as possible."

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.

Find more on Saxon
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).