Each week, Benjamin Law at the Brissbane Times asks public figures to discuss the subjects we’re told to keep private by getting them to roll a die. The numbers they land on are the topics they’re given. This week, he talks to KISS icon Gene Simmons. Following is an excerpt from the interview.
Q: Have you ever worried about the death of your career?
Simmons: “No, and I’ll tell you why. I wasn’t born in the United States. I came here at eight-and-a-half years of age and I just couldn’t believe the astonishing things that existed here. I’d never seen a television set before. I came from a new country in the Middle East – Israel – that hardly had any infrastructure in the early 1950s. The fact my dreams came true so fast – and so big – means, quite honestly, that if KISS had only existed for two or three years and that was the end of it, that would have been OK. The short story is, be grateful. Try to be humble.”
Q: In the past, you’ve said that music is mainly a way to “get laid and make lots of money”. Do you stand by that?
Simmons: “If you’re male, heterosexual and young, it is absolutely true. The reason young guys pick up guitars is because there are girls. There’d be very few rock bands if there weren’t girls. I don’t trust anybody who starts talking about ‘my craft.’ It’s bullshit. You don’t get to define what you do as art. Only the people do. Just because you take your craft in the middle of the highway and say it’s art, doesn’t make it so.”
Q: Would you recommend getting a facelift to other people?
Simmons: “No, I don’t recommend anything that I’ve done to anyone. Just because I order something off the menu, doesn’t mean you should. Order whatever makes you happy. Everybody’s journey should be a personal choice. Don’t look over your shoulder while you’re running the race of life. Do the best you can. To thine own self be true.”
Read the complete interview here
Celebrating the success of one of the most iconic bands of all time, KISS will take the stage for a special performance at the 2021 Tribeca Festival in New York City. For the first time ever, the band will perform at the festival directly following the screening of Part One of their new A&E documentary, Biography: KISStory. The two-part documentary event is part of the Festival’s 2021 TV lineup.
Founding members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons will be joined by current band members Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer for a multi-song, live, performance at the event. The concert, at a currently undisclosed location, is announced on the heels of the news of the definitive A&E documentary Biography: KISStory which is set to premiere with a two-night event on June 27 and June 28 from 9 – 11 PM, ET.
Celebrating one of the most iconic bands of all time, A&E announces the new definitive documentary film telling the stories behind the phenomenon of KISS. Directed by D.J. Viola, Biography: KISStory chronicles the band’s five decades in the business as founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons reflect on their historic career. The four-hour, two-night event airs Sunday, June 27 and Monday, June 28 from 9 – 11 PM, ET/PT.
After 50 years of rocking and rolling all night and partying every day, the #1 Gold Record selling band of all time, KISS, shares their story of success before finally smashing their last guitar and extinguishing the fire-breathing demon. Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, along with current members Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer as well as guests Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters), Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), manager Doc McGhee (Motley Crue, Bon Jovi), music producer Bob Ezrin (Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd) and more tell the wild story of the most successful and influential band in the world.
Selling more than 100 million albums worldwide and over 40 years of record-breaking global tours, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band is giving viewers a behind-the-scenes look at their rise to fame. Featuring original recording sessions, home movies, behind-the-scenes stories and rare footage, the film grants fans an all-access pass to the band’s legendary journey. Fans will hear a first-hand account of the emotional story behind the band’s start in New York City’s gritty rock scene of the 70s, their meteoric rise to fame, almost losing it all to drugs and alcohol in the 80s and how they ultimately fought their way back to the top of the charts in the 90s to become a household name synonymous with Rock ‘N Roll and to have the honor, along with The Rolling Stones and AC/DC, to be one of the only bands to stay together for 5 decades.
“Through the ‘Biography’ lens we are able to give fans a backstage pass to a two-night event that honors the legacy of the rock icons behind KISS,” said Elaine Frontain Bryant, EVP and Head of Programming for A&E. “This documentary event is a special tribute to a one-of-a-kind band and the incredible Kiss Army fanbase that has idolized them for generations.”
Biography: KISStory is a Leslie Greif production, produced for A&E Network by Critical Content and Big Dreams Entertainment with Leslie Greif and Jenny Daly serving as Executive Producers and D.J. Viola serving as Director. Elaine Frontain Bryant and Brad Abramson serve as Executive Producers for A&E Network. A+E Networks holds worldwide distribution rights for Biography: KISStory.