Monday, October 14, 2013

Gene Simmons: ‘I’ve Got Funny-Looking Hair And A Beautiful Face…’

If there really is no rest for the wicked, then Gene Simmons must be a very bad man. The pyro from Kiss’ last tour has barely fizzled out, but Simmons is already gearing up for 2014. Among the many things on the band’s agenda for the next 12 months are an official Kiss movie, a UK tour, Paul Stanley’s autobiography and even the band’s own American Football team. Gene recently dropped by the Classic Rock office to talk about the band’s plans, his never-ending quest to make money – and those ‘wig’ rumours.

The new official Kiss biography film, You Wanted The Best You Got The Best, is currently being made with director Alan G Parker of Hello Quo! fame. Why has it taken until now to make it?
It’s all about the filmmaker. We wanted to find someone with an honest voice, because what you’re doing is placing your child into someone else’s hands. Alan not only has a Kiss tattoo on his body, he also has an authentic vibe about him. His approach was that the movie had to include everything, and not just what Paul and Gene wanted. It certainly won’t be sugar-coated. We will not interfere – at all.

You’re saying he has one hundred per cent artistic freedom?
Absolutely. We don’t get the right to edit anything. He has the freedom to present us the way he sees fit, and if that makes us look like capitalist pigs then so be it. It’s exactly what I am – I will charge you for everything I do. Kiss is not a charity. Never, ever mix commerce and charity. Personally I support 14,000 kids in Zambia – I feed and clothe them – but I don’t hold press conferences about it. I don’t do it so you’ll think what a nice person I am, it’s private.

You obviously don’t care that people think of you as a greedy bastard.
No, I think that’s good. Listen, I work for everything I’ve got. I started off as a very poor kid. I want to get paid. People that tell you: “I don’t want a lot of money, all I need is enough to get by” are liars. Anything those people have left over, send it to me.

Isn’t it all about proportion, though? Some would consider your attitude indecent.
Proportion to whom? When I was a child a dollar was a lot of money, but as you grow up it means less. I don’t do bling. What you do with money isn’t important. You can give it to charity or shove it up your asshole. But while you are alive your job is to continue to make more money and keep on feeding the economy.

You and Paul Stanley now own an American Football team, LA Kiss. But you’ve previously admitted to hating sports.
I don’t like sports as they were designed, but they’re becoming closer to what I like – which is in-your-face. In boxing, for instance, who does the audience cheer for the most?

The winner, obviously.
No. Actually, the girl with the board containing the number of the round gets the biggest cheer. And what does she have to do with boxing? Nothing. Sports are wonderful when they hold your attention. That’s why the philosophy of LA Kiss is closer to a Kiss concert than to a football game. There’s a lot to look at: fireworks, cheerleaders and all that great stuff. A season ticket costs just 99 dollars, and you get a free Kiss concert.

So, do you actually like the game. Can you talk tactics?
No I can’t. Nor should I. I’m not qualified.

So is this just a another business opportunity?
Of course money’s important; you want to get paid and so do I. But I don’t agree with this idea that you must be involved in the detail. Why can’t you attend a football game knowing nothing about the sport and enjoy it as much someone that’s aware of every minutia? All are welcome at the church of LA Kiss; you don’t have to know psalm and verse. So no, I can’t talk tactics. I don’t care about them. If you come and see Kiss without knowing any of our songs you will still walk out saying: “That’s the best concert I’ve ever seen in my life.” With LA Kiss it’s the same premise. There are two goals at the ends of field, that’s all you need to know.

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