Kiss has certainly had its share of drama, most of it centered on the band dynamic with Ace Frehley and Peter Criss. But one thing has remained for decades: The musical relationship between Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons.
Through various lineup changes, including no fewer than five different guitarists, they’ve been the cornerstone for Kiss as the only members that go back to the group’s 1973 founding. Stanley says, over the years, the partnership has worked because they’ve set boundaries.
“He’s very aware of certain things that drive me nuts,” Stanley tells Classic Rock Society. “I’m not saying that what he does drives me nuts. There’s just certain things that he knows doesn’t wok for me — so he doesn’t do them. Likewise, there’s times where I just stay out of the way — because I think that, rather than getting on his case about something, just get away. Some stuff’s just not that important.”
Kiss’ current lineup, featuring Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer on drums and guitar respectively, has been in place since 2002. Singer was also part of the 1991-96 era, after the death of Eric Carr. Vinnie Vincent, Mark St. John and Bruce Kulich held the guitar chair between 1982-96.
The frontmen, however, have been unwavering: “To work with somebody,” Stanley adds, “and have an ongoing relationship — like with your brother — you’ve got to know where to draw the line.”