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Gene Simmons: Kiss ruled the world by choosing not to play the game

Kiss bassist Gene Simmons says the band’s path to mega success without a string of number 1 singles was all part of the plan



Kiss bassist Gene Simmons says the band’s secret to becoming huge stars without having a string of chart-topping hits was in deciding “not to play the game.”

Asked by AXS TV how Kiss achieved everything they did without dominating the top of the singles charts, Simmons says they were more interested in creating a body of work.

Simmons says: “We decided not to play the game. The game of pop groups was to try to figure out those saccharine sweet melodies and choruses that had to do with love and heartbreak and so on, that mom and dad listening to the radio during the day time would find appealing.

“The philosophy was to put together an entire statement, a body of work if you will, as opposed to one song.”

Kiss’ highest charting single in the US was the ballad Beth. Sung by drummer Peter Criss, it peaked at number 7.

Asked what he loves most about being in Kiss, Simmons says: “My favourite moment continues to be getting up on that stage, which as far as I’m concerned is holy ground. It’s electric church. What we do is unequalled.

“In fact, we introduce ourselves with, ‘you wanted the best, you got the best, the hottest band in the world — Kiss.’

“It is a self-imposed mandate that, even if you hate the band and the music and think it’s silly, if you come to our show you will walk out and say, ‘that’s the best show I’ve ever seen in my life.’

“The four guys that put the band together 40 years ago…basically the self-imposed mandate was, ‘let’s put together the band we never saw on stage. Let’s kick ’em in the nuts, let’s give ’em something they’ve never seen before’.”

Kiss have a number of dates remaining on they’re final tour, including a series of European and UK shows.