I was a Kiss fan for about six week and it was probably because I was going to see them live on their second or third reunion tour (featuring all four original members, especially the horribly drugged out Ace Frehley). I got it out of my system pretty quickly after seeing them live – like going to a circus which is only fun for a few moments. Since then, I think Kiss is pretty stupid. Their songs have no depth; they sing about partying (which is funny because Gene Simmons doesn’t drink or do drugs), screwing over women, being screwed over by women, sex, and cold gin (which is funny, once again, because Simmons abstains from intoxicating substances).
In 2006 (I’m fairly certain this is the correct year) Terry Gross, host of the NPR show Fresh Air, interview Gene Simmons and he proved to be not only a conceited jackass but actually not that intelligent. Yes, he’s rich but so is Sarah Palin, proving that rich people aren’t necessarily smart. There are a few questions Gross asks which demonstrates she isn’t too familiar with Kiss, and Simmons calls her out for this, but overall Kiss’ bassist/vocalist proves he’s an egotistical sexist with delusions of grandeur.
Seriously, have you ever listened to Kiss? I mean, really listened to Kiss – their lyrics, their riffs, and so forth? They’re a pretty terrible band. Sure, Ace Frehley’s a solid guitarist and Paul Stanley has the typical rock vocals down but their lyrics are trite and their songs aren’t anything incredible. There are countless other heavy rock bands from the ‘70s (Mountain, Budgie, T. Rex, Black Sabbath) who were more inventive and played better. It’s because of their vaudeville antics that they’re so popular and rich. I will give credit where it’s due and admit Kiss’ stage show is a spectacle, which Simmons says “for two hours [will make] you forget about the traffic jam, and the fact that your girlfriend is whining, or whatever else is going on in your life, and for two hours we give you escapism.” It’s really a sight to behold and there’s really nothing else in the world of rock and roll like it. However, just because they’re the Star Wars of rock doesn’t mean it has any substance. After all, the gladiatorial games in ancient Rome made people forget about their troubles and distractions like professional wrestling, football, and so forth do the same job today – what does that say about the validity of the spectacle?
Below is the interview. Judge for yourself whether Gross is bad at her job (which is what some of the comments on Youtube say) or whether Simmons is a douche (I side with the latter).