Kiss co-founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons didn’t really need a reminder of their mortality. The band’s current farewell tour End of the Road is already a nod to that.
But running headfirst into COVID-19, which forced Kiss off the road in late August and early September, has proven that even rock ‘n’ roll superheroes aren’t invincible.
“You know, we were very tight in terms of the bubble around the group – even more so now, and we’re doing everything we can to stay healthy,” Stanley, who admitted on social media that COVID “kicked me in. ass “while Simmons had a milder case, said over the phone. “It was sobering because we ended up saying, ‘What else could we have done? “
“I’m done with this and I’m glad I was vaccinated and released from the hospital. I can’t imagine what it would have been like without it – dangerous would be one way of putting it. At this point, we are much more careful. I can’t say it changes much from where we were, but it does make you realize that if you think you are going to escape COVID, the virus has a different idea. “
But after nearly 50 years of adhering to a Show Must Go On philosophy – with over 75 million records sold worldwide and a 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee – Stanley, 69, adds that Kiss no never hesitated to want to come back. on the road as soon as possible.
“People need a diversion,” he says. “People need entertainment. A year and a half ago when this pandemic started we were virtually in the dark about the virus, so it made sense for people to stay at home. But at this point, I think people know what the opportunities and the risks are, and you can assess them and do something comfortable.
“And you enjoy things more, I think.” This tour started before the pandemic, and the mere fact that we said it’s the end of us as a touring band made it festive and certainly brought out the expected response from the audience. But if it is possible to increase it even more, yes that is what happened, because I think people have been so safe and have had so much cabin fever that for being able to go out and at least in this case have a night of chaos and celebration is a great thing.
The End of the Road tour, which began in January 2019 (and already included a March 2019 appearance at Little Caesars Arena) and is slated to end in late 2022, isn’t the first time Kiss has said goodbye – or at least. claims to be doing this. But Stanley is adamant that he and Simmons (along with drummer Eric Singer and guitarist Tommy Thayer) think so now. While the previous farewells reflected internal gang dynamics and other circumstances, this time it’s a simple “physical reality” at work.
“It’s a different time than what we envisioned (farewell visits) in the past,” says Stanley. “It has nothing to do with personalities in the band or tensions or a difference of opinion or musicality. The point is, it is incredibly demanding physically to do what we do. We run for over two hours, not only with guitars, but, you know, I have over 30 pounds of gear.
“There comes a time when you say to yourself, ‘You know what? It’s more of a challenge than I want, and I only want to do it while I can do it with a smile. So, there really is no idea to change your mind. It’s purely practical: you can play Beat The Clock, but in the end, the clock wins.
However, The Kiss Army will not lose the group entirely.
“I couldn’t stop Kiss if I wanted to,” notes Stanley.
The group celebrated their story with the two-part documentary “KISStory” in June on A&E, [https://www.theoaklandpress.com/2021/06/25/ae-digs-into-kisstory-in-2-part-documentary/] while a Netflix biopic, “Shout It Out Loud,” is on the way to chronicle the band’s first four years, through the breakthrough “Alive!” album that was recorded at the Cobo Arena in Detroit, among others.
A box set celebrating the 45th anniversary of Kiss’s album “Destroyer”, which features the anthem “Detroit Rock City”, is due for release on November 19. And Stanley is convinced that we will hear a lot of Kiss even after we no longer see the band on stage.
“Kiss has a life of its own,” he says. “The band will continue – current fans, past fans and future fans will decide a lot more than I do. The band is more than music. It is a point of view. It’s a lifestyle.
“In order not to be deceptively humble, I would say that rock groups make music, phenomena impact society. At this point, that is certainly what we are and have been, and we are proud of it.
Kiss and David Garibaldi perform at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, October 15 at the DTE Energy Music Theater in Independence Township. Tickets $ 42.50 and more. Tickets for the date of September 1 will be honored; 313-471-7000 or 313Presents.com.