By Matt Silk
THIS week SFTW goes to Minneapolis to meet rock legends Kiss. We hang out with God Of Thunder Gene Simmons and experience their Alive 35 tour, celebrating the three and a half decades since they first emerged - an explosive taster of what the UK can expect this spring.
"Go ahead, touch it - I won't tell anyone..." I'm in a Minneapolis hotel room with a true rock legend, the fire-breathing, bloodspitting demon bassist of Kiss - Gene Simmons. And the man they call the God Of Thunder, who claims to have slept with more than 5,000 women, is inviting me to squeeze his thigh.
I'm pretty sure I'm not the first to have heard that line.
No cause for concern though. Iron-thighed Gene, 60, is proudly demonstrating the condition he needs to be in for the gruelling extravaganza which is the Kiss live experience.
The Alive 35 tour celebrates three-and-a-half decades since this incredible outfit first emerged from New York city.
"We're gladiators in the arena. There's a physicality to what we do that nobody does," says Gene.
"When you hit that stage, the adrenalin hits your veins, you physically become bigger and thicker. I become stronger and less susceptible to pain. But I come off-stage and I'm black and blue from the armour I wear banging in to me."
The 16,000-odd fans who packed out the city's Target Arena the previous night -- many of them in their teens and early twenties and a fair few sporting make-up while tottering on 7-inch stack heels -- wouldn't be surprised by Gene's battle scars. They're probably still recovering themselves.