GENE SIMMONS ON MUSIC, MAKEUP
November 05, 2009
By Johannes Gernert
Translated from German for KISSonline

Mr. Simmons, your tongue is the most well-known tongue in the world.

The most well-known tongue of the world! Even I met my tongue recently. I was in Mexico for the MTV Latin Awards. Do you know what the award looked like? Like my tongue. At the entrance to the awards stood a giant tongue too, about four feet high. People were taking their pictures with it. It was the craziest thing I had ever seen.

Your makeup is as famous as your tongue. Do you make yourself up or does someone do it for you?

Never! We do it. It takes two hours to do properly. I could probably do it in one, but then the danger exists that it may run. In the beginning when we played in clubs, we could not afford a makeup artist so we'd do it ourselves. Now, I couldn't trust the makeup task to someone else.

Do you ever hate your makeup?

No! Does Superman hate his costume? I am proud of our trademark. Our makeup is us. Nobody is as successful as we are. The makeup never goes out of style. Fashions change. Kiss is timeless. There is a society which examines popular culture, and the largest Pop icon of all time? Kiss. Not even Elvis.

For several years now, you've presented yourselves and your family in a reality show. Why?

I am proud of my children and my girlfriend, with whom I have happily not been married for 26 years. We have two great children, who do not smoke, do not swear, do not drink - because we forbid them to. If you're proud of your life, let people in and show them. See how happy I am, how blessed! I do protect my mother, but everyone can see everything else. Everything. People can insult me if they want. They can call names, but I am paid well for it. That is a good deal.

You have hardly changed in music for 35 years. With women, you are liberal. Are you a conservative in music?

Interesting consideration. But conservatively? We defy the fashions. We mark our territory like animals. That is the most honest thing we can do. If we depended on current trends, we would be like a dog chasing its tail. If you do that, you do not progress. What distinguishes us from the rest of the world? We do what we do best.