KISS & the spectacle of it all - Bozeman, Montana Tonight!

By Rachel Hergett / www.bozemandailychronicle.com

Rock and Roll Hall of Famers KISS, known as much for on-stage spectacle and face make-up as the band’s melodic hard rock, will stop in Bozeman on Saturday, July 16, as part of the “Freedom to Rock” tour. The tour focuses on smaller markets around the U.S., like Bozeman, most of which the band hasn’t visited in over a decade. As you will read in this interview with vocalist and bassist Gene Simmons, the band considers these places the source of their success.

The Bozeman show is in the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse at 8 p.m. on July 16 and features opener Caleb Johnson. Tickets are $55-125 at the Fieldhouse box office, Rosauers, the Ask Us Desk and online at www.ticketswest.com. For more information, visit brickbreeden.com/events/kiss/.

I had a long list of questions for Simmons, compiled using the help of more knowledgable friends online, when I got 15 minutes on the phone with him back in March. I didn’t get to most of them. Before we were connected, I was warned by Simmons’ publicist to stay on the topic of the tour. So I started there, hoping to get time to go deeper toward the end. Simmons, however, is a rambler. Still, we had the chance to talk about the tour, comic books, what to expect from the stage show, the music business and the band’s disco-inspired “Dynasty” album.

–Rachel Hergett

What can a long-time fan expect to see at a KISS show today?

Well, we’ve always been committed, which is why people want to put us into a nuthouse. You see what I did there? These are semantics, but I’m not anti-semantic. That’s two in a row. Oh! You’re killing me. Stop. You know, we have a decidedly different point of view than perhaps some of the other big bands and it goes something like this: There is no reason why anyone in Bozeman should be getting in their cars or their jets and flying five hours to Chicago or New York just to see their favorite band. We cut our teeth in the back of station wagons and our road crew and we went down the caravan of the highways of America and took our case to the people town by town, one after the other. And most of the towns we never heard of. The first time we ever played in Bozeman, I’d never heard of Bozeman. So what? Cool people will come from all kinds of places. You have to remember flight, flying through the air, an American invention among others, was not invented in New York or California. It was invented in Kitty Hawk, in the middle of America. And so we’re all about that. We became enormous in middle America way before New York or LA or Europe or Japan got wind of us and there is a, I think we have an affinity to places like Mankato (Minnesota) or Green Bay or Bozeman because you guys don’t give a squat what’s popular in fashion. You really don’t. In New York and LA – that’s neither good nor bad but it’s an accurate reflection – everybody is looking over their shoulders. What’s popular? What length of skirts this year? Who’s going out with who? What’s the gossip saying and what’s Kim doing with the selfie? And, you know, stuff that makes me want to hang myself. I mean that in a nice way.

CLICK HERE to read the rest of the interview.

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