Q and A: Gene Simmons does what he wants
KISS fans, remain calm: KISS is not retiring.
You have the assurance of KISS bassist and co-founder Gene Simmons, who will be playing Caesars Windsor on Aug. 25 — but not with his usual Detroit Rock City compadres.
Instead, Simmons will be performing under the billing of his solo project: Gene Simmons and His Band. A whole night of rock with Simmons front and centre.
We chatted with the 67-year-old God of Thunder about what’s going on with himself and the KISS empire.
Why a solo tour? Why now?
“I never did solo tours or performances in 44 years. KISS satisfied everything … But when we’re not playing, I like to keep busy.”
“By the way, this doesn’t mean anything in terms of KISS. KISS continues to tour the world. We have a great time together. But the band doesn’t play anywhere near as much as I like to get out there. This is just an excuse for me to play hooky.”
What can fans expect from a Gene Simmons solo show?
“For the nice people of Windsor, on the 25th of August — my birthday, as a matter of fact — I’ll be celebrating. We’re gonna shake the roof. We’re gonna do stuff that KISS has never done live. Stuff from my solo records that has never been played live.”
“We’re going to have staircases leading from the stage right into the audience. At any point in the set, I just might invite the ladies to get on stage and join me. Or if there’s a really talented kid who can play or sing, I’ll pull him up on stage and we’ll have us a real good time.”
“So whip out your cellphones, get it on video, and record it. I don’t know of any other band that does this.”
Just to clarify, you’ll be playing KISS songs, too?
“Sure. And we may do Boom Boom by John Lee Hooker. It’s no-rules. It’s a chance for me to roll up my sleeves. And you should see my arms. I’ve got very pretty arms.”
Speaking of your solo records, why did you choose to title your 2004 album Asshole?
“Well, hindsight’s 20/20 … I love the arrogance of ‘Asshole.’ It’s often used as a term of endearment. I’ve certainly been called ‘asshole’ more than once. Starting with my mother.”
“And I thought, ‘Everybody’s going to get the joke.’ Apparently, they didn’t. But I don’t care. I’m too rich to care. Do what you want to do, and the world can take a hike. I’m blessed to be able to do that. You can surmise that it wasn’t a record company executive’s decision.”
Finally, there’s been some backlash over your attempt to trademark the ‘Metal Horns’ or ‘Rock On’ hand sign. Any regrets about that?
“I regret nothing. Wake up every morning and let your conscience be your guide.”
“Did you know I own the money bag logo? The dollar sign with the bag of money. I own all kinds of things. I own ‘motion pictures’ as a trademark. Anyone who thinks that’s silly — the silliest thing I’ve ever done is wear more makeup and higher heels than your mommy.”
“People said, ‘You can’t do that.’ Actually, bitch — I can. I can do anything I want to do.”
Gene Simmons and his band perform at Caesars Windsor on Aug. 25.
Concert begins 9 p.m. 19 and older only.