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Kiss

Kiss

KISS

Kiss may not be the most respected, nor even the most musically accomplished among rock’s best-selling recording artists, but they might just be the most iconic and, in their own way, influential bands (and brands) in history. Still, despite their signature makeup, flashy wardrobe, and meticulously orchestrated on-stage extravaganzas, Kiss initially struggled to gain commercial traction during the first half of the ’70s. But their dedicated touring regimen duly paid off with the platinum breakthrough of 1975’s ‘Alive,’ which, along with numerous subsequent studio triumphs, transformed band members Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss into universal masked celebrities, verging on superheroes in the eyes of impressionable young fans by 1978. But just as suddenly, growing internal strife, dwindling musical inspiration, and sheer overexposure (a result of their aggressive merchandising tactics) knocked Kiss off their lofty pedestal and left them struggling to remain relevant as the ’80s got under way. As a last resort, Kiss abandoned their signature makeup with 1983’s ‘Lick it Up’ and thus managed to align themselves with the legion of hair metal bands dominating the period — many of whom had cut their teeth on their records and especially Ace Frehley’s straightforward solos, before graduating to the virtuoso examples of Edward Van Halen or Randy Rhoads. And, like all of those bands, Kiss too endured the grunge era’s vicious backlash, by which time the core duo of Simmons and Stanley were themselves at odds about Kiss’ creative direction, while long-serving drummer Eric Carr faced a rare form of cancer that would eventually kill him in 1991. So, after attempting to fit in with the flannel flyers via 1992’s rather decent ‘Revenge’ LP, Simmons and Stanley got to work orchestrating a rekindling of their long-broken relationship with founding members Frehley and Criss for what would turn into a full-scale reunion — in makeup — including extensive late ‘90s tours and 1998’s ‘Psycho Circus’ LP. Both Criss and Frehley eventually fell afoul of their bandmates/taskmasters yet again, but that has in no way stopped or even slowed down the Kiss marketing machine. Instead, Criss and Frehley’s instantly recognizable makeup designs were simply applied to new members Eric Singer (drums) and Tommy Thayer (guitar) and Kiss has continued to perform before millions of fans, too young (or, in some cases, over it) to care — thus proving that the four characters devised long ago are truly bigger than the men who wear them.

   
Gene Simmons
Theo Wargo, Getty Images

KISS’ Gene Simmons: ‘I Blame the Fans’ for Lack of Rock Stars

KISS' Gene Simmons puts the blame on the fans for the downfall of the music industry structure and the lack of current and future rock stars.

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Category: News, Rock Tags: ,
Paul Stanley
Alberto E. Rodriguez, Getty Images

KISS’ Paul Stanley: ‘It Doesn’t Feel Necessary to Make a New Album’

KISS' Paul Stanley says that at this point, the band should make albums only when it's justified and he doesn't feel that's the case right now.

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Category: News, Rock Tags: ,
Nikki Sixx Paul Stanley
Kevin Winter / Jo Hale, Getty Images

Nikki Sixx Blasts Floyd Mayweather’s Strategy; Paul Stanley Rips Jamie Foxx’s National Anthem

Nikki Sixx expressed his frustration over the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, while Paul Stanley had a beef with Jamie Foxx's performance of the National Anthem.

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Gene Simmons Paul Stanley
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

KISS’ Gene Simmons: New Artists ‘Don’t Have a Chance’

KISS' Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley reiterated the stance of how difficult it is for new acts to find success in today's music scene.

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Category: News, Rock Tags: , ,
KISS Gene Simmons Paul Stanley
ASCAP

KISS to Receive 2015 ASCAP Founders Award

KISS will follow in a long line of music luminaries in receiving the 2015 ASCAP Founders Award.

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Category: News, Rock Tags:
Gene Simmons
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

Gene Simmons Inks Deal With WWE Studios for Upcoming Horror Films

Gene Simmons has followed through on his plan to produce horror films, inking a deal with WWE Studios to launch Erebus Pictures.

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Category: News, Rock Tags: ,
KISS' Gene Simmons
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

KISS’ Gene Simmons Has a Problem With Bands Who Use Backing Tracks

KISS' Gene Simmons calls out bands who use backing tracks in their shows, especially when fans are paying for expensive tickets.

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Category: News, Rock Tags: ,
Ace Frehley
Michael Loccisano, Getty Images

Ace Frehley Talks Creative Process, Guitar Style + Cover Songs

Ace Frehley speaks with 'Loudwire Nights' host Full Metal Jackie about his creative process, guitar style and taking on cover songs.

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Gene Simmons
Theo Wargo, Getty Images

KISS’ Gene Simmons Reveals Plan to Produce Horror Movies

KISS' Gene Simmons is the latest rocker to dip his toes into the world of creating horror films.

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Category: News, Rock Tags: ,
KISS' Paul Stanley
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

KISS’ Paul Stanley: ‘No Way I Was Going to Play’ With Ace Frehley + Peter Criss At Rock Hall

KISS' Paul Stanley says while he enjoyed the Rock Hall induction, there was no way he'd play with Ace Frehley and Peter Criss again.

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