KISS may be celebrating four decades as a band, but Gene Simmons is adamant that there won't be a retirement party any time soon – they still have plenty of fire left to breathe out of them.
When asked whether the legendary rockers, which is in the midst of a long 40th anniversary tour (it makes its only Canadian appearance at Toronto's Molson Amphitheatre Tuesday night), will ever retire from the road, the fiery singer-bassist, as per usual, has a very pointed response.
"We've got a few more tours left in us,” he says. “We enjoy what we do, and we're all on the same page, so there's no reason to stop. Match up any band past or present up against us, and we'll whoop their asses each and every time."
Besides, their schedules and side projects give them no time to kick back and watch Matlock. The tour is being extended into 2015, with Simmons promising a full-fledged Canadian leg next year, a new album is in the works, and various other side projects including a football reality show 4th and Loud and Simmons’ brand new business know-how book, Me, Inc.: Build an Army of One, Unleash Your Inner Rock God, Win in Life and Business.
Speaking down the line from the Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, N.Y., Simmons talked to QMI Agency about the future of rock 'n roll, the group's daily setlist issues, and despite reports to the contrary, why the Canadian KISS army of fans are far from conservative. Here are excerpts from that conversation.
How would you rank this tour with ones you've done in the past?
I think it's just as good as any of our best ones or even better. No one is on drugs, there are no dark clouds and we're all getting along really well.
How does the Canadian KISS Army of fans compare to the ones in the U.S.?
The party line is that Canadians tend to be more conservative, but that's not the case. Back in the '70s, we played a smaller city and watched as a couple had sex near the front of the stage during the show.
Since it's a shared tour, do you find it difficult to strike a setlist balance between satisfying the hardcore fans and those who may just want to hear the hits?
That's an issue every night. However, you won't see the Stones dropping hits like Satisfaction out of their setlist, so why would we drop ours? The fans pay good money to come to the show to hear those songs.
Have you guys talked about a follow-up to 2012's Monster?
Yes, we have. I recently wrote a new song called Your Wish is My Command, so the process has already started.
What are your thoughts on the state of the music business in 2014? What's the future for rock 'n' roll?
There isn't one. The freckled-faced boy who decided to download all his music for free ruined the business. As far as rock 'n' roll is concerned, there is no future. It's over. Can you name me one superstar act these days? You can't.