EXCLUSIVE – Kiss Interview Pt2
Still going strong after all these years and boasting thigh muscles men half his age would kill for, The Demon talks Donald Trump, William Shakespeare and Family Jewels – and that’s just for starters.
We can’t wait to see the man himself on action in Newcastle on Sunday and we’ll have a review of that show right here within hours of the final curtain falling.
For now sit back and enjoy a few more words of wisdom from an individual who has truly brightened up these pages during the past fortnight.
rushonrock: Do you ever relax?
GS: If I’m loping about then I’m not as good in Kiss. I’m like an athlete who, when he’s not competing, is working out all the time. If you don’t work out you lose your edge when it comes to competition and for me it’s the activity that gets the heart pumping. I am a 60-year-old with the thigh muscles of a man half my age. Use it or lose it – that’s my philosophy. Your lungs, your brain, whatever.
rushonrock: So just how do you keep on top of everything with all your various projects on the boil?
GS: I do what Santa Claus does – I make a list, I check it twice and make sure who’s been naughty and who’s been nice. It’s all very organised. I need to spend time with my family and keep track of my projects and it’s all written down in order. I need to remind myself that Kiss is a brand, not a band.
rushonrock: Do you have a full-time secretary?
GS: I use a traditional diary with room for notes. The Blackberry means well but it’s failing is that it treats all information exactly the same – when it’s not. ‘Blow up the world’ is a big thing and ‘clip your toenails’ should be in small letters because they’re not the same value. See what I mean? But that’s not what the Blackberry does.
rushonrock: Is modern technology important to you?
GS: Look, when you get an email with an attachment nobody reads it – they just skim. In my business and in my world where I deal with CEOs of companies – if Donald Trump sends me an email I want to understand what it says. For important stuff you need to consider it and digest it and that means a computer screen. So I sit down three times a day at a computer to digest and understand my emails. Other than that I use my traditional diary with a pen and lists.
rushonrock: And do you still use an old fashioned telephone plugged into the wall?
GS: I do have a mobile phone. Very few people use it but it’s called the money phone. You can reach me and if you have money you call. If you don’t, and you call up and say ‘hi Gene’ you’ll get the reply ‘wrong number’. I don’t chat.
rushonrock: It was another trip away from the family – how are they doing right now?
GS: I’m so proud of both of my kids. Nick has performed on and co-written some songs on the new Bruce Kulick album and Sophie’s captain of her volleyball team and she’s a real chanteuse. I’ve done demos with her but I’m not pushing anything. They’re both going to finish school and that’s the first and most important thing. After that they’ll do all of the rest of the stuff. Sophie starts college next year but Nick is almost through. His mid-term college report card was A, A, A, A and B-plus. Not sure about that B-plus…
rushonrock: Nick and Sophie are familiar faces to fans of Gene Simmons Family Jewels but how did that show come about?
GS: The opportunity arose to do Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels and they allowed me to do it my way – with no interference. Shakespeare was right when he said all those year’s ago that the world’s a stage and we’re all just players. I say play on. I use the show as a means of furthering the Gene Simmons brand. I have Simmons books, Simmons magazines, Simmons records and now Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels.
rushonrock: Is the TV show more important than Kiss?
GS: It’s separate to Kiss – they’re two different things. But just as Clark Kent works at the Daily Planet and is also Superman and Dy Jekyll is also Mr Hyde – I’m Gene Simmons and I’m also in Kiss. You can be two people at the same time as long as you don’t cross over.
I’m a journalist specialising in sport and rock music. Can’t play either so I write about them instead.