Gene Simmons is “continually astonished” by how fans react at rainy English festivals

Kiss (Image credit: Jen Rosenstein)

Kiss are currently on their End Of The Road tour across North America (opens in new tab) – a run of shows which has already seen them say farewell to thousands of fans.

They’ll head back across to the UK and Europe later this year – and bassist and vocalist Gene Simmons is clearly looking forward to the trip.

He’s spoken with The Telegraph (opens in new tab), where he’s reflected on 46 years of touring – and he's singled out audiences outside of their homeland for special praise

Under the headline: "Europeans go completely nuts at music festivals,” Simmons says: “We’ve headlined at Donington a few times.

“I’m continually astonished by the fact that, even when it’s raining cats and dogs, 70,000 or 80,000 people are getting drenched, covered in mud, but they’re still jumping up and down like locusts and having the time of their lives. 

“At a Californian festival, rain would be a major disaster, but I guess the English are pretty used to it.”

Simmons also touches on the fact that incredible concerts don’t really depend on how good the audio is on the night.

He says: “They’re about the people. The Cavern Club in Liverpool is an iconic space, but if you see a bad band perform there, it will be horrible regardless. 

“Ed Sheeran managed to rock Wembley Stadium with just an acoustic guitar – but stadiums aren’t the best places for intimate gigs.”

Simmons also recalls being served a plate of live bugs when he was in Japan – something he wasn’t overly keen on trying.

“Call me a philistine,” he says, “but if you’ve got eight legs, tentacles and little beady eyes, I can’t eat you. I can’t stomach the ‘eeeek’ sound of seafood being cooked alive, either.”

Kiss’ End Of The Road tour will continue in Uniondale on Friday evening.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.