Gene Simmons says it’s the job of musicians to create “magic time” on stage to help fans forget about the mundanity of everyday life.
The Kiss bassist describes the live arena as an “electric church” and says he believes live music can make a real difference to the lives of those in the audience.
Speaking after appearing with X Japan on stage in Tokyo at the weekend, Simmons tells Metal Hammer: “At the end of the day, all that matters is what happens on that stage – that’s electric church. That’s glory hallelujah, all hail rock’n’roll, where people who spend lots of after-tax money come to the show and their girlfriends have been torturing them about where did you go and traffic jams and all that.
“And it’s our job – anyone who gets up on that stage – to create magic time. To make you forget about all that stuff and take you away, so just for those few hours…and then you get back to gravity, and all the chaos that’s out there.”
X Japan performed Kiss classic Rock And Roll All Night with Simmons guesting on bass at the first annual Visual Japan Summit. Simmons played his signature Axe Bass, which he says can be bought for $5000 at genesimmonsaxe.com – or $15,000 for one that he has played on stage.
He adds: “I’ve gotta buy my mother another house!”
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Simmons believes music has been for humans going back to the days of cavemen.
“It’s primal,” he says. “And it’s almost prehistoric. When men first came out back into the cave from the dangers of being eaten by wild animals, and at night we’d light that fire and the drums would start, those first primordial drums.
“And then man starting in essence howling at the moon and coming up with melodies and stories and they were religious and tribal – that’s what it’s about. Because while the fire’s up and while the danger’s out there, you forget about stuff and get carried away to this magic land.
“And that’s never changed. Ever since that first fire was lit, in the safety of a cave, and people started drumming stuff. It continues.”
Simmons was also in Tokyo for the Kiss Expo Convention in Harajuku, which runs until October 31.
X Japan will perform at London’s Wembley SSE Arena on March 4.