Gene Simmons says that Kiss are retiring out of "self-respect" and "love" for their fans.
With the larger-than-life New Yorkers in the midst of their farewell tour, the bassist/vocalist is readying himself for the band's retirement, noting that when the run does reach its end, he'll be "crying like a 12-year-old kid whose foot you're stepping on."
In spite of his love for the band and touring, Simmons says he wants to make sure Kiss don't damage their legacy by performing long after they've lost the ability to do so to an acceptable level, due to their increasing age.
In conversation with Full Metal Jackie during an episode of KLOS' Whiplash, he says Kiss will be bowing out while they're still "on top".
"The reason for stopping touring is because of pride and self-respect and a love and admiration for the fans," Simmons states. "The last thing you wanna be is to be a world-champion boxer and stay in the ring too long. It's only a matter of time until your legs are not gonna be able to hold you up, and you're gonna lose."
"We've also seen boxers who've stayed in the ring too long and bands who continue touring too long. And they forget lyrics and you can see the deep wrinkles in their faces.
"I mean, it's just the nature of life as we know it on earth. So we're doing the right thing. We're gonna quit while we're on top, do the best we can, and it'll be sad, but it's also gonna be happy. On the last show we ever do as a touring band, I'll be crying like a 12-year-old kid whose foot you're stepping on."
Happily, it looks like it'll be some time yet before that iconic make-up comes off for good : Kiss are still intent on rescheduling their Las Vegas residency, which was cancelled late last year, plus they're set to play a number of festivals over the summer.
Listen to the full episode below:
You can read the full story behind Kiss' retirement in the new issue of Classic Rock, out now.
The issue features interviews with Paul, Gene, Eric and Tommy on almost 50 years of Kiss-story, ahead of what will be their final UK show, at Download.
Also in this issue: Robin Trower, Graham Nash, Church Of The Cosmic Skull, The Sheepdogs, Jimi Hendrix, Steve Jones, Simon McBride, Ghost, and your ultimate guide to the summer of rock.