Paul Stanley says it was a mistake to introduce the Fox and Warrior characters and insists the band's four classic personas will continue long after he is gone.
When Peter Criss and Ace Frehley left the band in the early 1980s, their Catman and Spaceman characters were retired and replaced by Eric Carr as The Fox and Vinnie Vincent as The Wiz, or The Egyptian Warrior.
But current members Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer have reclaimed the Spaceman and Catman personas, and Stanley says Kiss were in danger of verging into ever more ridiculous territory.
He tells The Joe Rogan Experience: “I think where we went astray is when we first replaced Peter and we decided we needed a new character. And the problem with that kind of stuff is that it started to become — interestingly, I think — disingenuous. It took an air of fake in the sense that it became a menagerie.
“I mean, we had a Fox and an Egyptian Warrior. Next we would have the Turtle Boy and The Frog Man. So I think once we brought Ace and Peter back for the reunion tour, which I hoped would go on forever – in other words, I hoped that everybody would get back together, everybody would see the error in their ways and we would move forward and stay together forever.
“But when that wasn’t to be, I thought, we really built these four images. And, arguably, you can go anywhere in the world and people know who Kiss is, regardless of whether they know who those people are.
“So to give up that because we found that those guys were no longer either capable or wanted to give it 100%, well, then who loses out? The fans. So, no. Those images are the images that will continue when I’m not here either.”