Kiss' Gene Simmons compares his pursuit of wealth to champions striving for higher scores in the Olympics

Gene Simmons of Kiss
(Image credit: Per Ole Hagen/Redferns)

If there's one cliché we all know to be true, it's that world-renowned rock stars usually don't tend to be short of pennies. Their lavish lifestyles, maintained through years of being celebrated as rock gods onstage and being hailed as the masterminds behind blockbuster albums, makes us all ponder, what more could they possibly want? Well, for Kiss' Gene Simmons, the answer is quite simple – he wants more cash. 

Accruing wealth for Simmons, however, apparently means more than simply just being able to declare yourself rich (although, we're sure that's part of it). To the bass player, earning more and more money is similar to playing a game, specifically, the Olympic games, where champions strive for more medals, faster times and higher scores.

In an interview with People, Simmons explains, “Money, for me, has become what champions in the Olympics do .They want to keep improving because they want the judges to hold up a higher number.”

Of course, the rock star is clear that this pursuit of wealth isn't something that should be considered without the basic means, or by someone who struggles to earn living. "Once you have enough, a roof over your head and food in your belly and stuff, it’s ‘How much better can I do this? How much more can I do this?’ More like a contest. It's different.”

Simmons, who developed a love of painting over lockdown, recently held his first art exhibition selling original artworks for as high as $245,000. Although we're sure the cash is a welcome bonus, Simmons is adamant that he didn't start painting to continue his search for more wealth.

"I just wanted to stay sane,” he said. ”I didn't know you were supposed to have a style, and I didn't do anything except try to keep my mind busy. So the art is more stream of consciousness.”

Speaking of the exhibition, which took place in Las Vegas and featured around 50 of the works he created during 2020, Simmons admits, “I don't know what I'm doing. I never considered myself a painter. I never considered myself much of anything. You're talking to the least qualified person you'd ever meet...I can tell you that I have a sense of wonder.”

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.