Outspoken Kiss star Gene Simmons says one of the few things he won’t discuss is his political views.
And as the US presidential election looms, he believes celebrities should “all shut their pieholes” when it comes to giving voting advice.
That’s despite having supported Barack Obama in 2008 – a position he later regretted.
The bassist and vocalist took part in TV reality show Celebrity Apprentice, helmed by presidential candidate Donald Trump, the previous year.
Simmons tells Yahoo! Music: “What you see is what you get – he has no filter. I knew him before Celebrity Apprentice, privately in clubs and in social situations.
“He’s the same guy. Some people like it, some people don’t. I’m not going to say if I think that’s good or bad.”
Asked about big names expressing political opinions, he responds: “They should all shut their pieholes. I really believe democracy doesn’t work well when celebrities butt their heads into places they don’t belong.
“Katy Perry, Gene Simmons, Chubby Checker – I don’t care who you are, you’ve got influence, and your fans tend sometimes to do stuff they would normally not do, just because they’re your fans.
“It’s worth noting that when you go into a voting booth there’s a curtain. It’s nobody’s damn business who you’re voting for.
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“I’d like to think that people are voting with the conscience – and for that reason I don’t think people should care who Gene Simmons is voting for.”
In 2012, four years after supporting Obama’s presidential campaign, he said it had been a mistake, adding: “Hindsight is 20⁄20. I have some real issues with the economy and how it’s being done.” Asked who he’d support for president instead, he replied: “Mitt Romney.”
Earlier this month Simmons discussed his strong reasons for avoiding alcohol and argued that everyone else should do the same, even though he’s co-owner of the Rock & Brews chain of bar-restaurants.
Kiss complete their current US tour at Bridgeport Webster Bank Arena, CT, tonight (September 7).