Kiss' Paul Stanley explains how he put his beef with Gene Simmons to bed

Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of Kiss on stage at the Tons of Rock festival on June 27, 2019 in Oslo, Norway
(Image credit: Per Ole Hagen/Redferns)

While onboard the Kiss Kruise, which saw the rock 'n' roll icons perform alongside a number of rock and metal artists during a two week, sea-bound festival, Kiss frontman Paul Stanley took part in a Q&A session with fans.

During the session, which took place on October 28, Stanley was asked to elaborate on what he has learned about himself over the last 50 years of working with fellow Kiss co-founder and bandmate, Gene Simmons. 

"[That's an] interesting question" the vocalist says (as transcribed by Blabbermouth). "Yeah, we're very different, but we certainly share a pride in what we do, a work ethic. Maybe because our parents came from Europe where I think that that's important stuff, is that pride in the work you do and to work hard for your money. 

Of the certain challenges he faced within his friendship and working relationship with Simmons, he continues, "Other than that, I think one of the things that took me a long time to learn — and I think Gene, by the way… I mean, he's family to me; he's a brother. I remember there were things about him that used to drive me crazy."

Detailing what caused him to move any ill-feelings towards his bandmate, Stanley offers avery diplomatic explanation: "Then I realized that that's not his issue; that's my issue. When people do things and it bothers you, you need to figure out why it bothers you, not expect them to change. It's not about them. And things that used to bother me about Gene, I just had to kind of figure out, 'Wait a minute. That's my issue that bothers me. And why does it bother me?' Because he can only be the best he that he can be; he's never gonna be me, and I'm never gonna be him. So it's just a matter of putting a lot of that stuff aside. We're not gonna change anybody else, so we need to figure out why it bothers us."

Stanley previously spoke of his former dislike for Simmons in 2020 while speaking on the podcast Live From Nerdville With Joe Bonamassa. Within the episode, the singer admitted that he didn't particularly like Simmons when they first met. He explained, "But there was pragmatism involved. You have to prioritize and figure what's most important to you to reach your goal. 

"And I knew that Gene and I were much stronger together than me alone. I'm not really sure that he knew that, but that became irrelevant. It was, 'How do I get where I wanna go? How do I achieve what I want?' And Gene was essential to it. And here we are 50-plus years later. It's astounding. We've created something that seems like it will outlast us."

There's even recorded evidence of the pair's historic unfriendliness towards each other. In 1993, the Kiss brethren were captured bickering in an awkward interview, which took place ahead of Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve special that year.

Watch the Kiss Kruise Q&A below:

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.