Kiss squash long-standing rumour that their band name is a Satanic acronym: "We're smart, but we're not that smart"

(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for A&E)

With the dates of their final ever shows now set in stone, Kiss are nearing the end of their career and towards their retirement from the stage. Across numerous decades, the internationally acclaimed hair metallers have evolved into musical cult heroes, crowned by a moniker as instantly recognisable as any brand logo or franchise. 

Their Japanese Kabuki-inspired face paint and stud-emblazoned costumes might conjure images of hell-dwelling demons to the more conservative of souls, but if there's one thing the band are not to be tied with is Satanism - even if a long-standing rumour in relation to their name suggests otherwise.

As Loudwire reports, the rumour in question suggests that Kiss is actually a secret acronym for: Knights in Satan's Service. In conversation on SiriusXM's Howard Stern Show, co-lead vocalist/guitarist Paul Stanley finally debunked the claim by revealing that they favoured the word Kiss as it simply, "transcended the English language", noting, "We're smart, but we're not that smart".

Initially, the band went by the name Wicked Lester, but as Gene Simmons and Stanley explain, they actually had a couple of ideas in the pot before they came to Kiss.

Recalling his suggestion of 'Kiss' while driving in his car, Stanley explains, "To me, Kiss was a word that transcended the English language. You could go almost anywhere in the world and say the word Kiss and people would go, 'Oh, I've heard of them.' It's like calling a band water. And a kiss of death, a kiss of passion - it just seemed to incorporate all the elements of what we were doing."

Simmons then explains the story behind another name that was considered, which was 'Fuck'. “We were talking about it … first record could be It, the second record could be You, but it wasn’t serious," the bassist says.

Yesterday (March 2), The Howard Stern Show released three videos of Kiss performing in their studio. The band were guests of the show earlier this week to announce the final dates of their End Of The Road tour and performed the classics Detroit Rock City, Shout It Out Loud and Rock And Roll All Nite.

Listen to the full interview 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.