Stanley: No Kiss without Gene

Kiss frontman Paul Stanley has called Gene Simmons a “terrific partner” and stated his long-term friend and collaborator is “irreplaceable” within the band.

Speaking with the Austin American-Statesman, Stanley says: “I think being provocative is part of who he is. Why we do what we do is rooted in our childhood and our experiences. He likes to shock or annoy people and he does that very well. He’s also a terrific partner and somebody who is clearly irreplaceable.”

Stanley also revealed the band wouldn’t be where they are today if guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss had remained in the group, saying: “We were on the path of success but that ultimately led us away from what we formed as and why. It lost the essence of what we believed in – and that’s all part of this amazing story.

“As for Ace and Peter, we created something terrific and had the potential to be monumental, but ultimately not with them. We wouldn’t be here today with them.”

In an interview with Classic Rock magazine earlier this year, Simmons spoke about his relationship with Stanley, saying: “Paul is the soul of Kiss and I’m the cock. He is more emotional and I’m drier. Paul will go to see romantic movies – I’ll throw up at them.”

However, drummer Eric Singer gave his perspective on the relationship, saying: “Gene loves the sound of his own voice – we all know that – but nothing happens in Kiss unless Paul Stanley says it does.”

Simmons recently caused controversy when he stated the world would descend into chaos if it wasn’t for him and his fellow millionaires, saying: “Try being nice to rich people. I don’t remember the last poor person who gave me a job.”

Kiss are currently on tour across North America with Sheffield rockers Def Leppard.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.