Earlier this week, KISS announced the dates of their last performances since, which wraps up a two-night stand at Madison Square Garden on December 1 and 2. Fans hoping that founding members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss would be welcomed back for one last gig may not want to to keep their hopes high. In a new interview, singer-guitarist Paul Stanley said he thought the original lineup would be more like “PISS” than KISS these days.
Stanley and the rest of the current KISS lineup – Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer, and Eric Singer – appeared on The Howard Stern Show to announce the band’s final tour dates. As previously reported, the legendary rock act will wrap up the “End of the Road” farewell tour with a North American leg (tickets available HERE), which concluded two concerts at MSG.
Stern asked the band why they didn’t perform during their Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2014, and if it had anything to do with new members Thayer and Singer not being inducted.
“The hypocrisy is that we’re not the band they want,” replied Stanley. “They meant for us to be gone for 15 years. And the other bands they embraced, they inducted people’s moms and songwriters and all these people. And to us, it’s not fair at all. Because we have so much pride in this line, which is KISS, and it’s been 20 years of KISS. These are not newcomers. … This is the band that carries the flag and takes it, really, to another level. This is the band I’ve always dreamed of making it. “
He continued, “They demanded, honestly, that we play with the two original guys, Peter and Ace, and at this point, it would bring the band down, and also confuse some people. ‘Cause if you saw people on stage who looked like KISS but like that, we’d probably be called PISS.”
Yes! Although somewhat insulting, Stanley’s words did not come as a great surprise. There was an on and off feud between the two remaining founding members (Stanley and Simmons) and the departed members (Frehley and Criss) over the years. Frehley, in particular, had harsh words for Simmons, calling him a “Rude and sex addict” in 2019, after Simmons insulted the guitarist in a magazine interview.
That being said, Stanley did show with Frehley on the KISS Kruise in 2018. Maybe Stanley and Simmons will find it in their hearts to welcome Frehley and Criss back on stage, at least for a few songs, at the MSG shows. We will know in nine months.
Watch Paul Stanley and company’s conversation with Howard Stern, along with their performance on the program’s “Rock and Roll All Nite,” below.