“Hello! Do you speak Hungarian? Would you like to speak in English, Hungarian or German? I can speak a little bit of Japanese too.” Gene Simmons, the iconic member of the American rock band KISS, starts the conversation on the phone from Beverly Hills with a Hungarian reporter and journalist.
24.hu reported that arranging an appointment with Simmons was not an easy task as KISS is currently touring the world with their farewell tour. In the 90s the band already said goodbye when Ace and Peter returned to the band. According to Simmons, the problems started when they started drinking alcohol and retaking drugs. After the farewell in the 90s, Ace and Peter were kicked out from the band for the third time.
Although the band wanted to retire the fans of KISS did not let them go. Hiring two new members, Tommy and Eric, the group started to play again in the 2000s which was a moment in the band’s life Simmons never could imagine.
This time, the band says goodbye with their End of the Road World Tour, already leaving the 150th show behind their backs. By the time KISS performs in 250 venues, Simmons will be 72 years old, an age where he thinks that it must be the end of his phenomenal and iconic carrier. The tour is the biggest one they have ever had, and they would like to stop at the high peak of their journey.
The show’s speciality lies in the fact that KISS decided to play songs they have never played before live and the incredible technology which provides a breathtaking show with spectacular visual elements and many more.
Simmons continued that this kind of tour requires endurance and complex physical ability. The singer carries almost 20 kgs on his body when he puts up his iconic The Demon costume before every show. To keep himself in shape, Simmons walks miles every time to keep himself fit and energetic.
“All my respect is for Bono and Mick Jagger, but if they had to wear my costumes, they could not stand for half an hour or might break their legs because of the platform shoes.”
Simmons also gave a hint about an ongoing project which would bring the life and carrier of KISS on the big screens of cinemas worldwide, but the singer did not tell much about it. The Demon also reported that if he were twenty years old again, he would not play rock music at all. Simmons expressed that the reason rock bands are not established anymore today is the fact the all the music can be streamed or downloaded from the Internet and people stopped buying albums and CDs.
Simmons was born as Chaim Witz on August 25, 1949, at Rambam Hospital in Haifa, Israel to Jewish emigrants from Hungary. His mother, Florence Klein (originally Flóra Kovács), was born in Jánd, Hungary, and survived internment in Nazi concentration camps.
Simmons was eight years old when he and his family emigrated to the United States of America. The only memory the rock star has is that everything was enormous and monumental. Since then the singer says that everything became even more impressive and hopes that the USA will remain a great and safe place for people.
KISS plays on July 16 at the Budapest Sports Arena for the last time.