KISS guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley told The San Diego Union-Tribune that the band can continue in the future (and theoretically forever) without him and fellow KISS co-founder Gene Simmons.
“The band is bigger than its members,” said Stanley. “And it only takes, in this case, four like-minded people with a similar outlook and talent to further the cause and continue KISS. It makes perfect sense to me. It may not make sense to other bands, but we’re not other bands. We don’t live by those rules. We never have.”
Asked if he is concerned that he and Simmons, both 62, are growing too old to rock ‘n’ roll all night, Stanley said, “I’m damn good at what I do. But do I think I’m the only person capable of doing what I do? Absolutely not. I’m not talking about a clone (of me), but somebody with the same passion, drive and love for the music I love. So, can I envision a time when I won’t be here anymore? Absolutely. It’s not tomorrow, or next week. But when it happens, I would be celebratory. Because it would prove that I was right and that KISS is exactly what I believe it is: an ideal, a way of performing, a point of view. It’s an attitude, and the respect and love (we have for) our audience.”
Despite the fact that KISS‘s 2000 tour was billed as the band’s “farewell” trek, the group carried on, with drummer Eric Singer and guitarist Tommy Thayer filling the roles of Peter Criss and Ace Frehley, respectively.
Asked if another reunion of the four original members of KISS be possible, Stanley told The San Diego Union-Tribune, “Never! You only get so many opportunities and so many chances. And while I don’t wish [Frehley and Criss] any ill will at this point, you know, most people are fortunate to win the lottery once. When you win it twice, and throw it away, the opportunities are gone. Plus, everything that those guys did, unfortunately, jeopardized what I do. Those who don’t learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat them. … The intent and spirit of what this band was founded on is more intact and alive today than ever. And it’s not because of the individual founding members or any of that nonsense, but because of people who have the passion, the love and commitment to live up to what KISS is.”
Regarding why he and Simmons never fell prey to drugs and alcohol, Stanley said, “For me, the idea of self-preservation has always been key. We don’t even have to go to Jim Morrison or Hendrix. We can go back to Billie Holiday. Time and time again, the drugs will either kill you outright, or kill your spirit, your creativity, your joy in life. It becomes a life sentence, without bars. I never wanted to sign up for that. There’s nothing romantic about that. And the only people who see that as romantic are often the critics, who sit on the sidelines and like to romanticize while their heroes deteriorate, and somehow, that validates the art of the addict. I never bought into that.”