KISS is an American hard rock band formed in New York City in January 1973.
Well known for its members' black and white face paint and flamboyant stage outfits,
the group rose to prominence in the mid to late 1970s with their elaborate live performances.
Counting the 1978 solo albums, Kiss has been awarded 28 gold albums to date, the most
of any American rock band. The band has sold more than 40 million albums in the United States,
of which 24 million have been certified by the RIAA and their worldwide sales exceeds
100 million records, making them one of the worlds best-selling bands of all time.
New York City, New York, United States
Hard rock, heavy metal
E.S.P., Frehley's Comet, Union, Vinnie Vincent Invasion, Wicked Lester, Alice Cooper, White Tiger, Black 'n Blue, Avantasia, Badlands, Blackjack
According to Gene Simmons in the Kiss video Exposed, Paul Stanley came up with the name while he,
Stanley, and Peter Criss were driving around New York City brainstorming. Criss mentioned that he was once
in a band called Lips, so Stanley said, "What about Kiss?" Gene like it because it was short, looked
great and sounded sexy and dangerous at the same time.
An acronym for:
"Knights In Satan's Service",
or "Kids In Satan's Service".
These claims have been denied by Simmons himself.
Paul Stanley -
rhythm guitar, lead vocals
Gene Simmons -
bass guitar, lead vocals
Tommy Thayer -
lead guitar, vocals
Eric Singer -
drums, percussion, vocals
(1991-1996, 2001-2002, 2004-present)
Ace Frehley -
lead guitar, vocals (1973-1982, 1996-2002)
Peter Criss -
drums, vocals (1973-1980, 1996-2001, 2002-2004)
Eric Carr -
drums, vocals (1980-1991; died 1991)
Vinnie Vincent -
lead guitar, backing vocals (1982-1984)
Mark St. John -
lead guitar, backing vocals (1984; died 2007)
Bruce Kulick -
lead guitar, vocals (1984-1996)
Gene Simmons aka The Demon
(vocals and bass guitar)
Paul Stanley aka Starchild
(vocals and rhythm guitar)
Ace Frehley aka Spaceman
(lead guitar and vocals)
Peter Criss aka Catman
(drums and vocals)
face paint (registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office) and stage costumes
Did You Know:
Peter Criss and Ace Frehley were out of the group by 1982 because of substance abuse problems
Originally called Wicked Lester, a New York-based rock and roll band led by co-founders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley.
Gene Simmons was born "Chaim Witz" in Haifa, Israel on August 25th, 1949
No, I'm not interested. It's a fool's game. There is not a single person alive who could keep a straight face and say "Oh yeah it's healthy, the reason I use drugs and alcohol and booze is because it's healthy!"
No I'm not; just take a look at the lines. Recognize a rock 'n' roller for what he is, which is a damned lucky guy not to have to work for a living. Right? People who are qualified are symphonic orchestra players and jazz musicians; they're qualified to do what they do. Rock stars are lucky. It's a combination of right time, right place and having certain genes or a gimmick or whatever, but it's really not anything more than sugar. It tastes good and goes away fast.
Well being in Kiss is having a more limited spectrum. It's a smaller playground to play in because there are limitations. I'm the big bad wolf and I'm supposed to do this and that. There are rules, which are self imposed I must say, but there are rules. We break enough of them, but the truth is that being Gene Simmons in an album called 'Asshole' forged me the opportunity of just recreating myself. Very much Jekyll and Hyde. Mr. Hyde is the big bad guy and Dr. Jekyll has studied and both are connected.
That's why I'm a big supporter of the death penalty. I want to be the hangman. I would put many more people to death like the kids who want to kill other people, I'd put 'em to death. Postal workers who get arrested, they have mental problems. You know what? When you're dead you don't have a mental problem. If you take a life, I will take yours. Put me in charge, I will fix it.
Well I'm on tour with Kiss I'm proud to say. We've done sixty shows in America with our friends Aerosmith, which was one of the bigger tours of the year. A great time was had by all, mostly the fans. We just finished Australia; we're on the way to Japan and then back to America for another sixty to eighty shows. That'll take me through probably to new years and in the meantime I'll have a DVD coming in August called 'Speaking In Tongues' which is going to be my lecture tour of Australia that I did last year and then next year I'll be having a Gene Simmons boxed set called 'One Hundred' which is one hundred songs that I've never released. And Kiss will continue. The first Kissworld store just opened in Melbourne. There is eleven thousand square feet of Kiss space.
Metal Edge Readers' Choice Awards:
1996 - Band of the Year
1996 - Best Metal/Hard Rock Band
1996 - Best Concert Performance
1996 - Best Concert Tour
1996 - Paul Stanley - Best Vocalist
1996 - Gene Simmons - Best Bassist
1996 - Ace Frehley - Best Guitarist
1996 - Kiss Unplugged - Best Video Cassette
1997 - "Jungle" - Song of the Year
1998 - Psycho Circus - Album of the Year
1998 - "Psycho Circus" - Song of the Year
1998 - "Psycho Circus" - Best Video Clip
1998 - Second Coming - Best Video Cassette
1998 - Best Concert Performance
1998 - Gene Simmons - Best Bassist
2000 - Stage Show of the Year
Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
(nearly 15 years after becoming eligible)