Eric Singer on Kiss Without Gene Simmons or Paul Stanley: ‘I Don’t Think I Would Want to Do That’
Kiss enjoy an apparently never-ending demand for their music — and given that they play in costumes and makeup, the band could conceivably continue on as a live act with replacement players even after all of the original members decide they don’t feel like performing anymore.
It’s an idea that’s come up more than once over the years, but drummer Eric Singer — who, except for a couple of periods in which Kiss co-founder Peter Criss returned to the lineup, has been with the band since 1991 — can’t imagine sticking around to keep time for any version of the group that doesn’t include Gene Simmons or Paul Stanley. As he explained during a recent interview, regardless of whatever anyone else may have contributed at any point, Simmons and Stanley are Kiss.
“Everybody has broached that subject — meaning, like, fans,” Singer shrugged. “I’m sure you guys have heard comments through the years, the past few years, by people saying, ‘Oh, I can see Kiss without Gene and Paul.’ Me personally, I’m not saying it’s not possible, but I doubt it will be with me. … What I mean is I don’t think I would wanna do that. That’s what I’m saying.”
Calling the duo “the main cogs in the machinery” of the band, he continued, “For me, the one constant has always been Gene and Paul; they’ve always been the principal songwriters and the main vocalists — that’s just the way it’s always been. Every record, they’ve done the majority of that. And there’s a reason for that. And it’s not to take away from the talents and abilities of other people.”
Saying the prospect of playing in a version of Kiss that doesn’t include both Simmons and Stanley “doesn’t sound inviting,” Singer was quick to add that his feelings may not be shared by the guys running the show. “I don’t know what the future’s gonna hold for Kiss when Gene or Paul, or both of them, decide that they don’t want to do it anymore, if they’re going to try to create a whole new Kiss and put together some kind of a show that’s Kiss themed and it’s called Kiss but it’s really nobody that’s ever been in the band before. So I don’t know,” he admitted. “I guess the canvas is clear and wide open for what the future may hold.”
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