Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley bash original KISS members

Simmons and Stanley: respect Kiss...or get out!
Simmons and Stanley: respect Kiss...or get out! (Image credit: John Vizcaino/Reuters/Corbis)

Kiss are about to release Sonic Boom, their first studio album in 11 years. But don't think Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley are missing original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss - the two say their 1996 reunion was a disaster.

In two separate interviews Simmons and Stanley don't mention Frehley and Criss by name, but they spare no expense when it comes to criticizing the bandmates that helped make Kiss a rock institution.

Speaking to the Detroit Free Press, Stanley says, "What I learned towards the end of the farewell was, I didn't want to say farewell to Kiss - I wanted to say farewell to some of the members.

People were "delusional," says Stanley

"I didn't want to say farewell to Kiss - I wanted to say farewell to some of the members" Paul Stanley

"It was magical at the beginning," he continues. "But ultimately the only magic I wanted was to make certain people disappear. It had the potential to be much more than a reuinion tour but it quickly became clear it couldn't progress."

Continuing with his tirade, Stanley says, "I think we had people who were delusional about their songwriting and musical abilities. There was an unfortunate carryover of bad habits that people had sworn they'd never do again.

"It's strange when people come back to a band nothing but grateful, with promises they've learned from their mistakes - and as soon as they have money in their pocket they quickly develop amnesia."

Simmons lets loose

"When you defile Kiss, you should be thrown out" Gene Simmons

For his part, Gene Simmons, in an interview with the Detroit News, backs up Stanley's views: "Family is the most important thing? No it's not - love, respect and discipline is the most important thing. If your father abuses the family, kick him out. Blood is thicker than water? No it's not - self-respect, discipline and honesty are the most important things.

"Love, respect and have pride for the band you're in," Simmons continues. "When we get up on stage that's holy ground. No one on that stage, me or anyone else, wears the makeup and platform heels by some kind of birthright. You've got to earn it - and when you defile Kiss, you should be thrown out."

Speaking of members who apparently 'defiled' Kiss, check out Ace Frehley in MusicRadar's 29 Les Paul Legends: part 1.

Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar WorldGuitar PlayerMusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.