A KISS goodbye: A Q&A with Paul Stanley

This is "the ultimate KISS show," band co-founder Paul Stanley tells C-VILLE about the band's End of the Road World Tour, which stops into John Paul Jones Arena Friday, February 7. Publicity photo by Jen Rosenstein This is “the ultimate KISS show,” band co-founder Paul Stanley tells C-VILLE about the band’s End of the Road World Tour, which stops into John Paul Jones Arena Friday, February 7. Publicity photo by Jen Rosenstein

They’ve shown us everything they’ve got, kept us dancing while the room got hot. They’ve driven us wild, we’ve driven them crazy. KISS has taken us for a spin, but now the party’s winding down, and for one last time, they’re letting us in: The legendary hard rockers play John Paul Jones Arena Friday, on their End of the Road World Tour.

In advance of the show, we spoke with band co-founder and “Black Diamond” and “Detroit Rock City” songwriter Paul Stanley—aka The Starchild—about 40-plus years of rocking and rolling all night, his makeup removal routine, fan stories that rock his world, and whether or not this really is the end of the road for the band.


 

C-VILLE: This is your last tour. What song will you be happy to never play again?

Paul Stanley: I’m thrilled with every song we play. My point of view is, if you’re tired of playing a song, it’s probably not a good song. Some of these songs come from 45 years ago, or even longer, and they’ve stood the test of time because they’re that good. And for me to not give them the respect that they deserve, would be me being undeserving of those songs. I’m thrilled to play “Rock & Roll All Nite.” I’m thrilled to play “Love Gun.” I’m thrilled to play “God of Thunder,” “Detroit Rock City,” and on and on and on. So, those songs are rallying cries for us and our audience. Our connection to our audience is so strong because we never lose sight of wanting to please them. And on this final tour, this is the ultimate KISS show. It’s bombastic. It’s over two hours of all the songs you want to hear. It’s a unique opportunity to know that this is the last time. Many times in life, we all find ourselves losing someone, or losing something, and saying, “If I had only known, I would have done something different.” Well, instead of going out with a whimper, we’re going out with a bang! And this is a victory lap where we all get together—because it’s like a congregation of everyone cheering for what we’ve accomplished. And by “we,” I mean us and the fans.

What song will you most miss playing?

I love ’em all. And again, it’s important to note that this is the end of touring. The band isn’t necessarily disappearing into thin air. It’s just reached a time where touring, and doing 100 shows in seven months, which is what we’ve done so far, is just…it’s just too demanding and time-consuming, when there’s other things to do in life.

The band put together a book of official KISS memorabilia (KISS: The Hottest Brand in the Land)…but I’m curious, what’s the coolest or most bizarre piece of fan-made KISS swag you’ve seen?

Oh my gosh! That’s an interesting question. I don’t know that off the top of my head, that I can come out with a particular piece. But, I’m always just taken by how many people I get to meet who tell me that KISS was instrumental in them becoming lawyers, doctors, getting off drugs, staying out of prison, the list goes on and on—becoming a famous musician. The fact that we can serve as inspiration without preaching, is probably the most powerful way you can influence somebody, [and that’s done] by leading by example. And we’ve always done that, by not being limited by the boundaries or limitations of other bands. When we started this band out, we were facing incredible odds, but, you find out how much something is worth to you by how hard you’re willing to work for it. So, hard work is how you achieve things. If you think you’re just going to win the lottery, the chances of that are slim and none.

What’s your preferred brand of makeup remover?

I think it’s Dermalogic. It’s better than sandpaper, that’s for sure.

KISS did a farewell tour 20 years ago [ed. note: with the original lineup of Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss]. Why should we believe you this time?

Well, because the writing’s on the wall: We’re 20 years older, for starters. And secondly, the first time we did a farewell tour, it was ill-conceived. The idea that we should let two members who were making us—meaning Gene and I—miserable, and compromising the band, shouldn’t be a reason for calling it quits. We have always believed that the band is bigger and stronger than any individual members, and we suddenly got caught up in the idea of putting the horse down instead of just getting rid of a couple of the jockeys.

Has your costume ever gotten in your way of shredding a sick riff? I imagine that studs and sequins and chest hair don’t exactly mix. And then you add platform shoes….

You know, I have to say, if you complain about any of the above, then it’s like complaining about taxes when you win the grand sweepstakes. I won, and I have no complaints.


KISS plays John Paul Jones Arena Friday, February 7. David Lee Roth (of Van Halen fame) opens.

Posted In:     Arts

Tags:     , ,

Previous Post

ARTS Pick: KISS

Next Post

Album reviews: Green-House, Myke Towers, Ben Krakauer, and Doja Cat



Our comments system is designed to foster a lively debate of ideas, offer a forum for the exchange of ad hoc information, and solicit honest, respectful feedback about the work we do. We’re glad you’re participating. Here are a few simple rules to follow, which should be relatively straightforward.

1) Don’t call people names or accuse them of things you cannot support.
2) Don’t direct foul language, racial slurs, or offensive terms at other commenters or our staff.
3) Don’t use the discussion on our site for commercial (or shameless personal) promotion.

We reserve the right to remove posts and ban commenters who violate any of the rules listed above, or the spirit of the discussion. We’re trying to create a safe space for a wide range of people to express themselves, and we believe that goal can only be achieved through thoughtful, sensitive editorial control.

If you have questions or comments about our policies or about a specific post, please send an e-mail to editor@c-ville.com.

8
Leave a Reply

avatar
5 Comment threads
3 Thread replies
8 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
7 Comment authors
Robert CreegaScott WalmerRichard A WestDavid CarrizalesAndrew Halkett Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Gamera
Guest
Gamera

Can Paul Stanley answer any question at all without giving a long-winded deep speech?

Brian
Guest

Why did they get so greedy with there ticket prices? They put it out of reach for this 40 year fan😡

Richard A West
Guest
Richard A West

no different than any other bands prices and less then some.

Robert Creega
Guest
Robert Creega

I got 2 seats on the floor about 20 rows from the stage for $110 each. Took my 11 year old son and we had a blast. I think the price was fair. Roger Waters for 2 tickets in the 1st level were $550

Andrew Halkett
Guest
Andrew Halkett

Is there plans to come back and do the Australian & New Zealand legs of EOR tour
I understand reason for canceling but there are thousand upon thousands of disappointed fans down under

David Carrizales
Member
David Carrizales

Best show ever”?!? No its not Paul long winded deep speech Stanley. Talk about over staying a welcome please just go away!

Richard A West
Guest
Richard A West

agree

Scott Walmer
Guest
Scott Walmer

PAUL STANLEY IS PURE KLASS. I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO MEET HIM. I AM A HUGE FAN, AND I WAS VERY NERVOUS AND EXCITED TO MEET THE BAND. HE MUST HAVE SENSED THIS, BECAUSE HE REACTED VERY GRACIOUSLY. I HAD A MILLION THINGS TO SAY, TO ASK, BUT WHEN I STOOD IN FRONT OF THE BAND MY MIND IMPLODED. ALL I COULD THINK TO SAY IS ” I HUMBLY REQUEST TO BE A KNIGHT IN THE KISS ARMY!”. PAUL TOLD ME TO KNEEL AND GRANTED MY WISH. HE ACTUALLY SAID “GRANTED.” THEN HE DOUBLE FIST BUMPED ME AND TURNED ME… Read more »