During an interview with the “Karlson & McKenzie” show on Boston’s WZLX 100.7 FM radio station, former KISS guitarist Ace Frehley was asked about the possibility of the band one day carrying on without any original members, including main songwriter Paul Stanley.
“That’s the most ridiculous statement I’ve ever heard [Stanley and KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons] make,” Ace said (hear audio below). “I think the only reason they make those statements at this juncture is to try to validate the fact that they have two other guys in the band that aren’t the original members. So they’re trying to rationalize to the fans, ‘Well, you know, we replaced Peter [Criss, original KISS drummer] and we replaced Ace, and eventually we’re gonna replace ourselves. That’s like [THE ROLLING STONES singer] Mick Jagger saying, ‘Yeah, after me and Keith [Richards, THE ROLLINGS STONES guitarist] die, THE STONES will continue on with two other guys.’ I mean, it’s a joke.”
It was back in 2005 that KISS manager manager Doc McGhee first told the New York Times that the group had “been toying with the idea of recruiting an entire band to… don the band’s famous makeup.” McGhee said, “KISS is more like Doritos or Pepsi, as far as a brand name is concerned. They’re more characters than the individual person. I think (new members) have a legitimate chance to carry the franchise.”
Simmons didn’t necessarily disagree with that idea. He told Launch that the concept of original members isn’t widely held by fans, and it isn’t really accurate anyway. “There’s no question that there’s a core of fans — five-10 percent, my sense is — who believe in original members,” he said. “And yet, when you look at original members, THE BEATLES are not original members — Ringo is not an original member; THE [ROLLING] STONES — barely. You know, they’ve had so many members come and go, but it’s the STONES; and AC/DC‘s aren’t original members; and VAN HALEN; and JOURNEY…you go down the list of every — almost every band you can think of.”
In a 2012 interview with The San Diego Union-Tribute, Stanley reaffirmed KISS‘ intention to continue after he and Gene Simmons depart.
“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.”