Kiss have done many outrageous things in their nearly 50-year career, from mixing their blood into the ink of comic books to selling airbrushed Kiss Kaskets as part of their beloved merchandise line. On November 18th, the hard rock icons will take their fire-breathing intensity overseas to the southern coast of Australia, where they’ll perform their first-ever concert for great white sharks.
“Airbnb approached us with this idea that sounded, quite frankly, a little weird, but we’re used to being approached with things that are a little weird,” Paul Stanley tells Rolling Stone. “I’ve played for a lot of land sharks. Now I finally get a chance to play for the ocean varieties.”
The concert marks the launch of Airbnb Animal Experiences, where tourists can interact with animals in their own environment while following World Animal Protection guidelines. At 6:30 am in Port Lincoln, Australia, eight guests will board a boat hosted by Matt Waller and shark expert Dr. Blake Chapman. They’ll descend underwater in a glass viewing hull, where they can observe the animals in their natural habitat.
Meanwhile, above on deck, Kiss will perform a scorching set that will be projected down into the water (Stanley guesses the sharks will enjoy “Lick It Up” and “I Want You”). Research indicates that great whites are attracted to low frequencies and pulsed sounds, even rock music. “It’s not like going to the zoo,” Stanley says. “You’re actually experiencing them in their home. If people don’t cooperate, they’ll be treated like chum and thrown to the sharks.”
Stanley hasn’t had many interactions with sharks before, but seeing Jaws in 1975 certainly kept him out of the water. “I’m much more apt to be in a pool than the ocean, but this time I’ve got nothing to be afraid of,” he says. “When the sharks see what I’m wearing, they’ll be afraid of me.” The lead singer says great whites and Kiss have one thing in common: “They’ll stop at nothing to get what they want. Once they have a goal in mind, they reach it.”
Out of the band’s four current members — Stanley, bassist Gene Simmons, drummer Eric Singer and guitarist Tommy Thayer — Stanley believes Simmons is the best swimmer. “Gene was once a lifeguard,” he says. “So yeah, I would say it’s probably Gene. And we may find out when we throw him in the water.”
Tickets for the performance are $50 per person and go on sale today at 6:00 pm EST. All proceeds will be donated to the Australian Marine Conservation Society.
Kiss are currently on their End of the Road farewell tour that began in January 2018. A final date has yet to be announced, but Stanley has an idea of when and where it will be. “We can’t be running around for that much longer in 40 pounds of gear,” he says. “There’s nothing maudlin about it. It’s a celebration with our fans around the world.”
“We wanted to raise the bar again as to what a band can do live,” he adds. “That’s really what we’ve always done: we’ve always wanted to be the band we never saw. There are a lot of shows out there that have Kiss DNA in them because they really weren’t shows of any magnitude before us.”