Kiss were a year into their End of the Road tour — which will supposedly be their last-ever big outing — when the coronavirus forced them to change their modus operandi. Last Monday, they decided to cancel their nightly meet-and-greets, where they shook hands and posed for pictures with a hundred or more fans a night. Toward the end of the week, they decided to postpone the last three dates of the North American leg of their tour “out of an abundance of caution” until October.
The trek is set to resume in El Salvador late next month (another North American run begins in August) and until then, the band members are enjoying some time at home. Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley checked in with Rolling Stone via email to report on how they’re spending their time off and just how seriously they want their fans to take the coronavirus.
What are you doing with your unexpected time at home?
Gene Simmons: Staying at home with [my wife] Shannon [Tweed]. Sometimes my children, Nick and Sophie, come by with food. Otherwise, we go hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains, where there are few other people. And, of course, it’s an opportunity to binge-watch all sorts of shows we would normally not get a chance to watch.
Paul Stanley: I’m watching news updates, playing the guitar, tweaking Soul Station album mixes, checking in on friends, and trying to keep things as normal and fun for my family.
What music do you turn to in times of crisis?
Simmons: Mostly, I turn to music that has a tug of the heart: “Crazy” by Patsy Cline, “I Can’t Stop Loving You” by Ray Charles. Stuff like that.
Stanley: I’ve been listening to a lot of Motown and Philly soul — Thom Bell and Linda Creed, Gamble and Huff, Holland-Dozier-Holland, Norman Whitfield — and classic rock.
What would you like to tell your fans?
Stanley: Be as safe as you can for your sake and the sake of everyone around you. This isn’t a time to be casual or make unqualified judgements. There’s far more to this than simply looking at recovery or mortality percentages. We’ll get through this.
Simmons: I would like to wish everyone good health and remind them that “the only way is the lonely way.” Just like your favorite TV show, you can assume everybody out there is a zombie, and one contact will turn you into a zombie. Stop hanging out with everybody. Stay at home, if you can. This too shall pass, but it will take a long time. It could last months and months. So get used to FaceTime, binge-watch your favorite shows, workout at home. And stay away from everybody else.