Over the course of his four decades as the God of Thunder, Kiss’ Gene Simmons has engaged in countless beefs with everybody from his former bandmates to file-sharers to Anonymous to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Now, the Kiss bassist has a new enemy: The Black Lips. In a Huffington Post Q&A with Simmons, the Atlanta noise rockers hijacked the interview by demanding that Simmons and his Kiss Army finally surrender.
“Mr. Simmons! We’re here to tell you that the day of misogynistic, sexist rock & roll is over! We call for the complete and utter surrender of the Kiss Army,” the Black Lips’ Jack Hines yells in guerilla Kiss-styled makeup. “Lay down your guitars! Do you accept our terms of surrender?”
Initially, it seemed as though Huffington Post declined to have Simmons respond to the Black Lips’ video – “Our questions for @genesimmons got rejected for @HuffingtonPost. Painted our faces for nothing,” the band tweeted – but perhaps upon realizing that these three dudes with their faces painted and screaming like the Ultimate Warrior were actually a well-known rock band, HuffPo confronted the Kiss bassist with the Black Lips’ video.
“Yes. I surrender entirely. And I wanted to compliment your mom for the wonderful way that she designed the decorations in the basement that she lets you live in. I think it’s very attractive,” Simmons responded. “I hope you get to leave your mom’s basement soon. Remember: Learn to speak English. Good education, that will help. I did it, you can too.” After being informed that these are the Black Lips and not just three random guys wearing makeup and living in their mom’s basement, Simmons unwisely remarks, “But they’re not black, what are they… racist? Why are they calling themselves ‘black’?”
The “learn to speak English” line was in reference to outspoken comments Simmons made earlier in the interview concerning illegal immigrants. “You don’t want to upset anybody by saying, ‘Learn to speak goddamn English.’ So, as an immigrant, I’m telling you: learn to speak goddamn English,” Simmons told the Huffington Post. “It is the key that will unlock the keys to the kingdom. If you make the effort then all the possibilities of this culture will open up for you and give you all the rewards that I’ve gotten… Of course it’s difficult but why should it be easy? How about this: if Siri can’t understand you, you’re in trouble.” Why Simmons opted to give the same advice to the obviously English-speaking Black Lips is unclear.