By WALLACE IMMEN
In an exclusive interview with AvidCruiser.com, Gene Simmons tells why the legendary band KISS will become the Kings of the Night Time World on a cruise of the Carnival Destiny that starts Oct. 13 from Miami and returns Oct. 17. The Rock and Roll Party for four nights, includes two full concerts by KISS and performances by other top rock bands including Skid Row, The Envy, Bad City and Craig Gass. And there will be Room Service after you Rock and Roll All Nite and party every day on Half Moon Cay and Nassau in the Bahamas.
We’ve all got Great Expectations, Gene, what made you decide to take KISS to sea? The KISS Kruise is a chance for all of us — the band and the fans — to have a ball. Just let your hair down and not worry about it at all. Kiss has always been about breaking the rules. We’ve never liked that moat — the stage — separating the band from the fans. So whenever we do a show, we try to take the action right to your face. A cruise will let the fans get up close. We try to take it inside you, we want you to smell it and taste it and feel it.
Is this the first time you’ve ever been to sea? No, not technically. For our TV show we went as guests of the United States Navy and we landed on the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz. We had a lot of security there. The Navy even had some nuclear powered missiles underneath us.
Are the fans going to get to interact with you on the cruise? We’re going to have a deck up top to ourselves and we will certainly want to bring up fans. It may to a little difficult to get down to the lower levels and hang out a lot, because you’ve got 3,000 people on board, who are basically going to shred you to pieces. It’s all appreciated of course, and I say all this with tongue in cheek — I don’t mean my tongue in your cheek, but you know what I mean. The real idea of this cruise is to have fun. Everything about Kiss is over the top. Everything about it is meant to really make every day we have above ground a fun day.
Will you be bringing the family? That’s still not clear. We’re going to have some fun shows that will be interactive with the fans, to make them feel like family. We are going to have our own deck and fans are going to be able to come up by invitation. We’ll be doing an Unplugged show for the fans to make requests and we’ll also be doing a Kiss production show in full war paint. There will be limits. We like a lot of pyrotechnic effects and with limited space, you can’t blow lots of things up on the ship. But we’ll do the best we can. We’ll cram the act full of everything we can.
What’s going to be new? At the same time we’re on the cruise, we’ll be recording our new album of new studio material. It’s only band written, no outside writers. Paul (Stanley) is producing again and we’re calling it Monster.
So are we going to get a preview of your new album on the cruise? That could happen. We try not to make too many rigid plans. It’s like we’re invited to a party and we don’t want to make plans. We just want to let the party happen on this cruise and just take requests from the fans. We’ll just try to have a lot of fun and not plan it out too much. I don’t know anyone who brings a list of 10 things they’re going to do at a party and what time they’re going to be doing them, do you? That’s not the kind of party I want to go to. Of course, the one show is a full production number and that we have to have pretty planned out. But the other will be Unplugged, which is forget about it all and let it happen.
Are any new songs going to be inspired by the trip? Maybe. We’re going to be doing obscure stuff and we’ll make some of it up as we go along. We tend to let the words and the riffs come naturally when we’re inspired by something. And sometimes you just write songs because the words sound cool and you don’t worry about the story. I have no idea what’s going to come out of the experience and to me, that’s exciting. There will certainly be songs that we don’t do on tour. In our catalog we’ve released 45 — or is it 48 albums — about 30 of them studio records. That’s certainly enough material to make it a lot of fun.
Are you guaranteeing calm seas and sunny weather? That’s a good question. I am the God of Thunder after all. We certainly hope we’ll have great weather. We’re going to be in the Bahamas which is usually calm. We don’t want one of those hurricanes, but I’m told the Bahamas is usually calm and comfortable sailing. I am guaranteeing everyone will have a great time. I’d love to talk more, but I’m getting the sign that I’ve got a film crew ready to follow me. Every day is like that. I gotta go.
Thank you so much. Good luck.
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