“I believe that KISS can go on forever. I believe that there is a way — and we are talking to people and we’re pretty close to getting it done — about finding the four new members of KISS.”
What makes more sense for the money making machine, the ultimate capitalist band that is KISS, than perpetuating the legacy by finding four new members to keep the cash raking in? In the day of American Idol and the fascination with competitive “reality” television shows, nothing sounds like a better business move than a televised search for the next line-up of the band. And if you ask Gene Simmons, that’s exactly the approach they’re taking, this from Blabbermouth.net:
During a familiar rant by Simmons about how KISS could go on forever, Stig Karlsen of Norway’s NRK asked jokingly if the band would consider looking for replacements for Simmons and Stanley in a TV show, similar to programs like “Rock Star” and “American Idol”.
“The answer is yes. The deal has just been signed,” Simmons replied. “It’s coming soon.”
Surprisingly enough, aside from the American Idol approach, I think the idea is fantastic and a long time coming. I used to have a similar concept for Rob Zombie. Think about it, how cool would it be to have a “Zombie mantle”, if you will, that is passed down from generation to generation? The idea of the immortally undead music artist would be a constant presence in music and you’d have an icon that continually developed and conformed its product for modern rock. As music trends changed and recording technologies improved Rob Zombie’s moniker would enjoy continued relevance as his various successors make music for the varying stages of the future’s debaucherous young people.
Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I should share with you that this whole idea came from my adolescent desires to be any one of numerous rock frontmen. Phil Anselmo, Rob Zombie, Mike Patton, all were the objects of idol worship. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that I somehow conjured up a way to actually replace Rob Zombie once he got too old to holler out “Meet the Creeper” or “I Am Legend”.
I was a fan of KISS (briefly) when I was younger as well. I’m a sucker for a good gimmick and, as with many teenagers before me, the painted face and over-the-top stage antics hooked me. Growing up in the 90′s however didn’t do the senescence of their music any favors. I had my classic rock favorites (Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, to name a few) but whereas those bands’ sound seemed immortalized and never obsolete, this wasn’t the case for KISS. Their sound is incredibly dated, not to mention targeted almost exclusively toward “rocking out”. In that pursuit, the newer and younger bands will always have the upper hand. So I eventually realized that I liked the idea of KISS more than the music itself and often wished that they had made something a little more modern to offer than “Lick It Up”. As I grew older still, I discovered the true motivation of the band’s aging members (money) and that killed the KISS mystique for me completely.
But this idea of revitalizing the mythos with four new, younger members is a stellar idea, even if it is just to upgrade the cash producing contrivance that is America’s greatest experiment in music marketing.
Imagine if Simmons and the many corporate hands involved in this project could actually find some talented musicians during this unceremoniously bastardized passing of the torch? What does a music industry with a relevant manifestation of KISS look like in this day and age? The new members are almost certainly chained to making pop hits a la 3 Doors Down or Train but would that kind of music be consumed by the target demographic when it’s offered by four aspiring pop stars dressed in leather and kabuki make-up? Or perhaps the targeted audience isn’t the TRL (is that show even still on?) crowd at all. Perhaps they aim more for the MTV2 Headbanger’s Ball clique and produce some Bullet For My Valentine type metal.
I’m becoming so intrigued with this prospect, I may just try out. I’ve had experience in band’s before. Granted, I can’t play an instrument and used to scream out songs with titles like “Beef Curtains” but c’mon, those kind of details can’t really be important can they? Simmons isn’t looking for the next Ace Frehley to dawn the mask, he’s looking for a marketable product. This is simply a darker version of Making the Band and damnit, like the founding members of KISS, I have what it takes:
A lack of talent, dignity, and an uncompromising lust for money and my fifteen minutes of fame.
Yeah, rock ‘n’ roll baby.