KISS members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons were interviewed by the KBAD 94.5 FM radio station prior to the band’s special February 11 unmasked and unplugged concert at the Badlands in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. You can now watch the chat below.
Asked why KISS decided to remove the makeup for some of its recent acoustic shows, Stanley said: “It’s something we don’t do often, but KISS is steeped in a school that says that a great song should be great if played on one guitar or on piano. We come from a school that’s probably born out of things like Cole Porter or Irving Berlin, through the Brill Building. The Brill Building was a legendary building in New York where all the greatest songwriters of the ’50s and ’60s wrote all the hits that you still hear on the radio. Carole King and Gerry Goffin were writers there. Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich. These people wrote everything from ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin” to ‘The Locomotion’ to ‘Mashed Potatoes’ to ‘Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow’ on Broadway. And THE BEATLES followed that whole realm, which was a great song doesn’t need anything but an instrument to be played on. So a long answer to a short question, this is just a chance for us to go up and play the songs stripped down, where you hear, really, the meat… And you don’t need all the pyro. That’s another aspect of what we do. When we did MTV ‘Unplugged’, it was heralded, and it surprised a lot of people just how good those songs are. And we’re not half bad; we can play and sing. Look, you can’t last forty-plus years just because of makeup and smoke pots. Sooner or later, people are gonna realize it’s about music.”
KISS kicked off its “Freedom To Rock” tour on July 4 with in Tucson, Arizona. The trek will hit 40 cities through the summer — many of them places that the band has either never played or hasn’t played in years.