Gene Simmons didn’t get into rock ‘n’ roll for the companionship.
The KISS rocker, 73, has had a successful career as a collaborative member of a band, but opened up about his preferences for solitude in the Oct/Nov 2022 issue of Goldmine magazine, on stands now.
“Even today as I sit here, other than Paul [Stanley]and we only get together when we do stuff for the band… How do I say this without sounding inhuman? I don’t have friends,” Simmons told Ken Sharp of Goldmine.
He continued: “Yeah, if friends means, ‘Gee, I don’t know what I’m going to do this afternoon. Hey, you want to come over and hang out?’ I’m more interested in what I want to do, and I don’t want to pretend that I’m interested in what you want to do because I am not.”
Despite Simmons’ solo tendencies, he and Stanley, 70, have been a team for decades — even if their initial meeting didn’t exactly go smoothly.
“I didn’t like him,” Stanley told Oprah Winfrey in 2014 of meeting Simmons. “I thought he was full of himself, opinionated, brash, insulting… Gene’s first comment to me was, ‘Oh, I hear you write. Play me something.’ He was a bit smug and arrogant and full of himself, and nothing has changed!”
Of course, the two eventually joined forces, and with KISS, released dozens of albums and sold more than 100 million records. Simmons and Stanley, along with bandmates Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014 .
“Look, the fact that we’re together 40 years is a testament… actually, we’ve been together 44 years,” Stanley told Winfrey. “It’s like a marriage. And, thankfully, I never see him without his clothes .”
Simmons has also had a decades-long partnership with actress and model Shannon Tweed, whom he married in 2011 after nearly 30 years of dating. The musician and Tweed, 65, share son Nick, 33, and daughter Sophie, 30.
KISS is currently on their End of the Road farewell tour, which they announced over the summer that they’d be extending “for another 100 cities.” Future dates have not been announced.