KISS won't be going on a farewell tour anytime soon, Gene Simmons assures, but fans of the iconic rock band have a different kind of tour to look forward to.
The co-founder of KISS told PopCulture.com exclusively that there are no plans for a reunion tour, but he is right now traveling the world hand delivering his brand new box set, "Gene Simmons - The Vault Experience: 1966-2016."
An imposing 3 feet tall and with 167 previously unreleased songs spanning 50 years, The Vault is both literally and figuratively, the "largest of all time."
"If you started playing 167 tunes that were never released and didn't take a poopy break, you would be listening to from 10 to 11 hours straight," he told PopCulture.
Never-before-heard songs featuring Bob Dylan, Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Eddie Van Halen and many more are included in the box set, along with a book of his own private pictures and a piece of KISS memorabilia from his private collection. Oh, and did he mention he's hand delivering these massive treasure chests to fans?
"When I was a kid, neither The Beatles or Elvis Presley ever walked up to me and said, 'Gene, thanks so much for making my life possible, so check out my new record,'" Simmons told PopCulture of delivering the box sets by hand. "It's my bucket list, because I'm the luckiest son of a b— who ever walked the planet."
He continued: "I came to America when I was 8 1/2 years old, I couldn't speak English or anything, and I never imagined America would embrace me and allow me to scale the heights."
Each of the songs in the box set was professionally recorded and expertly transferred from the fragile source material, Simmons said, maintaining the original character of the music.
"I'm not a fan of digital by the way," he told PopCulture. "It just doesn't sound as cool as the original source material."
"When you play stuff from The Cloud, it just sounds like a ghost of what music is," he added. "There's no warmth, there's no chest-thumping bass, there's no crack of the snare drum."
The state of musicianship is a lot different than it was when Simmons was just embracing his rock n' roll destiny, with the record industry in "complete chaos" due to streaming and illegal downloads.
"I blame legislation, the lawmakers for allowing that to happen, and the fans, I blame them for not supporting new music," Simmons told PopCulture. "It doesn't affect me; we have millions of fans and do very well. But new artists don't have a chance. They think they'll just get on American Idol and The Voice and that's all you'll need. All of the sudden you'll have a career. It's not that simple."
The few artists he thinks of coming out of those reality shows — Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Kellie Pickler — are all in country, which Simmons said is where the best singers and songwriters are right now.
As for his own hit reality series, Gene Simmons Family Jewels? The rocker had a cryptic answer when asked about the possibility of a reboot.
"They've been talking about it for years," he told PopCulture. "Here's what happens — the farmer plants a seed for an apple tree and somebody comes by and says, 'Can I have an apple?' They don't understand the process."
Fans of Simmons in Nashville, Tennessee can meet the rock legend on Saturday, April 14, at InDo Nashville, 632 Fogg St., as he hand delivers "Gene Simmons - The Vault Experience: 1966-2016" box sets, answers questions and takes photos with fans.
"Gene Simmons - The Vault Experience: 1966-2016" is a comprehensive box set of Gene's solo material that comes packaged in a safe. The set includes 150 previously unreleased songs spread over 10 discs, a leather-bound photo book, a Gene Simmons action figure, an "In Gene We Trust" gold medallion and a "surprise item."3comments
For more info, visit genesimmonsvault.com.
Photo credit: Facebook/Gene Simmons