Interview: Gene Simmons Talks Religion & Rock Hall, Compares KISS Bandmates to Cancer
October is Metal Month at Radio.com. Throughout the month, we’ll have artist interviews as well as mini-documentaries about metal, metal fans and the birthplace of metal. And book reports: reading is fundamental, even for headbangers, and we’ll have reviews of some of the best recent metal biographies and retrospectives. Horns up! When we recently sat down with KISS frontman Gene Simmons, the topic of conversation at hand was the band’s new oral history, Nothin’ To Lose.As is often the case with Simmons, the conversation veered toward an array of colorful topics, as you can see in the video below.
You may have heard about his comments to us about Tim Tebow, whom Simmons was interested in signing to KISS’s new arena football team, L.A. KISS. He talked a bit Tebow’s faith, and more generally about faith: “I think religion is terrific, religion is good for mankind. Without the Ten Commandments,” he pauses to stress, “Jews gave you that,” and continues, “Without that, there’d be chaos. Here’s some good ideas, don’t steal and don’t kill. Those are good ideas. That’s called ‘civilization.’ Honor thy father and thy mother. That’s a good idea!”
Simmons fancies himself something of an expert in several religions and discusses a moment in his family’s TV show, Gene Simmons Family Jewels, where he schooled a priest who thought he wasn’t qualified to be a godfather to a child, because he is Jewish.
“The preacher was incorrect, he was baptizing and didn’t know that it all comes from the mikveh (a Jewish bathing ritual) and he, unfortunately, didn’t know the name of his savior, his Lord. He thought his name was ‘Jesus Christ.’ I said, ‘That’s incorrect.’ There was never a human being called ‘Jesus Christ.’ His mom and dad were not called Mr. and Mrs. Christ. Jesus, the Son of Joseph, that’s his name. ‘Christ’ was a title. So the preacher didn’t even know the name of the god he worshipped.”
Other than that, Gene courted controversy with a rather different crowd: his own bandmate — and one he’s actually on good terms with, at that. In Nothin’ To Lose, he says that guitarist Paul Stanley ripped off his idea for the classic “Detroit Rock City.”
— Brian Ives, Radio.com.