‘If it ever comes down to it, I am Kiss’: Paul Stanley says he would continue by himself

Paul Stanley acknowledges that Kiss’ 1990s reunion with Ace Frehley and Peter Criss helped the band roar into a new century, despite the subsequent rifts. Also, that his issues with Gene Simmons were greater perhaps than anyone knew.

But, no matter the drama, he says Kiss will continue — if for no other reason than Stanley’s own drive and determination. “Kiss would always be around, because if it ever comes down to it, I am Kiss,” Stanley tells Paste. “I don’t mean that with disregard to Gene. It ultimately means that no matter what anyone does, I covet this band and will keep it going.”

Certainly, that was the case in the 1980s, as Criss and Frehley split and then Simmons wandered away from the day-to-day operation of Kiss. Stanley says that even Simmons recognizes Stanley’s more central leadership role ever since. “Oh yeah, he acknowledges it now probably more than before,” Stanley says, “because I think he’s more comfortable in his own skin.

As for the rockier moments with Stanley and Simmons?: “I don’t even want to say moments — we haven’t had moments, we’ve had weeks and months. Years,” Stanley adds. “At the end of the day, both of us have always been about trying to do what’s best for the band. But, look, you know, a strong relationship gets tested from time to time.”

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