Paul Stanley knows that Kiss’ recent avatar announcement was met with skepticism and outright hostility by some fans — and he’s here to assure them that the idea still has plenty of kinks to be ironed out.
The face-painted rockers revealed their plans to continue as a virtual band at their (alleged) final in-person show on Dec. 2 at New York’s Madison Square Garden. “The end of this road is the beginning of another road,” Stanley announced onstage before avatar versions of the band appeared on screen with the message: “A new era begins.”
The Kiss avatars are expected to make their proper debut in 2027. Until then, Stanley and his cohort will be busy exploring the opportunities of this new medium.
“One thing that’s interesting is people, I think, perhaps even understandably, got the wrong impression initially of the avatars,” the Starchild tells UCR. “Because at the Garden shows, we wanted to give people a glimpse of some of the things, or one of the things, that’s to come. But the avatars are really in their infancy. They’re far from where they’ll end up in terms of look and purpose. The purpose, ultimately, is not that we’re being replaced by flying avatars. It’s just another way of diversifying what Kiss is.”
READ MORE: 5 Weird Things About Kiss’ Final Concert
This wasn’t the first time that Kiss — consummate trailblazers and savvy businessmen that they are — has polarized fans with an announcement. “Quite honestly, many times in the last 50 years, people have scratched their heads about what our plans were,” Stanley says. “And nine out of 10 times they’ve been successful, and other people have followed. So that’s nothing really new.
“We’re in a fortunate position and a unique position of being a band that can do things that other bands can’t do,” the singer and guitarist continues. “So to not explore and take advantage of many of them would be, I don’t know, ridiculous, and also, really, at this point, mystifying. We’ve worked this hard to create four icons, and a band that’s iconic in so many different ways, and to not diversify and maximize what we’ve created, we’d be crazy.”
Kiss’ Post-Touring Plans
Just because Kiss has formally reached the end of their in-person touring career doesn’t mean the band members will cease performing or working on other artistic endeavors. Gene Simmons just announced his first post-Kiss solo show for April 26 at the Summer Breeze festival in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Stanley, meanwhile, will premiere his newest art series, “The Other Side,” next month. The collection features 16 new pieces including original paintings, hand-painted signature Ibanez guitars, mixed-media originals and limited-edition metalworks. Stanley will show off his works on Feb. 23 at Hollywood, Florida’s Wentworth Gallery and Feb. 24 at the Boca Raton Town Center Mall in Florida.
Stanley is adamant that he “[doesn’t] want to try to replicate Kiss” if he plots solo excursions in the future. “It’s so special and unique that it can only fail if the idea is to duplicate that. So that doesn’t have any appeal to me. I guess I would have to figure [out]: What does appeal to me? And that’s still up in the air. Certainly at this point, and it always has been the case, it has to come down to: What makes me happy? If it doesn’t make me happy, the happiness it might bring somebody else is gonna be hollow for me.”
For now, Stanley will keep working on the things that do make him happy, including Kiss’ avatar afterlife — and fans will simply have to trust the band’s vision. “I think that any confusion will be put to rest,” he says, “and I would hope nobody will lose sleep over it.”
Kiss Solo Albums Ranked Worst to Best
Counting down solo albums released by various members of Kiss.
Gallery Credit: Matthew Wilkening