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Jammin with KYSS

Tribute bands are always a huge hit at local venues and Cincy has its own KISS tribute band comprised of super talented musicians from both original and cover bands. The Cincy KISS tribute KYSS is a show that certainly warrants great attention. We sat down with KYSS members and hit them hard with our ten questions.

Q. Tribute bands are hot commodities across the globe. Some bands are easy to cover, others much harder. KISS involves more than just the music, it’s also the show. How in-depth is the reproduction?

*Jean Simmonz: Lights, sequins, blood, candles…. even spitting fireballs when they let us. We give it the whole 9 yards!
*Paul Stanlee: With each show, it becomes more in-depth. We’re always adding something!
*Space Frehley: Ack!
*Peeter Chriss: The one thing I’m really proud of is how well we pull off the songs. I’ve seen several KISS tributes that look great, but when it comes to the tunes, as Space said already: Ack! I really think of anyone out there doing this, musically, we can’t be beat. I think our song selection is better, too, but what the f@ck do I know? I’m just the drummer…

Q. Some tributes merely mimic, others strive to repeat the real experience. Gene Simmons has claimed to have “had” 14,000 female fans. Are you guys working on matching that reputed record? If so, how?

*Jean Simmonz: (sticks out tongue, licks chops, smiles)
*Paul Stanlee: Absolutely! We use Axe™ deodorant!
*Space Frehley: I’ve never been one to mess with numbers, I have plans though. Space plans.
*Peeter Chriss: I definitely encourage it. You’ve got Nothin’ To Lose w/ the Catman!

Q. Speaking of Gene, how long is KYSS’s bass player’s tongue? Has it been modified?

*Jean Simmonz: Although no cows were harmed in the making, my tongue has been modified through a careful training regimen. I feed it a steady diet of Cold Gin and virgin souls. I am a Doctor, after all.
*Paul Stanlee: (laughs)
*Space Frehley: Long enough to reach you from over here! Better watch what you say, mister.
*Peeter Chriss: I don’t think anyone but us have any idea how close Jean really is to the real thing…in *every* way…(laughs)

Q. The KYSS drummer Jamie Combs is not only a percussionist virtuoso, he’s a mad man with many musical irons in the fire. Pink Floyd/Grateful Dead tribute guitarist (WISH YOU WERE HERE/SUGAR MAGNOLIA), drummer for 4TH DAY ECHO, plus his acoustic duo, STONEY DOPERELLA, in addition to performing solo and with anyone else who will have him. If I have to write for this rag, go to the post office and the bank I need a nap. How the hell do you do it?

*Paul Stanlee: We *all* do it, not just Mr. Virtuoso. Would you like a towel?
*Space Frehley: He’s a cool Cat. All of us work our tails off at this music thing. We don’t do it for the mad pay scale, that’s for sure. We do it because it’s what we do.
*Peeter Chriss: Who the hell is this “Jamie” guy I keep hearing about? Sounds like a show off to me…

Q. KISS costumes are a staple of the show. How does one go about rounding up all the proper KISS wear (especially the boots!)?
*Paul Stanlee: Lots of time spent on the internet, at craft stores and at home constructing everything from scratch.
*Space Frehley: Same way the original KISS did it. Go out, buy the raw materials and make it happen.
*Peeter Chriss: Who’s in costume? Hell, I sleep in my leotard…

Q. Has any band members came home in full costume & make up, then got down & dirty with the misses? If so, is there a video?

*Jean Simmonz: Who waits to go home?
*Paul Stanlee: Your misses. She has the video.
*Space Frehley: There’s only one Doctor Of Love…
*Peeter Chriss: Those roses I hand out during ‘Beth’? Those are the equivalent of VIP backstage passes to hook up w/ me after the show… but, that also includes a non-disclosure clause upon pain or death…

Q. Of all the tribute bands to date, KISS has to be one of the most overthe- top in performance. Did it all come natural or did it take practice and study? *Jean Simmonz: I refined my air guitar technique 2 weeks after ‘Destroyer’ was released. Now it’s just muscle memory.

*Paul Stanlee: We’ve been studying our whole lives, but a couple practices were needed.
*Space Frehley: I don’t like practice. If it doesn’t come naturally, I don’t do it.
*Peeter Chriss: I just hit things, man…

Q. Have you ever considered opening for KYSS as GWAR? How many readers know who GWAR is?

*Jean Simmonz: The King Diamond and New York Dolls tributes are first. Where do you even get all of that fake blood and semen?
*Paul Stanlee: We *are* GWAR! Who told *you*?!
*Space Frehley: Those dudes are from a totally different solar system than me. I’m not saying we don’t get along. Just that if we ever met, there may be an epic interstellar battle.
*Peeter Chriss: …since when have they used fake blood and semen?! I apparently need to have a discussion w/ Oderus about that one night in Detroit…

Q. KYSS has already enjoyed a fast ride to some great venues. Has the experience to date been as anticipated? How about the quality of the groupies? Are they 40ish KISS-era women re-living a dream or 20ish girls who were too young to ever see (or feel) a KISS tongue up close (but always wanted to)?

*Jean Simmonz: Everything looks better from 6” demon boots… and is,
*Paul Stanlee: It’s all happened pretty fast, but has been more fun than anticipated. Our groupies are mostly middle aged men.
*Space Frehley: Baby wants a blast, baby wants it fast! She wants a Rocket Ride ! I don’t care how old she is, as long as she is hot and she puts on her black leather.
*Peeter Chriss: The audiences have been great…and surprising! Everything from Original KISS Army members who have known every note and sang along to every lyric to 21 year old vixens looking for any excuse to party, dress up and Rock And Roll All Nite!

Q. Share with our readers a couple of KYSS’s most memorable moments on the road. Or at the hotel.

*Jean Simmonz: Rolling a GINORMOUS fireball across the roof of the bar at our second show. I was a little too amped up and took a bigger swig of the 151 than I had anticipated. Shocked that the sprinkler system didn’t go off…
*Paul Stanlee: At our first show’s after party, we had a bonfire consisting of only magazines that almost burnt down our accommodations. *Space Frehley: Every moment is a memorable one when you are doing what you love.
*Peeter Chriss: Who the hell is sober by the time the after party starts…?

KYSS’ next show is Saturday, November 30 @ J&B Tavern w/ special guest Devils Due