Kiss’ Paul Stanley Shares Honest Opinion on Gene Simmons, Explains Why He Didn’t Like Him When They Met

Sure, they might be a bit divisive in some ways, but Kiss is a band with an immense legacy and impact. If it wasn’t for them, rock and metal and even all of the guitar-oriented music wouldn’t be what they are today. Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss are of crucial importance to our favorite genres. We can say the same for all the other musicians who passed through the lineup.

KISS - Live Sydney 2022 - Full Show -1st Night - End Of The Road Tour

Now that they’re on their final tour, or what seems to be their final tour, Paul and Gene look back fondly on the old days. In a recent interview on Howie Mandel Does Stuff, Paul Stanley looked back on the time before Kiss was even formed. First reflecting on their current relationship and what it’s like, Stanley said (transcript via Ultimate Guitar):

“Gene’s my brother. I’ve been with Gene – we both lived at home when we started this. Now we’re older. We have families, we have the joy of seeing each other’s lives and what we’ve done.

“So do we always agree? Earlier on, we agreed less, but we were always about, ‘Let’s do what’s best for the band.’ It was never about trying to have your way because it’s your way.”

Discussing the topic further, Paul recalled meeting Gene back in the day. In fact, he recalls how he didn’t really like Gene at first. He said of the meeting:

“I’ve always been pretty pragmatic, whether it was life choices, even – look, when I met Gene, I didn’t like Gene. But I also realized that this wasn’t about that, it was about [that] I was better with him than without him.

“I came to my friend’s apartment, and he said, ‘Stan, meet Gene,’ and he said, ‘Gene, Stan writes songs too.’ And Gene said, ‘Oh yeah?’ Play me one.’ I was like, ‘Okay,’ and I played him one of my songs.

“And I think that was surprising to him because he thought Lennon and McCartney and Gene were like the only three people writing songs. And he played a song for me, which is long forgotten, but my song wound up on our first album.”

When the interviewer came to the topic of Gene’s very well-known ego, Paul said:

“Yes, he plays it for all its worth, but Gene, at heart, is a good, good person, who does more charity work than he lets people know. And again, he’s my brother. That’s different than saying, ‘Oh, somebody’s your best friend.’ He’s not my best friend. We don’t commiserate, and we don’t spend a lot of time together. But he would always be there for me.”

Photo: Raph_PH (KissO2110719-67 (48692779101) (cropped)), Toglenn (Gene Simmons 2012)


  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.