“Forever” Friends: Paul Stanley Discusses His Friendship with Gene Simmons, Reveals His Favorite Thing About His KISS Bandmate

After more than 50 years together, KISS wrapped up its touring career with a concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City on December 2, 2023. The band has been led since its inception by frontman Paul Stanley and bassist/singer Gene Simmons, and the two musicians not only are extremely successful business partners but the closest of friends.

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On a recent episode of The Alison Hagendorf Show, Stanley discussed his close band with Simmons, and revealed how often they’ve been in touch since the end of KISS’ End of the Road farewell tour.

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“We text almost every day. We check in with each other,” Stanley explained. “You know, ‘How’s the family?’ And it’s great. It really is family. I consider his kids like my kids, and watching what they do is really incredible. And [Gene’s wife] Shannon, she’s like my sister-in-law.”

Stanley Shares His Favorite Thing About Simmons

Host Alison Hagendorf then asked Stanley if he could share what his favorite thing about Simmons is.

“Well, that’s an interesting question,” the 72-year-old Rock & Roll Hall of Famer said. “Gene will always admit when he’s wrong, and that takes somebody big.”

Stanley continued, “I don’t know that he’s like that with everybody else, but we have a relationship that’s so close that I think both of us will say, ‘I screwed up,’ or certainly I’ve told him something that went against what his line of thinking was, and he goes, ‘You know, you’re right.’ So, that takes a big person.”

[RELATED: Paul Stanley Understands Backlash Over KISS Avatars, Issues a Promise To Concerned Fans]

The singer/guitarist then noted that the many years he and Simmons have been friends and collaborators has helped cement their bond.

“I think that there’s no substitute for time,” Stanley maintained. “And I was telling one of my kids that you can have your best friend who you met a month ago, but to find out if they’re really your best friend is gonna take months, years.”

He added, “You know, going through hard times, good times, bad times, how somebody responds to all those kind of crises and everything determines whether that person is in your life or not. And, push come to shove, Gene’s always been there, and likewise [me for him].”

Stanley concluded, “I can’t think of anything that I wouldn’t do for him, and I can trust him to do the same. That amount of years says volumes.”

On Why His Partnership with Simmons’ Has Endured for So Long

Hagedorf also asked Stanley why he thinks he and Simmons have been able to sustain such a close partnership for so long.

“I think prioritizing,” he noted. “Certainly for me, the band has always been the most important thing. Look, I’m not always a picnic to be around, and he’s had to put up with me at times, but the thing that’s always been our priority is KISS.”

Paul insisted that whatever issues came up between then, keeping the band their main priority is something about which he and Simmons both would never compromise.

Stanley added, “[L]ook, family members fight, but they’re family. And Gene and I have never been closer than we are now, ’cause… I’ve said it before, it’s like, we have nothing to bicker about. We won.”

Upcoming Tour Plans?

Since the end of KISS’ farewell tour, Stanley hasn’t announced any plans to perform live, although Simmons has played a couple concerts with his solo band, and will be launching a European tour with that group this summer.

As previously reported, the Gene Simmons Band’s European trek is mapped out from a July 27 concert in Kuopio, Finland, through an August 16 show in Taranto, Italy.

Tickets for Gene Simmons Band concerts are on sale now via various outlets, including StubHub.

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Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

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