Gene Simmons Reveals Why He Wishes He Was Harder on Former KISS Bandmates Ace Frehley and Peter Criss

Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss, and Ace Frehley came together in New York City to form KISS in 1973. Over the years, the band saw several lineup changes. For instance, Criss and Frehley left the band three times. Frehley’s last run with the band ended in 2002 and Criss left the band for the last time in 2004. Recently Simmons revealed he wishes he would have handled their time in the band differently.

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KISS played their final show in December 2023, preparing for a new chapter for the legendary rock band. Recently, Simmons spoke to Backstage Pass about some things he wishes he would have done differently in the past. For one, he wishes he would have been harder on Criss and Frehley.

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Gene Simmons Wishes He Would Have Been Harder on Former KISS Bandmates

Looking back on the band’s long and legendary run, the outlet asked Gene Simmons if there was anything he would change if he could go back in time. “Well, I’m sad in retrospect. You know, hindsight is 20/20. I’m sad that I wasn’t more hard on Ace and Peter, the two original guys who played guitar and drums in the band,” he said. Both Criss and Frehley had substance abuse issues while in KISS. Those issues led to their expulsions from the band.

Before expanding on why he wishes he would have been harder on his former bandmates, Simmons praised them. “Ace and Peter have as much credit for the beginning of the band as Paul and I do,” he said. “There’s no question it was that chemistry. And they both had unique voices, unique personalities and all that,” he added. “And they should have been here with us 50 or 55 years later and enjoying the fruits of their labor. But sadly, they’re not.”

Simmons went on to say that the blame for them not staying in the band falls on Frehley and Criss. “They were in and out of the band three different times. They were let go three different times because of the same old thing,” he explained. “It’s not even unique. Go to almost any band and you’ll find people ingesting stuff more than the bum on the street corner, except they’re richer and they can afford to ingest more. It’s sad,” he added.

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