How Kiss Faked It Till They Made It

Paul Stanley says the band pretended to go away on tour to impress local fans, but later lost the plot when they released a dance album.

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Kiss have revealed some of the techniques they employed early in their career that helped them become one of the most recognizable rock acts of all time.

One trick involved tricking fans into thinking they were a busy touring band, as Paul Stanley explains:

"We had a rule that we wouldn't play more than once every eight or 12 weeks because we wanted people to think we were busy. We were literally sitting in our loft starving and rehearsing," Stanley told the Guardian.

"Then we would go out and do a show and I would say: "It's great to be back we've been gone!" We weren't anywhere. But it was about creating this mythology from the ground up."

An obvious distinction between Kiss and other bands was their striking makeup but don't call it that in front of Gene Simmons.

"[The makeup] was warpaint makeup does not give it enough respect," he said. "I remember seeing the Beatles as a kid and thinking there must have been a Beatle mother cos they all looked like they were connected. There's no question that our outfits and our boot-heels and our makeup was a unique definition of who we were."

A notable low point for the band was when they released a disastrous dance album, "The Elder", which lost them support from critics and fans alike.

"We lost the plot. We forgot why we did this. We forgot why we got into it. And I don't think we've ever forgotten that since," said Stanley, who says it took years for the band to recover. "People abandoned us in droves, and rightfully so, because we betrayed them and we betrayed ourselves."

The lesson? Be distinctive, fake it till you make it, and stick to your morals. Even if that happens to include putting your band on every piece of merchandise imaginable.

21 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    axmill
    First one seems like a shit technique
    Obviously it worked better than anything you might have tried.
    metallica-#1
    "I remember seeing the Beatles as a kid and thinking there must have been a Beatle mother cos they all looked like they were connected."
    ... "cos".
    link no1
    alfie9000 wrote: First one seems like a shit technique
    Not really. If there was an unsigned band that had 'just come off tour' I would be more interested in watching them than the local crappy bands that have school in the morning. I guess Kiss thought the same thing.
    Nero Galon
    "Fake it till you make it" Hmm OK, cya guys i'm off to tour around the world with my band you've never met... Don't try and come to my house to see me
    Cuddles McFluff
    A notable low point for the band was when they released a disastrous dance album, "The Elder", which lost them support from critics and fans alike.
    I'm sure 'Dynasty' was the dance album. They released 'The Elder' was released to try and prove that Kiss was a serious rock band. Alas, it lost them more fans.
    metalme31
    The lesson? Be distinctive, fake it till you make it, and stick to your morals. Even if that happens to include putting your band on every piece of merchandise imaginable.
    ?????
    Skuzzmo
    alfie9000 wrote: First one seems like a shit technique
    Can you see where you went wrong with that comment?
    Sheep Shagger
    "...a disastrous dance album, "The Elder"" Dynasty and Unmasked had dance/pop elements, but Elder isn't even remotely a dance album. Who the heck writes these articles???
    Absurder22
    "We lost the plot. We forgot why we did this. We forgot why we got into it. And I don't think we've ever forgotten that since," said Stanley, who says it took years for the band to recover. "People abandoned us in droves, and rightfully so, because we betrayed them and we betrayed ourselves." Man, it's crazy how Gene and Paul are just such utter opposites. Gene is egotistical and arrogant and Paul is down to earth and not full of shit.
    J.R. Legrasse
    link no1 wrote: alfie9000 wrote: First one seems like a shit technique Not really. If there was an unsigned band that had 'just come off tour' I would be more interested in watching them than the local crappy bands that have school in the morning. I guess Kiss thought the same thing.
    That may have worked in the pre-internet age, but now anyone can Google a band and fact-check them instantly on their smartphone while the bullshitter is standing there. And that liar will look awful stupid when the clubs' schedules they claimed to have just "rawwked on touuur duuude!" have no mention of them and the band never posted any videos from the supposed gigs or the travel they've claimed to have undertaken and no local music sites in various states have the slightest whisper of them from regular bloggers or commenters. It's a bad idea nowadays.
    avpr212
    [/quote]"[The makeup] was warpaint makeup does not give it enough respect[/quote] [quote]our makeup was a unique definition of who we were."[quote] Uh-huh
    dewitt
    Cuddles McFluff wrote: A notable low point for the band was when they released a disastrous dance album, "The Elder", which lost them support from critics and fans alike. I'm sure 'Dynasty' was the dance album. They released 'The Elder' was released to try and prove that Kiss was a serious rock band. Alas, it lost them more fans.
    Yeah, I'm pretty sure you're right. Dynasty was the sort of dance album. The Elder was to tell the story of and be a soundtrack/score to a movie that was never made, since the album was so poorly received by both fans and critics. I'm not sure how bad it actually was, as I've never had the opportunity, nor have I been compelled to listen to it. I like KISS. They were one of my favorite bands as a kid, but I don't feel like I need to hear that album. Maybe someday I'll give it a listen and form my own opinion of it. Until then, I'll just accept the general consensus on that one.
    nnb
    Did I just click on a picture of Steven Tyler to get to an article about kiss?
    Sheep Shagger
    The Elder is an underrated album. Dark Light, Mr. Blackwell, Escape from the Island - all great songs.
    Pit_
    I heard Jimi Hendrix bought 10,000 of his own Hey Joe single with mob money so he could shoot to the top of the best selling singles and getting played by the radios so...