Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley on Their New Arena Football Team
Rickett & Sones Top row: L.A. Kiss co-owners Schuyler Hoversten, Doc Mcghee, Brett Bouchy; bottom row: Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons
This week, our cover story profiled Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS before they officially launch their new arena football team, the LA KISS inside the Honda Center this month. It's been a big year for KISS. Outside of owning their own AFL team, they've been inducted into the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame, an honor they do not take lightly. This interview took place before the controversy surrounding the band's decision not to play in at the ceremony, so any of those questions weren't addressed. Not every tidbit from the interview made the main piece, so here are some of our favorite moments from the story that were left on the cutting room floor (including an episode of road rage Paul Stanley experienced while driving home from Anaheim).
See also: Our cover story on L.A. KISS
OC Weekly (Daniel Kohn): Were you worried when you used Los Angeles instead of Anaheim to face backlash similarly to the Angels?
Paul Stanley: The last thing we want to do is come in and play in an arena and not be part of the neighborhood. Whether it's outreaching to children's hospitals or to community service, we are about Anaheim. We're also about Los Angeles. Historically, where a team plays isn't the identification of where that team plays. We are of this neighborhood and we've already shown that to be the case and we'll continue to be that way. The Ducks are our neighbors and good buds.
What is the team going to do differently as opposed to other AFL teams?
PS: Part of the contract with the LA KISS players, they stay to meet the fans. It's not "nice to see ya, hope you enjoyed the game" and they're gone, we want to show appreciation. We want to be the people's team. KISS is the people's band. We've always gone against the grain. I liken the team to an outlaw team and I liken the dancers to outlaw dancers. We play by our own rules, but we are of the community. And when you identify with the players - and you will because you will get to know them - you'll be fascinated.
What do you expect from your players?
Gene Simmons: Don't do the wacky stuff at the clubs. You don't have to go to church every day, but you gotta be smart about it. Be great on the outside and be great on the inside.
What does it mean to you for the team to wear you colors and name?
PS: You have to understand, this is something we built since we lived at home. When that logo was created, I was living at my parents' house. When we first started out, we'd go home after a gig to our parents' homes. This is something we hold dear to us. To put the KISS name and logo on something, we have to be very, very comfortable and feel like it promote and reflect well on us. Like us or not, we play fair. People ask me, "How will you know if the team is good?" I say it's if we win. That's the bottom line and if they don't win, they're aspiring to do so every day.