The appearance of Kiss stars Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons at TCA today became part promo for their new AMC docuseries 4th And Loud — focused on the inaugural season of their LA Kiss arena football team — and part a personal statement on why the old band will never get back together again. The sixtysomething rockers were blunt when a questioner asked why they are the only original members left in the iconic hard rock band, with Ace Frehley and Peter Criss long gone.
“Why did you dump your best friend who became a crack addict and a loser?” Simmons replied. “We love and respect those guys, [but] they succumbed to the cliché of clichés: drugs and alcohol.” Yanking out a sports metaphor, he added, “If you pass the ball … and they can’t see the goal, they’ve got to leave.”
Stanley added that being a band member “is not a birthright. If you are compromised by drugs and alcohol, you don’t deserve to be on the team.”
There was another metaphor from Simmons about changing a flat tire, but time to move on to the rationale behind 4th And Loud, which the AMC announced will premiere at 9 p.m. Tuesday, August 12. The series will follow team owners Stanley and Simmons, along with additional owners — longtime Kiss manager Doc McGhee, managing partner/owner Brett Bouchy, and president-owner Schuyler Hoversten,– as they and the players and coaches work to turn LA’s first professional football team in years into a winning franchise.
“What we’ve brought to rock ’n’ roll we want to bring to sport,” said Stanley. The pair said their plan is to elevate arena football with spectacle, affordable ticket prices and an opportunity for family fun. “ We want to envelop you and pummel you.”
For example: Cheerleaders. In traditional sports, Simmons thinks cheerleaders “have become rather sexless. “We wanted to have girls who are not the girl next door but the girl you wish was next door,” he said.
Of course there are T-shirts and eventually there will be bobbleheads and all sorts of ancillary stuff, the pair said. But ultimately they are all about developing the sport of arena football in pro football-less Los Angeles.
The band members drew the line at having the players wear Kiss makeup. “Integrity isn’t just a big word like gymnasium,” said Simmons, already a veteran of the reality TV game. “These are semantics, but I’m not anti-semantic,” he added by way of a joke. Makeup would get in the way of playing legitimate football, he said. But Simmons added that the show will be football with “all the bells and whistles than make Kiss the iconic band of all time.”