Kiss' Gene Simmons on Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Drama: 'Every Band Is Dysfunctional'

Indecision as to which lineup should perform at the April 10 ceremony has prompted the founding members to announce that the band won't play at all.
Ash Newell

In a new interview, Gene Simmons talks about his band, Kiss, and their upcoming induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, saying: "Every band is dysfunctional. But at the end, when [you're] at the finish line, everybody in the band should get credit."

"Ace [Frehley] and Peter [Criss] must be up there, but they were the past," Simmons says, referring to Kiss' founding lead guitarist and drummer, respectively, on longtime friend Michael DesBarres' syndicated radio show. "When people say, 'Don't talk about your second or third wife, just talk about your first wife,' you can't do that."

PHOTOS: Meet the Legendary Tour Managers of Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Alice Cooper and More

Following the band's indecision as to which lineup should perform at the Hall's April 10 ceremony at Barclay's Center in Brooklyn -- the four original members; the ones who make up the current group, which includes co-founders Simmons and guitarist Paul Stanley; or a combination thereof -- Kiss posted a message on their website, saying that the band will not be playing in any form. It's "an emotional situation where there is no way to please everyone," the statement read.

During The Michael Des Barres Show interview, which was taped on Feb. 1 and aired Feb. 27 on online channel TradioV, Simmons said that he'd intended to address Frehley and Criss with "the truth: 'Thank you so much, Ace and Peter, for being in the band with us. Everybody's equally important for the formation of the band. But if it wasn't for Tommy [Thayer] or Eric [Singer]" -- Kiss' current respective guitarist and drummer -- "we wouldn't be up here.' It's like with the baton race: You took the baton as far as you could, because not everybody's designed to be a marathon runner. And then you handed the baton over to those who are worthy to carry on the torch."

VIDEO: Paul McCartney Reunites Nirvana, This Time in Seattle

However, in a Feb. 21 interview with New York radio station Q104.3 FM, Frehley said that he would not perform at the ceremony alongside the members that came after him. "I'm not gonna get on stage with [Thayer] wearing my makeup -- that's absurd," Frehley said, according to In a statement on his own website, Criss said that he and Frehley "have been denied a performance with Gene and Paul for our Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction," and called the situation "disgraceful."

Frehley said he is undecided about whether to attend the ceremony. No word yet about Criss.

Twitter: @THR_Earshot