Edsel Dope Feels Skeptical About KISS Avatars: ‘A Weird Band’

Edsel Dope recently talked about KISS’s decision to keep performing as digital avatars during their retirement by using the technology developed initially for ABBA’s ‘Voyage’ show in London. When Battleline Podcast interviewers asked him to share his feelings about the idea, he said:

“I mean, who knows? Who knows? Let’s see if it works. I think one of the reasons that I’m a little bit — what’s the word? — skeptical of whether or not it can work is because KISS was a weird band in the sense that they transcended age groups partially because of the live show.”

Detailing his point, the vocalist explained:

“You could bring a 13-year-old to a KISS show, and because it’s so over the top and so outlandish and the makeup and the sparks and the fire, it’s so beyond sensory overload, a 13-year-old kid may not identify with the music at all, but the sensory overload of the show allows him to go, like, ‘Wow, that was a really cool experience.’”

The Virtual Shows May Not Reach Young Audiences, Dope Says

Dope expressed doubts about the avatars appealing to younger audiences, saying that while he likes KISS’ music, it might not connect with a new generation like The Beatles’ music does. But he also saw potential in the idea:

“It’s cool that KISS is trying to push into the digital space, and I think that as they tweak those avatars, they’re gonna get cooler and cooler, and there’s gonna be something there. It’s just I don’t see it speaking to new generations of young people sonically. Maybe they just turn them into comic book characters, and their storylines are as important as the music. I can see that. Video games and that kind of shit.”

The singer noted that seeing the avatar shows live in an arena would be an ‘awesome’ experience, while he believed they wouldn’t give the same effect through a screen.

The Avatars Are Not Ready Yet

KISS performed their last live show as a human band at Madison Square Garden in New York City on December 2. Afterward, they announced their plan to continue as avatars, although the specifics of how they will be used are unclear. Paul Stanley addressed some fans’ doubts about the avatars in an interview with Ultimate Classic Rock:

“One thing that’s interesting is people, I think, perhaps even understandably, got the wrong impression initially of the avatars. Because at the Garden shows, we wanted to give people a glimpse of some of the things, or one of the things, that’s to come.”

As the band will wait until 2027 to reveal the virtual shows, he added:

“But the avatars are really in their infancy. They’re far from where they’ll end up in terms of look and purpose. The purpose, ultimately, is not that we’re being replaced by flying avatars. It’s just another way of diversifying what KISS is.”

KISS is set to be the first American band to fully transition to a virtual avatar show. JOCOUP Creative’s co-founder, Thierry Coup, will be the creative director of the upcoming project.