Gene Simmons On The Only Reason Ace Frehley And Peter Criss Are Not In KISS


KISS’ Gene Simmons recently appeared as a guest on Dean Delray’s Let There Be Talk podcast and revealed that Ace Frehley and Peter Criss are not in the band due to their own mistakes.

While KISS started their career with a classic lineup featuring Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss, the last two names don’t appear in the band’s lineup anymore. Their original drummer Peter Criss left KISS in 1980, and the guitarist Ace Frehley in 1982 due to their personal and creative differences with the rest of the band members. However, both Criss and Frehley returned to the band in 1996 when the original lineup reunited for an extensive tour.

However, the four didn’t stay together for long since Frehley and Criss again departed from the band in the early 2000s. The reason for their departures is naturally one of the most asked questions to the remaining members, Stanley and Simmons. The bassist explained during a recent conversation that he feels lucky to have met Criss and Frehley because he wouldn’t be where he is without them.

Yet, Simmons thinks they just faced the consequences of their actions. Although they gave several chances to both former KISS band members, they couldn’t make good use of these opportunities. Then, the bassist addressed the drug and alcohol struggles of Criss and Frehley by saying that they used them although they knew the possible impacts. So, according to Gene Simmons, Peter Criss and Ace Frehley are not in the band because of themselves.

Simmons’ statements on Criss and Frehley:

“I’m so proud and so lucky and blessed to have met Paul, Ace, and Peter. Without them, I wouldn’t be here. I’d be asking the next person in line, ‘Would you like some fries with that?’ and that’s not even a funny joke, but you reap what you shall sow. How many chances do you get in life? The first time I stuck my hand in the fire, and I got burned the very first time.

It could be an accident, or you can do it on purpose, so with drugs and alcohol, you can’t say, ‘I didn’t know about that.’ Sure you did; everybody knows exactly the same thing. So if you get kicked out or asked nicely to leave a band because of substance abuse where you can’t do your job and everything, the first time, you can almost excuse it, ‘I was an idiot, I was young, I do that.’

How do you get asked to leave a band three different times over three decades? How do you do that? You get to sleep in the bed you make. I love Ace and Peter to this day, but you don’t want to lie to yourself and the fans. The only reason they’re not in the band and we’re in and out of the band so many times is because of themselves.”

You can listen to the entire conversation below.