Gene Simmons Says KISS Chose The Beatles Model Instead Of The Rolling Stones

Bassist Gene Simmons recently appeared as a guest on Howie Mandel Does Stuff and revealed that they preferred to take the Beatles as an example rather than the Rolling Stones while shaping the dynamics between the KISS members.

While the two iconic rock bands, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, both originated in the British music scene of the 1960s, they had some differences in their styles and structure. Speaking of the Beatles, they didn’t have a lead singer in the traditional sense, as all band members shared the lead vocals in different songs. They usually performed their own compositions.

On the other hand, the Rolling Stones has always had Mick Jagger as the energetic frontman of the band. Although Keith Richards also handled the lead vocal duties on several songs, they were far less often the Beatles. In a recent conversation, Gene Simmons was asked why he was so impressed by the Beatles and what caused them to take them as an example.

The bassist explained that their initial intention was to create their own version of the Beatles, where everyone could take the lead vocals. They also wanted everybody in the band to play an instrument. So, they wished to have a different style from the Rolling Stones, where a lead singer is at the front, and the other members stay quiet in the back. Thus, KISS desired every band member to be a star by contributing to the band’s creative process and live shows.

The host asked the following:

“You said you saw the Beatles, and that was it for you, but so many people saw the Beatles perform, and they wanted to do that. What do you think set you apart, and why did you go and veer in that direction you did? You didn’t just emulate the Beatles because KISS is nothing like the Beatles.”

To which Gene Simmons replied:

“Actually, we thought in our deluded way that it was going to be the Beatles on steroids. Here’s what I mean. When you validate something for yourself, it is like a self-fulfilling prophecy; it doesn’t mean it is actually so, but in our deluded minds, [it was] ‘let’s do our version of the Beatles where everybody is a star, everybody in the band could get to sing lead songs,’ which was the case.

And everybody had to play an instrument as opposed to like a Stones model, where there is a guy in the front, and the rest of the guys are in the back and shut up and be quiet. The Beatles was the only band where every single guy in the band was a star and had their own songs and wrote. That was the model we did.”

You can watch the entire conversation below.