Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda Has A Theory About Gene Simmons’ Exaggerated KISS Persona

During a recent Q&A with fans, Linkin Park icon Mike Shinoda responded to a question asking to explain his authentic self and suggested that some artists, including KISS’ Gene Simmons, merge with their stage persona in time.

As you may know, Linkin Park’s co-founder, rhythm guitarist, and primary songwriter, Mike Shinoda has been working on his solo career. Mike has been actively using social media platforms to reach out to his fans especially during the pandemic. The multitalented musician has been doing live streams via Twitch and creating new music with the contributions of his fans.

Earlier in 2020, Mike released his second studio album ‘Dropped Frames Volume 1‘ which was mostly inspired by the live streams he had been doing. He later released ‘Dropped Frames, Vol. 2,’ and ‘Dropped Frames, Vol. 3’ in the same year. Most recently, in 2021, Shinoda released a single titled ‘Happy Endings‘ featuring guest vocals from UPSAHL.

What Mike Shinoda Thinks About Gene Simmons And KISS Persona

Recently, Mike Shinoda joined a Q&A session with his fans and responded to most wondered questions about his professional career and his personal life. During the session, one of his fans asked him to describe his authentic self and he replied by giving an example from KISS. Shinoda stated that some artists portray a different version of themselves on stage which is either fiction or an exaggeration of themselves.

Mike also mentioned that some artists who have been in the industry for a long time with their very exaggerated stage persona might merge with that persona in time. He stated that Gene Simmons didn’t grow up being Gene Simmons, however, his KISS persona and his personality in real life became the same in time.

Here is what Mike Shinoda stated about Gene Simmons and his KISS persona:

“I feel like some artists… it’s a part of the fun of what they represent, or what they portray is either fiction or an exaggeration of themselves – or it’s even the opposite. For some people, it’s the opposite of themselves. Like, offstage they’re very introverted but on stage, they get to be a different character. Go outside of that or go against that.

I feel in the early days of the band we were still figuring out who we were, and we were probably the more exaggerated version of ourselves category. But as I got older, as I think all of us got older, it was just trying to put that aside and just be ourselves.

 I think of some artists who have been around for many years who do have a very exaggerated persona, and at some point, some of those folks merge with that persona. Gene Simmons from KISS. Gene Simmons, to me, feels like he probably didn’t grow up being Gene Simmons but now he’s just the guy from the band and the guy in real life is kind of the same person. I have no reason to believe otherwise. Which is kind of fun but it’s also kind of crazy. I would never feel like I wanted to be a caricature. It does take some effort too to be just aware of yourself and comfortable with yourself.”

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