Mike Portnoy: KISS Was The New Version Of The Beatles

Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy sat down with The Prog Report to talk about the albums that turn 50 this year. During their chat, the drummer touched on the resemblance between KISS and The Beatles and even said KISS emerged as the new version of them. He explained:

“You’re gonna think I’m crazy, but I always found really close similarities between early KISS and the Beatles. The Beatles were four incredibly strong personalities, all of them can share the vocals and writing.”

He also explained which KISS member resembled to which Beatle:

“You have Gene. [Ace is George Harrison], exactly. Peter is Ringo, Gene and Paul [Stanley] are John and Paul [McCartney]. Even down to the first album cover looking like ‘Meet The Beatles’ or ‘With the Beatles,’ whichever version you’re talking about.”

Gene Simmons Was Inspired By Paul McCartney

Kiss members made it clear in many different interviews that they took inspiration from The Beatles.

It’s clear that Gene Simmons deeply respects The Beatles, given that he talked about the band many times earlier, but it turns out that Paul McCartney was his inspiration to start playing bass. In a March interview with Far Out Magazine, Simmons said The Beatles were like a religious experience for him.

Simmons then talked about teaching himself to play instruments, starting with a second-hand guitar his mom bought for him. After struggling with sore fingers, he switched to bass. He said he was inspired by Paul McCartney’s Hofner bass.

KISS Wanted To Be Like ‘Beatles On Steroids’

Simmons’ inspiration to start bass didn’t only affect himself, but the band he would later bring together. He said in another interview that The Beatles were their reference point and even referred to his own band as ‘Beatles on steroids’:

“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.”

See the interview below.