The Reason Gene Simmons Didn’t Deny ‘Knights In Satan’s Service’ Theory

There was a time when every parent considered rock and metal band members as wicked people who worshipped Satan. The main reason behind this was the bands’ outrageous lyrics, stage performances that included ‘rituals,’ and the image they portrayed with their personal lives. Although most of these bands were never Satanists, that didn’t stop people from coming up with surprising conspiracy theories.

One of the most well-known bands whose names have often been mentioned in conspiracy theories is KISS. The legendary musicians were accused of worshipping the devil quite a few times. Their stage personas gave the perfect excuse for their audience to judge them since the musicians often showed up wearing super-villain stage make-up, all-black outfits, and sometimes spit blood.

Some fans were so blindly convinced that KISS was a satanic band that they started to look for hints. That’s when they came up with the idea that their name is an acronym for, ‘Knights In Satan’s Service.’ As crazy as it sounds, the band members didn’t deny these allegations for a while, and some people still think this rumor is actually true. Let’s look into the time this rumor spread and why Gene Simmons thought owning the story was clever.

Is KISS Is An Acronym For Knights In Satan’s Service?

Every fan acknowledges that KISS isn’t just a random rock band. For decades, the band members took their incredibly heavy stage outfits and make-ups seriously. Their shows included fire breathing, blood-spitting, smoking guitars, combined with bassist Gene Simmons’s tongue.

On top of their overall looks, that for some signaled they may be worshipping Satan, their name was always rendered in upper case letters like an acronym. This was seen as a sign that ‘KISS’ may have a much darker hidden meaning behind it. Eventually, someone claimed that the band’s name stands for ‘Knights In Satan’s Service.’

In his autobiography, Gene Simmons opened up about the time when this rumor first came about. According to the rocker, the story first started when he responded to a question during an interview after their debut record. Apparently, Simmons said he was curious about what human flesh tastes like, which ignited the Satanism accusations.

Gene Simmons penned in his book:

“Misinformation about the band began to spread in the southern Bible Belt states, including a rumor that the name KISS stood for ‘Knights In Satan’s Service,’ and that the four of us were devil worshipers. Ironically, this rumor started as a result of an interview I gave in Circus magazine after our first album; in response to a question, I said that I sometimes wondered what human flesh tastes like. I never wanted to really find out, but I was curious intellectually. Later on, this comment seemed to ignite the whole idea that in some way KISS was aligned with devil worship.”

An intellectual commentary out of curiosity led to this rumor, according to the musician. Interestingly, the band members found the situation amusing in the following years and kept on pretending to be the Satanistic, devil-worshipping rock band they supposedly were.

Gene Simmons Once Revealed The Truth Behind The Rumor

In the same book, Gene Simmons revealed why he never answered the questions regarding the entire ‘Knights In Satan’s Service’ accusations. According to him, there were two motivations behind this: to let their fans wonder since it was good press as they were all over the media. The second reason was that Simmons simply wasn’t bothered to answer those questions.

In his own words, Simmon wrote:

“When I was asked whether I worshipped the devil, I simply refused to answer for a number of reasons: the first reason, of course, was that it was good press. Let people wonder. The other reason was my complete disregard for the people who were asking.

Through the years, whenever religious fanatics accosted me, especially in the southern states, and quoted the Old Testament at me, I would quote them back chapter and verse. They didn’t know that I had been a theology major in school. An idiot is an idiot … whether he quotes the Bible or not.”

As for the story of how the band came up with the idea of naming themselves KISS, the bassist penned that he, Paul Stanley, and Peter Criss, was brainstorming for new names for their band while driving around. After thinking of a few, such as Albatross, Stanley offered the name KISS, and the rest is history.

“One day Paul and Peter and I were driving around, brainstorming for new names. I had thought of a few, like Albatross, but I wasn’t happy with any of them. At one point — we were stopped at a red light — Paul said, ‘How about KISS?’ Peter and I nodded, and that was it. It made sense.

Hindsight is 20/20, of course, and since then people have talked about all the benefits of the name: how it seemed to sum up certain things about glam rock at the time; how it was perfect for international marketing because it was a simple word that people understood all over the world. But we just liked the name, and that was that.”

Although it may not be one of the most inspiring stories regarding a name of a legendary rock band, it certainly has nothing to do with worshipping the devil or encouraging Satanism among their audience. It may sound simple as they came up with KISS while waiting for a green light, but they sure proved to the entire world how their non-Satanic name turned into a legacy.