“KISS 11.19.09” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by aresauburn™

KISS Up Their Game But Frehley Return Unlikely

When Gene Simmons and Ace Frehley, founding members of American rock group KISS, recently shared a stage in Minnesota for a Hurricane Harvey benefit gig, rumors of a reunion of the band’s original line-up once again resurfaced. The speculation was further fueled by Simmons’ confirmation that he had co-written two songs for Frehley’s next solo album.

It was the first time that Frehley had performed live with a member of KISS since he left the group for the second time following their Farewell Tour in 2001. Of course, that set of gigs turned out to be anything other than a farewell and by 2003, they were co-headlining a tour with Aerosmith, with Tommy Thayer replacing Frehley on guitar.

Despite appearing on Frehley’s last solo album, singer Paul Stanley has maintained that he has “no thoughts of re-visiting the past” but Frehley himself has not ruled out the possibility of a return. However, the band continues to operate in its current guise with rumours of another album and tour dates already planned for 2018.

But it’s not just music that KISS have been involved with this year. The band have been working with Austrian games developer Sproing on a mobile app entitled KISS Rock City. Available worldwide on the App Store and Google Play, the game involves forming a rock band, playing gigs and negotiating with record companies on the way to fame and fortune. The app features many of the band’s original hits and a host of weird and whacky characters that players must deal with along the way.

The move into gaming has also seen the release of a KISS online slots game, available on Betsafe. The game features images of the band’s onstage personas and an interface based a concert stage with lights, amps and instruments all set up ready to rock and roll. And naturally, there are plenty of familiar tunes to keep you entertained while you play.

These new initiatives should come as no surprise to those familiar with the KISS marketing machine. The band has always had one of the strongest brands in the business thanks to their distinctive stage costumes and make-up featuring their Starchild, Demon, Spaceman, Catman, Fox and Ankh Warrior characters.

In previous years, the band have sold a range of unusual merchandise including caskets, urns, candles and other memorial products, while members of the ‘KISS Army’ can currently adorn their homes with a range of products including pinball machines, comics, doormats, waffle makers and cushions. Oh, and don’t forget the soon-to-be-released limited edition KISS carbon fishing rod!

Whether the band’s dedicated fans will get to see the original line-up perform one last time remains to be seen. But Frehley, Stanley and Simmons have at least put their past differences to one side, as first demonstrated by their appearance at the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame event held at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. And while they continue to collaborate on individual projects, rumors of reunion are unlikely to go away.

Kelly Murphy
Owner, writer, and editor of Indie Minded; Social Media Marketing & Relationship Consulting via Indie Minded Media; Be sure to give me a follow on Twitter @IndieMurphy or @IndieMindedMedia