KISS Regrets Never Working With Van Halen
Gene Simmons Called It A “Big Mistake”
It’s no secret that KISS and Van Halen had history which dated back to when the latter was still starting in the music industry. Gene Simmons even flew to New York City to produce a demo for the band, but the collaboration was brief and didn’t lead anywhere. Simmons saw it as a “big mistake”, but his bandmate Paul Stanley thought differently.
They were aboard their annual KISS Kruise, and during the Q&A, the members spoke about Van Halen.
“We made one big mistake – one,” Simmons admitted. “There was a band called Van Halen. They were signed to Man of a Thousand Faces, Inc. There was a 24-track demo. They were owned lock, stock and barrel and signed and happy and wanted to sign with us, and we said no.”
“Thank goodness,” Stanley added. “The reason we said no was because part of Gene’s joie de vivre, which means love of life, is he likes to look and do all different things. And sometimes that means reining him in, especially early on in the band’s career where getting involved in other projects was really going to hurt the band.”
“You couldn’t listen to Van Halen and not think they were great,” Stanley continued. “Bill knew it. I was with Gene when he first saw Van Halen at the Starwood. But the idea of managing or producing bands when we really were still at the beginning of our career was something that was … The move is called self-preservation.”
Back in September, Stanley already revealed that he and Kiss manager Bill Aucoin turned down the opportunity to work with Van Halen because they “were trying to hold Gene in check.”
Listen to the rest of the Q&A below.