Gene Simmons says every musician is replaceable and he insists history backs up his views.
In an interview with Rollin Stone, Simmons defended Kiss’ decision to dress current band members Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer as Peter Criss’ and Ace Frehley’s ‘Spaceman’ and ‘Catman’ on stage characters.
And the bassist says there isn’t a band on the planet who couldn’t survive replacing any member of their line-up.
He says: “The saddest thing of all is here we are, top of Mt. Olympus with all this cool stuff happening, really enjoying ourselves, the fans are thrilled, and nobody ever holds up a sign, 'Where's Ace and Peter?'
“Anybody that's in a band goes, 'Oh, they can't exist without me,' they are sadly mistaken," he continued. "Whether you're AC/DC or Van Halen or anybody, they can actually not only exist without you.”
He continues: “Even if you're the lead singer, they can actually get twice as big. Even if you're in Genesis: 'Oh, they can never do it without Peter Gabriel.' Oh, sure they can. In fact, we'll get a guy who doesn't have any personality and doesn't put on masks or anything and just sings songs, and they'll play stadiums.
“And Peter Gabriel, with all of the great masks and the things, never played that.”
Expanding on the subject of Thayer and Singer donning the make-up made famous by their predecessors he adds: “In retrospect, it was the right decision. There's always going to be five percent or 10 percent of people who were there at the beginning who will complain about anything. And listen, I think that's valid from their point of view. But people get onto a train at different times.
"If you go to see The Rolling Stones live today and poke the guy next to you and say, 'Ron Wood, he's not Brian Jones,' the guy says, 'Who the fuck is that?' He wouldn't have a clue what you were talking about. He came into The Stones 10, 20, 30 years after you did.”