Gene Simmons has devoted his career to defending the right of all young women to shake what their mamas gave them, so it should come as no surprise that the Kiss bassist is standing behind Miley Cyrus in her hour of public controversy.

In a recent interview with Salon that touched on many of the usual subjects, like charges of selling out ("we sell out every night") and the band's critical struggles ("most critics have fallen by the wayside"), Simmons was asked to weigh in on the brouhaha that erupted after Cyrus' risque performance at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. Unsurprisingly, he doesn't count himself among the offended.

"She’s being treated unfairly," responded Simmons. "Madonna, Rihanna and the single-named girls with the A’s in their names -- uh, Shakira -- if they can do the same stuff, why isn’t anyone picking on them? Justice for all. If the rest of the girls can kiss each other, why can’t she do what she wants?" Asked if he felt any personal responsibility for loosening public morals, he answered, "We should all be free onstage. The old days before the pill, we were all slaves. Self-empowerment -- fashion be damned, just wear what you want."

To an extent, Simmons even feels something of an artistic kinship with Cyrus' brand of provocation. "The things we sing about are timeless," he argued when asked if he thought young people could still identify with Kiss. "Political affairs and social situations come and go. But if you’re singing about empowerment and not playing by the rules, you can sing about them until you can’t sing anymore. The idea of not listening to people who tell you what you can’t accomplish is timeless, while someone else may be singing about saving the whales."

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