Paul Stanley of Kiss Says Fan Demand Drives Merchandising
If there's one thing you can't mess with, it's the Kiss brand. Kiss are more than a band; they're a lifestyle, and accordingly, they sell just about everything with their famous faces and logo on it -- from coffins to condoms to cremation urns. And that's A-OK with frontman Paul Stanley.
If there was a market demand for, say, Kiss toilet paper or Kiss coffee or Kiss toenail clippers or Kiss cat food, Stanley and Gene Simmons would fill the void and create the product. But is this constant influx of Kiss-branded merch overkill? Too much? Overdoing it? Not a chance, according to the "Star Child":
"It's misleading because of the volume of things we have, that Kiss is just a schlock house," Stanley, who just welcomed new daughter Emily into the world, told Spinner. "The truth of the matter is, we have pride in everything we do. At the core, this is a rock 'n' roll band, but we don't put our name on anything that we don't believe in, or that the fans don't believe in."
Stanley said that the band isn't aimlessly attaching its name to random items, but if there's fan demand for a certain Kiss item, they'll do their best to fulfill it. So if you're wondering why the band's webstore is filled with things like Kiss sleeping bags, the answer is simple: The fans requested it.
Stanley said, "We're not great merchandisers — we're great listeners. We give the fans what they want. If that's a crime, I'm ready for my trial."
No, Paul, that's certainly not a crime, and you won't be tried in the courts anytime soon, except perhaps the court of public opinion. And we're going to disagree with the statement that Kiss are not great merchandisers when in fact they are just that. No shame in acknowledging it.
That's precisely why the Kiss brand is untouchable. Stanley labeled the band a "timeless truth," saying, "It's all about self-empowerment, it's about believing in yourself and believing that the only thing in the way of you and your dreams is hard work. We believe a great work ethic will pretty much get you wherever you want to go."
He also said Kiss is greater than the sum of its parts. "KISS will outlive me, for sure," he said. "What we've done is create a way of thinking, an ideal that hopefully will go on beyond me and the other guys in the band because the idea is bigger than any individual."