GENE SIMMONS: We Demand From KISS Tribute Bands That They Send Us A Thank You Letter

Gene Simmons was asked by Eddie Trunk for his thoughts on KISS cover bands, to which he replied (as transcribed by

“We allow them to exist, although we could snuff the life out of them immediately with cease and desist letters and do all that. But actually, we think it’s kind of cool.

“But we get them to send us a letter saying, ‘Thank you for letting us use the make-up,’ or whatever, to protect what we worked hard to do.

“Because people still don’t understand what trademarks and copyrights are, and patents and other legal terms.

“Imagine you give birth to a baby – you would do anything to protect it. So our trademarks are our babies, they belong to us, we determine what happens with it, not you. Even if you think I have too much money.

“Perhaps, an analogy they might understand is… Farmers work all year to get that fruit in the right time and they sacrifice everything. Then they sell it a retailer.

“So the trucks come and the union guys and the truckers truck all this stuff to supermarkets before they grow bad, and the supermarkets are spick and span and they hire all these people and stuff like that.

“And anybody can walk in and take whatever they want and walk out. How long would all those people stay in business?

“That’s what happened to music. The infrastructure’s rotten and there are generations of fans, not corporate entities, not anything, you, the fans… ‘Well, not me, I buy the old vinyl!’

“I know, but the masses don’t, they download and file-share. ‘Well, we have Spotify and Schmotify!’ That’s nice. So after working my ass off on getting the right the right sound on the song I’m gonna get one hundredth of one penny per download.

“Sophie Simmons, my beautiful daughter, had a 10 million viewed single two years ago called ‘Kiss Me.’ She made $214. It’s unbelievable because we allow people to steal. It is up to congress and the lawmakers and we should push them.

“The regulations are way in the pre-historic past and technology has way outdistanced them so they havne’t caught up regulation. There should be regulation!

“If you create something it should be yours and you determine the price. You make a sculpture of something and somebody wants to buy it, what’s the price?

“You determine the price! Not somebody saying ‘Here’s a penny’ and walks out with it. Wait, woah, woah, woah, woah! It’s mine! I determine the price! That’s what’s missing, there’s no regulation.

“On the first day people started with Napster, and people started file-sharing and downloading, there should have been laws that allow the people that own the copyrights to take their homes.

“You’ll never get rid of the cockroaches in your kitchen, but by getting the pest control guys every once in a while you’ll keep the population down.”