Arguably one of the most flamboyant rock groups in music history, US rockers KISS are renowned for their outrageous stage personas, iconic face paint and outrageous costumes in their always memorable live performances that feature anything from fire breathing, pyrotechnics and outright anarchy. Still going strong since they first formed back in the early 1970s, the band’s original line up consisted of Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss and now forty years on; KISS continue to rock out to fans under original founding members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, alongside new members of the latest line up Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer.
Their unique style that is characterised by their extravagant make up and costumes were an ode to comic books and their love for them growing up. Taking on different comic book character personas within KISS, notable examples of their characters would be Gene Simmons’ “The Demon” persona, reflecting his dark and cynical sense of humour, and former member Peter Criss being known as “Catman” due to his belief of having nine lives, having survived a rough childhood in Brooklyn.
As well as carving themselves out a reputation for their visually unique presence and performances as a band, it is the music of KISS that has of course always achieved great success. The band have achieved phenomenal chart success with tracks the likes of “I was made for loving you” and “God made Rock and Roll” and have sold over 100 million records worldwide.
With a huge army of fans who have been following their music since their first beginnings as a band, a KISS concert is always an exciting event that fans can look forward to. On Wednesday 4th July 2012, KISS performed at the HMV Forum in London. A gig with special significance, this performance would be in aid of the Help for Heroes charity, helping those in the armed forces fighting abroad in Afghanistan. Down at the HMV Forum, WinkBall video reporters Archie and Zoe spoke to fans at the gig, finding out why they love KISS, their expectations of the evening and which KISS character do they seem themselves as?