Gene Simmons vows KISS avatars will 'get better'

KISS have plans "beyond" Gene Simmons' "comprehension" for their digital avatars.



Gene Simmons claims millions of dollars are being spent on perfecting the animations
Gene Simmons claims millions of dollars are being spent on perfecting the animations

Gene Simmons has reassured fans that the KISS avatars will "get better".

The veteran rockers hung up their platform boots after performing their final concert at Madison Square Garden in New York on December 2, but they surprised fans at the end of the gig by debuting digital versions of themselves created by the teams behind the lucrative 'ABBA Voyage' hologram show.

And during a Q+A at Electric Lady Studios in New York, co-vocalist and bass player Gene, 74, claimed millions of dollars are being pumped into the project.

He told one fan: “There’s so much being planned, even beyond my comprehension. But they’re spending, oh, about 200 million [dollars] to take it to the next level.”

He said of ABBA's first-of-its-kind show, he added: “You can’t tell if they’re there, right there, like that."

It comes after former KISS member Ace Frehley slammed the 'Rock and Roll All Nite' group's avatars.

The 72-year-old guitarist told Rock Antenne: “I don’t get this avatar thing that they’re gonna do.”

He continued: “I mean, I saw some of it on a video on YouTube last night. It kind of looked like it, you know, was geared towards children. And it’s not rock and roll. I get up on stage without backing tracks, plug my guitar into a Marshall and go. That’s it. It’s always been that way and always will be.”

KISS declared the avatars the start of a "new era" in a video posted online after their final concert.

Gene said: "We can be forever young and forever iconic by taking us to places we’ve never dreamt of before. The technology is going to make [rhythm guitarist and co-lead vocalist] Paul [Stanley] jump higher than he’s ever done before ... If you think you are going to get rid of us then that's not going to happen."

The band has yet to confirm their exact plans for the avatars, but Paul said it's a very exciting project.

He explained: "I think we've transcended over the years being human beings and here we are becoming immortal and it's very exciting for us ... We can't maintain this [band] indefinitely but you [avatar-makers] can."

The KISS avatars were made by George Lucas’ special effects company Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) and financed by Swedish conglomerate Pophouse Entertainment - the organisations which put together ABBA's digital stage show.

Grady Cofer, visual effects supervisor at ILM, insisted debuting the KISS avatars at their final show is just a glimpse of exciting things to come.

He told Fast Company: " “This is the sneak peek as the band [KISS] crosses over from the physical world to the digital."

Pophouse CEO Per Sundin added: "Is it a KISS concert in the future? Is it a rock opera? Is it a musical? A story, an adventure? These four individuals already have superpowers. We want to be as open as possible."