Kiss was formed in 1973 by Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss and Ace Frehley, already becoming during that decade one of the most famous bands in the world. For more than five decades on the road the group inspired countless fans and musicians and have sold an estimated amount of more than 75 million records worldwide.
There are many famous artists who were inspired the American Hard Rock group, including the late Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell, the Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett and the Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello.
Gene Simmons recalled in an interview with “The Daily Distraction” (Transcribed by Blabbermouth) how Kiss influenced those famous guitar players.
Gene Simmons talks about Dimebag, Hammett and Tom Morello
Dimebag had Ace (Frehley) tattooed on his chest. Tragically he was killed onstage by a lunatic who shot him in the head. Dime’s family reached out. And I had a few Kiss caskets, different kinds. And I actually sent one from my collection, and he was indeed buried in a Kiss casket, yeah.”
“Kirk Hammett cut his teeth on Kiss records, and that’s Metallica. And Dime was in Pantera. But it runs the gamut… You know, at a certain point, when you’re 13 or whatever and you’re a guy in the middle of nowhere. Tom Morello did our acceptance speech, or the introduction to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and his story, actually, was very inspiring about being a kid in the middle of America, not having enough things to inspire him or get him thinking about other possibilities and stuff.”
“He started talking about Kiss and about how getting those records wasn’t just how to play guitar and get up on stage, but opening up the ideas of imagination, the visual sense of things. And I’ve met all sorts of people, not just rockers and so on, but people from different walks of life who say, ‘This was important to me in my childhood.'”
“Listen, that’s the biggest… It’s not so much that they’re celebrities, but it’s a good piece in my heart. But I will tell you, nothing — and I mean nothing — competes with a five-year-old kid who lives, breathes and eats Kiss. When you see a five-year-old kid in Kiss makeup sitting on the shoulders of his father, who’s got his own makeup on, next to his father, who’s 50 or 60 years old, and they’re all rocking out at the show, and when the kid finally (flashes the ‘devil’s horns’ hand gesture), it doesn’t get better,” Gene Simmons said.