It's quite an accomplishment when a band hits the 20-album mark. When “Monster,” the latest album from KISS, drops in October, the group will celebrate that achievement.
It means that KISS, which will perform Wednesday at the Susquehanna Bank Center, has been around for awhile, still receives ample fan support and has the desire to release new material instead of riding the nostalgia circuit.
“We still like to have something new to offer,” drummer Eric Singer says. “We still are a creative band. We don’t have to rely solely on older songs.”
The band has always been hell-bent on releasing new material. KISS continues to move forward, even though its lineup has changed many times.
Vocalist-guitarist Paul Stanley and vocalist-bassist Gene Simmons, who formed the band in 1973, have been compelled to keep the act alive, and who could blame them?
The band, which burst onto the scene sporting flamboyant costumes and makeup, was a hit with young males during the mid-’70s, and still draws huge crowds.
“We struck a chord with the youth,” Simmons says. “That’s a good thing, since the youth grows up with you and stays with you. Our fans have been very devoted.”
The Kiss Army, which was established shortly after the group released its eponymous album in 1973, is still going strong. You have the older fans, and some of their progeny are also on the bandwagon.
“Parents pass on the music to their kids,” Simmons says. “That’s worked out well for us.”
Well, hard rock is a rite of passage for many boys, and KISS brings as much flash and noise as any band. The fans still love the band in its war paint.
“We still love putting it on,” Singer says. “It’s part of the ritual. We’re always pumped up to lay things out in a theatrical manner. It’s a cool thing going out in the makeup and the cool clothes. This band has always been about being larger than life. There just aren’t many bands out there that are larger than life anymore.”
We’re living in an ordinary era, and then you have KISS, which is still all about being big.”
The band has sold more than 100 million albums around the world, and still sells out arenas and stadiums around the globe. Yet the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and many critics, refuse to take them seriously.
“Few bands have accomplished what KISS has accomplished,” Simmons says. “There is no other way around that. We’re proud of our past, but we’re very excited about our future as well. Expect more albums, shows and inventiveness. We’re all about making new things, and keeping KISS alive.”
Kiss appears Wednesday at the Susquehanna Bank Center, 1 Harbour Blvd., Camden. Mötley Crüe opens. Show time: 7 p.m. Tickets: $22.55, $53.35, $69, $128.25 and $177. Information: 856-365-1300