They’ve rocked and rolled all night, and partied every day, but now Kiss members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley are going long hoping to score a touchdown. In 2013, the classic rockers purchased (with their manager Doc McGhee and AFL vet owner Brett Bouchy) an Arena Football League team in Los Angeles and rebranded it LA KISS. Now Simmons sounds off on his new AMC reality series, 4th and Loud, which chronicles the struggles of a sports franchise start-up.
TV Guide Magazine: Why was buying this team the right decision for the band at this point in your career?
Simmons: Kiss has never really followed the rules, we’ve always been renegades. Los Angeles — No. 1 media city in North America — didn’t have a football team. When we played the ArenaBowl about a year ago, the idea of a team in Los Angeles came up and we jumped at the opportunity.
TV Guide Magazine: How do you infuse the KISS brand into the games?
Simmons: We’ve got extreme bikers doing flips, girls in cages, fireworks, the LA KISS dancers. Why not do the Super Bowl every day? That’s the idea.
TV Guide Magazine: Yet after one season, the team is underperforming with a 3-15 record.
Simmons: Some heads have rolled.
TV Guide Magazine: Has that made for better television?
Simmons: It’s less about television and more about real life. You don’t have to create drama because there’s so much going on in the growing pains of launching a brand-new sports team. I visited one of our players who was injured — he tore his Achilles tendon — and we’re not quitting on him. We’re going to support him, pay all the doctor bills, and when he gets well, he’s coming back in. On the other hand, if we ever catch you with a police record, you’re gone.
TV Guide Magazine: Is it true you made an offer to Tim Tebow?
Simmons: Yes. He’s got aspirations to be a broadcaster [on ESPN], but we would love for him to come on board because he’s a family guy, a devout Christian, doesn’t use drugs or booze, and he doesn’t torture dogs. You want that association, as opposed to somebody who treats fans like s–t.
TV Guide Magazine: Did you ever imagine that the band would get to this level? Was it always the goal?
Simmons: It’s tough to be honest and not come off as self-serving and arrogant, but yes. When I was a kid, I dreamed that I could fly. There is no downside to being delusional about your own greatness.
4th and Loud premieres Tuesday at 9/8c on AMC.