Iconic rockers Kiss may be known for their racy costumes, makeup, and sexual overtones, but when it comes to language, they are actually quite tame. In an interview with AllMusic, guitarist and co-lead singer Paul Stanley explains why the band doesn’t curse on stage.
” I went through a very brief period of cursing onstage, and I found it ugly and I also thought it was a cheap way to get a response. My heroes didn’t do it, the bands I looked up to didn’t do it, and it’s kind of a juvenile way for somebody to get a thrill or a response of out of an audience, and I just found that it’s not part of your craft.”
Stanley thinks artists should put more energy into delivering a good show that is not dependent on curse words. “I think that addressing and taking an audience along and being the emcee, the cheerleader, the preacher, whatever it is, is much more of a skill and a craft when you eliminate the profanity.”
Stanley also doesn’t like when other artists use swear words in their performances. “Especially when I see people my age or of my generation up there cursing, I just think it’s ugly, and it’s usually disingenuous,” he explains. “When those people leave the stage, they don’t talk like that, they don’t curse. It makes me wince.”
Being a role model is something Stanley takes seriously. “In many factors in life, I do believe you lead by example, and I don’t want to be known for that kind of language, and I don’t want somebody else to do it because they saw me do it,” he says. “I find it juvenile or offensive, and I don’t want to set an example for somebody that is not accurate.”
In the interview, Stanley also discusses the joys of sharing a love of music with his children, Kiss’s new DVD Kiss Rocks Vegas, and smashing guitars on stage.