While Gene Simmons may be best known as the long-tongued rocker from Kiss, when it comes to his family he's a big softy. Behind the make-up lies a tender-hearted father with lots of love (and advice) to give, and his straight-A, drug-free kids and long-time relationship with Shannon Tweed prove Simmons to be a man of many talents. He had plenty to say about his philosophy on relationships, life and love.
What made you decide to do a reality show?
Why not? It's better than chopped liver. I like the idea of having these videos for my children.
What effect has the show had on your kids?
None at all, they are charming and straight-A students because they don't have a choice not to be. You have to keep testing and pushing the wall, and the word 'no' has to have meaning. You have to sleep in the bed you make. The only job Sophie and Nick have is to do well in school and be charming young adults. That's it.
And what effect does the show have on your own behavior? Anything you've thought twice about because you're on camera?
None -- my life's an open book. We're all just passing through anyway, like a scarf in the breeze, so who cares? I video taped my face lift. I have nothing to hide.
What makes your family / children immune to the usual celeb-reality debauchery?
I'm an only child. I never thought about family. Men don't automatically want to raise kids or get married. The more self empowered you are, the less of that you do, the more self empowered you become. But I love my family and I feel lucky. Shannon and I have been together 26 years. But we don't treat each other as indispensible. We all matter to each other. The kids are the way they are because they don't have a choice not to be.
What's your secret to a successful relationship?
We're not in a relationship -- she is Shannon and I am Gene. We take life easy. Both Shannon and I feel very free. We don't pretend to be something we're not. Women need to stop defining themselves by men. Women get married; they take the guy's last name. If you read all of those really stupid, idiotic women's magazines all they talk about is how to keep a man interested, how to get a man to marry you. All that stuff is the ruin of women, and Sophie understands that. Sophie has boyfriends, but she's nobody's girlfriend. Women are free.
You appeared on Trump's Celebrity Apprentice and were fired... Trump has filed bankruptcy multiple times... you have not. Any investment advice you'd like to give?
Take all that stupid money, buy low, sell high. Invest in real estate if you can. Right now is the time.
Is there any KISS merchandising that you have vetoed?
Kiss crack? But everything else is OK.