Rock band Kiss’ avatars to go on tour after Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons retire

Rock band Kiss’ avatars to go on tour after Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons retire

NEW YORK – When Kiss’ veteran rock stars take the stage for the last time after a 50-year career, they will hand their legacy over to three-dimensional avatars that will continue playing after they retire.

The American band have agreed to let avatars created by film-maker George Lucas’ visual-effects company Industrial Light & Magic perform God Gave Rock And Roll To You as a final song at Madison Square Garden in New York on Dec 2.

In this vein, lead singer Paul Stanley and bandmates Gene Simmons, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer have something in common with Swedish pop group Abba.

Kiss are in discussions to let their avatars continue to tour in a deal with Pophouse Entertainment Group AB, the company behind Abba Voyage. Details are yet to be ironed out.

Kiss are known for their electrifying live performances, having recorded 44 albums that have sold more than 100 million copies combined.

“What we’ve accomplished has been amazing, but it’s not enough,” Stanley said in a taped video shared with Bloomberg. “The band deserves to live on because the band is bigger than we are.”

Their digital personas are featured as younger-version fantasy-based superheroes with spectacular powers – including a fire-breathing Simmons with dragon wings.

Abba Voyage has sold more than 1.9 million tickets, according to Pophouse chief executive officer Per Sundin.

The shows earn more than US$2 million (S$2.7 million) a week for performances featuring 3D renderings of Agnetha Faltskog, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, which perform the group’s past hits including Dancing Queen and Fernando.

A Kiss avatar tour will likely take two to three years to organise.

Before a show materialises, the avatars may also appear on other platforms like gaming, metaverse or “a totally new vehicle in the entertainment business”, Mr Sundin said.

“We could not do this with any artiste. It needs to be a band with legacy, with really dedicated super-fans,” he added in an interview.

What also makes Kiss so well-suited for an avatar version are the members’ strong characters, he said.

“Their make-up. They have their personalities. There are even Marvel magazines about them where they have superpowers.” BLOOMBERG

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