Kiss Talks Charity, TV, And Ass Kicking At Press Conference

Kiss promised to feed the world, invade Fox television, and, of course, kick ass at a press conference heralding the new "Psycho Circus" era of Kiss lore.

The band turned up at Mann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood on Monday to trumpet next week's release of "Psycho Circus," and roll out details of the tour extravaganza and the publicity onslaught that will accompany it.

In addition to well-reported tidbits about the tour having a 3-D component, a televised concert special on Fox, and their own Internet Service Provider, the band actually managed to deliver a few bits of news at the press gathering. Most notably, the band said that its upcoming Psycho Circus tour would benefit the Feed The Children organization, and that they hoped to gather 30,000 pounds of food over the next ten months for the cause.

Of course, fans needn't worry that this is the beginning of a more politically aware Kiss. "No more bands whining about how miserable their lives are. We're going to bring fun back to rock and roll. You deserve it," bassist Gene Simmons loudly declared during the conference.

The band will bring that fun not only to rock and roll, but also to Fox Television, who will feature the band in no less than three broadcasts in the coming months. The band's management confirms that Kiss will be in Vancouver in the very near future to appear in a Halloween episode of the Fox series "Millennium." The episode will air on Friday, October 30, and will feature Kiss as themselves. The band will be seen performing "Psycho Circus" in a club setting, supposedly taking part in a 'B' horror movie shoot based on a case that the lead character, Frank Black (Lance Henriksen), had previously been involved in. Sources close to the production reveal that the band may also appear in cameo roles in that same episode, sans make-up.

The band will also continue rehearsals for its pending tour in Vancouver.

The night after their "Millennium" appearance, the band will appear on an episode of Fox's Saturday night sketch comedy show "Mad-TV" that will immediately precede a Fox live Kiss concert special from Dodger Stadium dubbed "Kiss Live: The Ultimate Halloween Party." Tickets for that October 31 Dodger Stadium show will go on sale this Saturday and are priced at $75.

The band also announced that yet another of its gigs will be televised when it plays a New Year's Eve show at the Pontiac Silverdome that will be part of Dick Clark's annual New Year's telecast. The band will take that opportunity to give away the Kiss Plymouth Prowler car that we first reported on in June (see "Kiss To Play L.A. Halloween Show, Car And 3-D Game In Works").

Of course, the day's main course was "Psycho Circus," the first studio album from the original Kiss line-up in almost 20 years, and the monstrous tour that will support it. Gene Simmons has said that the band will launch the tour in November without the aid of an opening band, a void that will be filled by a variety of traveling psycho circus acts incorporating weird characters, lasers, 3-D and other effects. The price tag on the production is estimated at over $10 million.

Of the album the spectacle is supporting, and the reasons to get back in the studio again after all these years, drummer Peter Criss said before the press conference, "We really got close on the (last) tour, extremely close, too close, and getting back again was exciting for me. We laugh a lot at each other, we make a lot of fun about ourselves, and that's a good thing. But playing together was awesome. I mean, just being back in the room and everybody putting their input on it, it was cool. I had a great time. I wanna make more." "We were determined to make sure that the album had all the classic elements of a Kiss album without being a retro album," vocalist/guitarist Paul Stanley added of their approach this time around. "We didn't want to recreate the past, but we wanted to build on what we had done before, and it's unmistakable. When you put it on, the first thing you'll say is, 'Wow, it's Kiss. They're back, and they're great."

In addition to the small screen, the band talked about its plans to hit the big screen, specifically in director Adam Rifkin's upcoming film "Detroit Rock City." The band noted that they will be playing themselves in the movie, which also stars Edward Furlong ("Pecker") and Natasha Lyonne ("Slums Of Beverly Hills") as '70s teens making a pilgrimage to a sold out Kiss show. The movie will also feature hundreds of fans who turned out for Monday's press conference and were recruited as extras for the film. They will all be on-hand when Kiss shoots its scenes at the Sports Arena in Los Angles November 6 (even though the concert in the film is supposed to take place in Detroit). The film company is still looking for about 4,000 extras in Kiss garb or late 70's dress, and they have provided a Detroit Rock City hotline for fans interested in attending. The number is (310) 967-6850, and be warned, it is a toll call.

If the upcoming deluge of Kiss stuff still isn't enough, the band also announced that the Kiss Internet Service Provider that we told you about earlier this month is now open for business (see "Kiss Entering Internet Access Business"). Fans who want to check out what the service has to offer can swing by