Kiss Band Members
Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley are the two main Kiss band members and have hired, and fired, numerous people over the years of the band’s existence. The band, which debuted in 1973, have gone through three drummers and five guitarists with only Stanley and Simmons remaining through it all.
- Gene Simmons – Gene Simmons remains the most identifiable Kiss band member thanks to his reality show, “Family Jewels.” Simmons is a founder of the band and the lead bassist. He also sings lead on a number of songs including “Calling Dr. Love.” When in makeup, Simmons is the Demon and is known for blowing fire and spitting up blood onstage.
- Paul Stanley – Just like Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley has been a Kiss band member since its inception. He is the rhythm guitarist and sings lead on most of the band’s songs. While in makeup, Paul Stanley is the Starchild. Unlike Simmons, who has a gravelly voice, Stanley’s voice is high pitched, fitting the glam metal persona.
- Ace Frehley – Ace Frehley is one of the founding Kiss band members and the lead guitarist for most of their greatest hits. While in makeup, he is the Spaceman, a persona taken on later by Tommy Thayer. He left the band in 1982 and rejoined them for a short tour in 1996.
- Peter Criss – Peter Criss was a founding Kiss band member and was drummer for the band until 1980, when he left the band. With makeup on, he is known as the Catman and is best known for singing the ballad “Beth.” He returned for the reunion tour in 1996.
- Eric Carr – Eric Carr took Peter Criss’ place as a Kiss band member in 1980. Instead of taking on the Catman persona, Carr chose the Fox makeup. Carr was a drummer for the band until he died in 1991 of cancer.
- Eric Singer – Eric Singer took over as drummer for Kiss following Eric Carr’s death. When the reunion tour began in 1996, Singer left the band and returned when Carr quit once again. He still plays with the band as of 2011.
- Vinnie Vincent – Vinnie Vincent took Ace Frehley’s place as a Kiss band member in 1982. He took on the persona of The Wiz and played guitar for Kiss from 1982 until 1984 when the two sides could not agree on a contract.
- Mark St. John – Mark St. John took Vinnie Vincent’s place as a Kiss band member in 1984 but only played with the band on one album. He was quickly replaced without touring with the band for much time at all.
- Bruce Kulick – Bruce Kulick replaced Mark St. John as a Kiss band member in 1984 and played with the band until the reunion tour began in 1996. When the tour ended, Kiss chose not to ask Kulick to rejoin them as they donned the makeup once again.
- Tommy Thayer – Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley hired Tommy Thayer to replace Ace Frehley after the reunion tour ended because they felt he could wear the Spaceman makeup and duplicate what Frehley did before him. As of 2011, Tommy Thayer still played lead guitar for Kiss.