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KISS bassist Gene Simmons has said that the band are retiring out of “self-respect” and because of the “love” for their fans.

The band announced back in 2018 that they would embark on one massive final tour, before hanging up their iconic costumes. Speaking in a new interview, Simmons explained why the band felt it was time to retire.

“The reason for stopping touring is because of pride and self-respect and a love and admiration for the fans,” he told Full Metal Jackie on an episode of KLOS’ Whiplash. “The last thing you wanna be is to be a world-champion boxer and stay in the ring too long. It’s only a matter of time until your legs are not gonna be able to hold you up, and you’re gonna lose.”

He continued: “We’ve also seen boxers who’ve stayed in the ring too long and bands who continue touring too long. And they forget lyrics and you can see the deep wrinkles in their faces. I mean, it’s just the nature of life as we know it on earth.

“So we’re doing the right thing. We’re gonna quit while we’re on top, do the best we can, and it’ll be sad, but it’s also gonna be happy. On the last show we ever do as a touring band, I’ll be crying like a 12-year-old kid whose foot you’re stepping on.”

KISS currently have a number of concerts booked for Europe and Australia this summer – including a headline slot at this year’s Download Festival – and then they’ll return to North America at the end of the year for a few more festivals, which is everything they have officially left on the schedule. They also plan to reschedule their Las Vegas residency, which was cancelled late last year.

Meanwhile, Simmons recently stated that artists like Beyoncé, Bono, Mick Jagger and Bruno Mars wouldn’t be able to perform in his famously over-the-top costumes, due to their excessive weight and unwieldiness.

In an extensive new interview with Entertainment Tonight, he explained that, especially at age 72 – more than 50 years since he first debuted with the band – fitness is crucial to maintaining his prowess as a performer.

“We work hard at it,” Simmons assured journalist Kevin Frazier, telling him the band currently enjoy “no drugs, no booze, no smoking. None of that stupid rock and roll stuff.”

He continued: “I hike almost every single day with Shannon [Tweed, Simmons’ wife], we do three to five miles a day, and it’s hard to keep this going.”

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