KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons spoke to Steve Raymond of New Jersey radio station 100.7 WZXL about “Gene Simmons – The Vault Experience: 1966-2016”, the comprehensive box set of his solo material that comes packaged in a safe. The set includes 150 previously unreleased songs spread over 10 discs, a leather-bound photo book, a Gene Simmons action figure, an “In Gene We Trust” gold medallion and a “surprise item.” You can listen to the entire chat via the SoundCloud widget below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the contents of “Gene Simmons – The Vault Experience: 1966-2016”:
Gene: “I don’t want to come off like a used car salesman, but informationally, there are few thousand of these monsters that are going to be available. After that, no more. This is the largest box set of all time, literally. There’s only one place to get it — no stores, no nothing — you got to go to GeneSimmonsVault.com. There’s never going to be a cheaper version. It’s not going to be downloaded, schmall-loaded in the cloud, just one place to get it if you want it. After those few thousand are gone, there will be no more. What the ‘Gene Simmons – The Vault Experience’ is, I’m going to be going around the world and I’m going to be hand-delivering the vaults, anywhere you are. We’re going to pick a convenient time and place and wherever people are, whether it’s New Zealand or Russia, I’m going to hop on a plane at my cost and come to folks and put the largest box set of all time in their hands. It’s three feet tall, weighs 38 pounds, looks like a safe, has got a combination and all of that. Inside, it’s got metal hardware, metal wheels — this is something that stands the test of time. Inside are 150 tracks that have literally never been released before, from 1966 until 2016. It includes songs I’ve co-written with Bob Dylan. Eighteen years ago, Bob and I sat down, including the songwriting sessions where we are kidding around and strumming guitars back and forth, three songs that came out of that. I discovered VAN HALEN in the ’70s, the brothers Van Halen [Alex and Eddie] were kind enough to jump in the studio with me and we did three tracks together, one of them became [KISS‘s] ‘Christine Sixteen’, which became a hit. Joe Perry from AEROSMITH is on one, all the KISS guys going back to ’73/’74 are doing original versions, including ‘Rock And Roll All Nite’ and ‘Calling Dr. Love’ and all that stuff.”
On whether any Simmons family home videos previously shown on the “Gene Simmons Family Jewels” reality television show are included in the box set:
Gene: “No, but the family certainly makes an appearance because it’s also part of my life and there’s a 50,000-word book inside of it that has photos and stories about where I was and all that stuff. None of this has ever been released. But speaking of ‘Gene Simmons Family Jewels’, we’re actually talking with a broadcaster about making new ones.”
On his recurring message that if people are “above ground,” as in alive, they should be happy:
Gene: “Well, life is short and then you’re gone. And your job and I think you’re making a difference — every once in a while, you put a smile on people’s faces and that’s important. Your job, my job, everybody’s job is to leave this world a little bit better than when we came into it. It’s not really all that hard. During Christmas, stop by the Salvation Army, contribute to Wounded Warriors, do it year-round, you make a difference. If you imagine all the people on earth do just a little bit, it greatly improves everything in everybody’s life.”
“Gene Simmons – The Vault Experience: 1966-2016” spans the rocker’s entire musical career, from 1966 to 2016, and includes the first song he ever wrote at the tender age of 14.
“Gene Simmons Family Jewels” aired for seven seasons and followed the life of Simmons, his wife Shannon Tweed and their two children, Nick and Sophie. The most recent episodes of the show aired in 2012.