Kiss to play concert supporting Help for Heroes charity

Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley from Kiss

US rock band Kiss have donated the profits from their London concert to UK forces charity Help For Heroes.

The group, who have a new single out called Hell or Hallelujah, played the Kentish Town Forum as part of a promotional tour of Europe.

They had been due to headline this weekend's Sonisphere rock festival at Knebworth House in Hertfordshire but the event was cancelled.

Kiss - made up of front man Paul Stanley, bassist Gene Simmons, guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer - release Monster, their 20th studio album, in October.

The band have sold more than 100 million records since forming in New York in 1973.

Why are you supporting Help For Heroes?

Gene: "No matter what your political persuasions, the reality is that any freedoms that England and America have, has to do not with politicians but the brave men and women in uniform here, in the US and in the free world.

"They actually put their lives on the line.

"All they're trying to do is to come back into society after they've risked their lives.

"The least we can do is to show them respect and appreciation."

Paul: "The greatest national treasure of any free country are the people that keep it free.

"When people volunteer to risk life and limb to support a country and to keep it free, and then they come back and have to fight their way back into society, it's criminal.

"It can be catastrophic upon your return. You can be psychologically broken as well as have a broken body.

"It's everybody's obligation to support the people who keep us free."

You were due to headline Sonisphere this weekend. Are you worried about the financial situation at the moment?

Paul: "We've been through periods in our career where we played to very few people.

Kiss
Kiss are touring the United States this summer with Motley Crue

"Muhammad Ali was the greatest.

"That didn't mean he won every fight but it means over the long haul he was the champ.

"We don't do this because the crowds are massive.

"We do this because we love doing it.

"At the moment we seem to be impervious to whatever's going on with other bands."

What can you tell us about the new single, Hell or Hallelujah?

Paul: "It's the battle-cry. It's a song that epitomises everything the album is.

"What we wanted to do this time was not make a great Kiss album, make a great classic rock album.

"I think it's more sure of itself.

"I don't think that the heaviness or harder feel comes from anything other than our being that much more sure of what we're doing."

Do you enjoy coming to the UK?

Paul: "The UK for us is the holy land. It's where all our heroes come from.

"Rock 'n' roll may have been invented in America but what it became over here is what we emulated."

Tommy: "We always scratch our heads about the disproportionate amount of amazing rock 'n' roll bands that come from England.

"It's something we always talk about."