Photo Credit: KISS / Vimeo
Legendary rock band KISS announces the ‘end of its physical existence’ as it prepares to hand over the future of its performances to the members’ new digital avatars.
After a career spanning over 50 years, KISS is marking the official end of its “physical existence” as a band by crossing into the digital world for future performances. At the conclusion of the last show of the band’s final live tour, The End of the Road, on December 2 at Madison Square Garden, KISS announced the surprise onstage handover of the band to the members’ new digital avatars with an encore performance of “God Gave Rock and Roll To You.”
The band’s transformation into avatars will enable their immortalization, allowing the individual members to retire from physical performances while pushing the boundaries of rock and roll performance. For example, the avatar-based performances will feature the band as fantasy-based superheroes, enabling generations of adventures in the future.
KISS’ digital avatars were made possible through a partnership with Pophouse Entertainment Group, a Swedish entertainment company known for its development of brand-building enterprises in music and entertainment. Created by the George Lucas-founded visual effects company and Lucasfilm division Industrial Light & Magic, the avatars are created using an advanced performance-capture technology, forming the basis of the avatars around the band’s actual face and body performances.
Pophouse Entertainment Group will continue to carry the KISS legacy for generations to come, with the new avatar-based shows serving as the second immersive music concert project of its kind for the company, following the success of the ABBA Voyage show in London.
To go behind the scenes of their digital transformation, KISS members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley sat down for a special discussion about the history of the band and the inspiration behind the transition into avatar-powered performance.
“We can be forever young and forever iconic by taking us to places we’ve never dreamed of before,” said Gene Simmons. “The technology is going to make Paul jump higher than he’s ever done before.”
“What we’ve accomplished has been amazing, but it’s not enough. The band deserves to live on because the band is bigger than we are,” adds Paul Stanley. “It’s exciting for us to go the next step and see KISS immortalized. I mean, we’ve spent 50 years building it to this point.”
“By working with ILM and working with Pophouse, we’re all sharing this vision of taking KISS to a completely different level beyond just being a music band,” Stanley continues. “And we’ve always thought of ourselves as more than just a music band.”
Per Sundin, CEO of Pophouse Entertainment, concludes: “Pophouse Entertainment Group is thrilled to embark on this transformative journey with KISS, and showcase to fans what is on the horizon as part of future avatar show. Our partnership will fuse the rich history and iconic status of KISS with cutting-edge technology, allowing fans — now and in the future — to experience the band like never before.”