July 17, 2024

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Kiss sells the catalogue, brand name and intellectual property. Gene Simmons assures fans it's a 'collaboration'

Kiss sells the catalogue, brand name and intellectual property.  Gene Simmons assures fans it's a 'collaboration'

It's not really the end of the road for Kiss

It's not really the end of the road for Kiss. The rock quartet has sold its catalog, brand name and intellectual property to Sweden's Pophouse Entertainment Group in a deal valued at more than $300 million, it was announced Thursday.

This isn't the first time Kiss has collaborated with Pophouse, which was co-founded by ABBA's Björn Ulvaeus. When the band's current lineup — founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons plus guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer — took the stage on the final night of their farewell tour in December at New York City's iconic Madison Square Garden, they ended by unveiling digital instrumentation. Avatars of themselves.

This cutting-edge technology was created by George Lucas's special effects company, Industrial Light & Magic, in partnership with Pophouse. The two companies recently collaborated on an “ABBA Voyage” show in London, where fans can experience a full concert by the Swedish band in their heyday, as performed by their digital avatars.

The ways Kiss avatars will be used have not yet been announced, but Pophouse CEO Per Sundin says fans can expect a biopic, a documentary, and a Kiss experience on the horizon.

The avatar show is scheduled to launch in the second half of 2027 — but don't expect it to look like “ABBA Voyage,” Sundin told the AP. Fans can expect it to debut in North America.

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Sundin says the goal of the purchase is to expose Kiss to new generations — something he believes sets Pophouse apart from other music catalog acquisitions.

“The record labels, the big three that are left, are doing a great job, but they have too many catalogs and can't focus on everything,” he says. “We are working with Universal (Music Group) and Kiss, although we will own the rights to the artists, and we are doing it in collaboration with Kiss. ​​But yes, we have bought all the rights, which is something I have never seen so clear before.”

“I don't like the word acquisition,” Gene Simmons told the AP over Zoom, stressing that the band would never sell its catalog to a label that didn't value it.

“Cooperation is exactly what it's about. It would be a dereliction of our inferred fiduciary duty — 'See what I just did there?' — to the very thing we were created to give up,” he continued. “People might misunderstand and think, 'Well, now Bobhouse does these things and we're just In Beverly Hills we twiddle our thumbs.” “No, that's not true. We're in the trenches with them. We talk all the time. We share ideas. It's a collaboration. Paul (Stanley) and I especially, with the band, are going to stay committed to this. It's our baby.”

And that includes: no more live touring, for real. “We'll never tour like Kiss Period again,” he says. “We're not going to put on makeup and go out there.”

Kiss is Pop House's second investment outside of Sweden: In February, Cyndi Lauper entered into a partnership with the company that includes selling a majority stake in her music and a new immersive performance project that she calls an “immersive theatrical piece” that transports audiences to the world. New York, where I grew up.

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The goal is to develop new ways to bring Lauper's music to fans and younger audiences through new performances and live experiences.

“Most suits, when you tell them an idea, their eyes light up, and they just want your greatest hits,” Lauber told the AP at Pubhouse headquarters in Stockholm in February. “But these guys are a multimedia company, and they're not just looking to buy my catalog, they want to make something new.”