Rocker says anniversary show has it all for fans.

At 63, Kiss frontman Paul Stanley is still every bit the rock star.

When we meet at his Auckland hotel, he sports a studded leather jacket, low-cut singlet and purple tinted glasses - even though we're inside.

The veteran rocker makes just one allowance for practicality: running shoes.

Stanley is in Auckland for Kiss' 40th anniversary world tour and far from being past their prime, the band has never been better, the singer says.


Even now, he says, no one can give fans the show Kiss can.

"There's nothing like Kiss. There's plenty who want to be Kiss, but there is only one Kiss. You can buy a big show, you can use pyro, you can have all the lights, but you can't be us."

"We go out there to be everything we've always been, and more."

Case in point is the Spider set, which the band is using for the first time in New Zealand tonight at the Vector Arena.

The Spider incorporates 38 computer-controlled winches, 220 automated lights and 900 pieces of pyrotechnics.

Looming over the stage squirting bursts of fire, the Spider even hoists up Stanley and bassist Gene Simmons, making them soar above the audience at points in the show.

How does a man in his 60s keep up with all this?

"You never stop," Stanley explains. "You keep the oil flowing. I think passion is what is at the core of doing anything well, certainly when you don't have to do it - there's no financial reason to be doing this, it's not even the glory, it's just the love of doing it.


"I'm so fortunate and I know it and I go out every night with a big smile on my face."

Kiss is certainly ambitious, performing eight shows in 10 days. As Stanley says, "I don't know how many bands half our age who would attempt that; not just a half-hour show but an hour and 45 minutes, two hours even."

While Stanley can still keep the pace on stage, he admits the after-show antics have changed with age.

"It used to be a lesson in debauchery. That's kind of settled down as we've all settled down.

"I guess the perks have changed," he muses, and although he doesn't elaborate it's easy enough to guess what sort of perks he's thinking of.

Now though, "marriage, children, things like that" make him happy.

"But it doesn't change or de-fang the beast, so to speak. The band on stage is not only intact but better than ever."

Kiss seems to have every intention to keep rock-and-rolling all night (although maybe not partying every day any more) and Stanley says Kiwi fans shouldn't assume they won't return.

"The love we have for Australia and New Zealand ... I can't see any reason why we wouldn't come back. We're having too much fun."

• Kiss play Auckland's Vector Arena tonight.