Gene Simmons Would Work for $1 if He Entered Politics
Gene Simmons said he’d work without a salary if he ever entered politics, calling democracy “our only hope.”
The Kiss star was speaking after a visit to the U.K. Parliament as a guest of Northern Ireland M.P. Ian Paisley. After watching a debate in the House of Commons, he was asked about his thoughts on what he’d seen.
“It was actually quite an amazing day,” he told the BBC. “The history and the hallowed halls of democracy – it was very inspiring. ... I think it's really important for people to actually see where the people's business is being done. … It’s important, when the occasion calls, [to] visit Parliament. I’m sure you’ll be able to get in there and see some of it.”
He noted the “lesson in civility” he’d seen in the House, suggesting that U.S. politicians could learn from it, too. “We’re a diversion," he said of rock stars. “Our job is to make you forget about your troubles, just for those few hours that you’re with us.” Conversely, he argued that the role of politicians is “far more important.”
Asked if he had any political aspirations, Simmons joked that the job “won’t pay enough,” noting, “I can literally make more in one evening doing a concert than I can being a politician for the entire year, as shocking as that may sound. ... If I was called to serve, sure, I would do it, but I would not accept a salary. I would do it for $1 – tax-free, of course!”
Paisley is a member of the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland, which withdrew from a power-sharing arrangement in the province in response to complications created by the U.K.’s withdrawal from Europe. Because the Republic of Ireland remains part of Europe, a series of issues related to border management have not been resolved with the U.K. government. Negotiations continue, but the Northern Ireland Executive has been effectively paralyzed by the DUP’s refusal to work with Sinn Fein, the province’s largest party, since May 2022.
Simmons said he hoped “everything gets back in order in Northern Ireland [as] the people’s business should be done by their elected officials.” Paisley hailed Simmons as “a real knowledgeable guy,” adding that “he’s got a genuine interest both in the history and the theology behind all this stuff. … [It’s] an honor to have guests here, and it’s great when they’re passionate and interested, and they can tell the world about the importance of this building and democracy and what it means for people here.”
Kiss is in the U.K. to deliver a series of shows on their End of the Road farewell tour.