Gene Simmons may want to rock and roll all night and party every day, but his longterm girlfriend Shannon Tweed may be ready to leave the party.
As the sixth season of the rocker’s reality series, Gene Simmons Family Jewels premiered; Tweed was sent over the edge by Simmons’ womanizing ways and famously stormed off the set during a recent interview with Joy Behar after Gene made jokes about the number of women he’s slept with.
Now, Simmons, 61, talks to Parade.com about his almost too real reality show, and gives a sneak peek into tonight’s dramatic episode, which sees the KISS frontman return to the city of his birth, Haifa, Israel for the first time in over 50 years.
On his unraveling relationship with his partner of 28 years, Shannon Tweed.
“Well, when you have a cut on your hand, it doesn’t heal overnight. It takes time, and if you don’t take care of it, it gets inflamed. We’re working on it. It’s not easy on the kids, Shannon, or myself.”
Men are from mars…
“Men are not reflective. What happened yesterday happened yesterday. We’re in the here and the now. Women are wiser. Women have a 30,000-foot viewpoint. They see the bigger picture, which is why they want to have kids and men don’t. Women want to get married and no man I ever met actually wants to. Women have the ‘Mr. Right’ image, men don’t. There are tons of brides’ magazines, I don’t know of a single husband magazine. We want to be left alone to do whatever we want to do whenever we want to do it without asking anybody. So the hair on our backs rise when the female species says, ‘Where have you been?’ That’s all part of being a kid and immature.”
On watching his life play out onscreen.
“It’s important for men. We don’t watch home movies and we don’t take them. We don’t sit around and show our male friends the family photo albums or any of that stuff. We’re just not reflective. So it’s good for men to be reflective and open up and be more caring. It’s certainly good for me.”
He has no regrets when it comes to the show.
“No, it’s good for me. It’s good for us. I saw it as an opportunity to spread my brand. Little did I know that America and the rest of the world would fall in love with Shannon, Nick, and Sophie. People love them. And what’s not to love? All parents feel that way about their kids, but in our case, it happens to be true!”
Can fans count on future seasons?
“We’re talking about it. It’s probable.”
On returning to his birthplace in Israel in this week’s new episode.
“Shannon is sneaky. She set the whole trip up. Her point of view was that our kids should see where their parents came from. They already visited Canada, so it was time for them to visit Israel. I hadn’t been back there since I was eight years old, and I never even knew much about my dad, who I hadn’t seen since I was eight. He actually ran out on us when I was about seven. And I was shocked to learn my father had actually been married at least six times and had who knows how many other lovers and how many other kids. In fact, I met three sisters and a brother I didn’t know I had.”
Simmons makes a very emotional visit to his father’s grave in Israel. Was he able to make peace with his feelings about his estranged father?
“I still have mixed feelings about it. As the way most men are, we’re really just 12-year-old kids. We don’t delve deep. He was a man who simply did whatever he wanted to do no matter what the repercussions were. On the surface, that seems OK, except when you’ve got kids and wives and people whose feelings get destroyed.”
He didn’t want to repeat his painful past.
“I didn’t want to become my father. I know what it felt like growing up without a father. I’ll be damned if I would have let that happen to Nick and Sophie.”
Parenting 101 with Gene Simmons.
“We’re very strict. You behave well because you’re not allowed not to. It’s as simple as that. There are no drugs, no booze, and no cigarettes because you’re not allowed to. You don’t talk potty talk because you’re not allowed to. The idea that kids slam the door to their rooms on these TV shows is the height of lunacy. All that dribble that Dr. Spock was mouthing — he was basically farting through his mouth. Negotiating with your children? Absolutely not.”
This season, Simmons also visits a place near and dear to his heart: Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas.
“I’m an immigrant from Israel and my mother is a concentration camp survivor from Nazi, Germany, and America in a very real way saved my mother and my people. Other countries in the world don’t want to hear this, but it’s true. America not only saved the world, but also continues to save the world. Yes, we have allies, but without America, you’d have chaos.”