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Paul Stanley has once again said that he believes KISS can carry on without any original members. More than a year ago, the legendary rockers launched their second farewell tour, dubbed "End Of The Road", which is scheduled to end in July 2021. Joining founding members Stanley and Gene Simmons in the band's current lineup are Tommy Thayer on guitar and Eric Singer on drums. Thayer and Singer are replacements for original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, respectively. Asked by Sioux City Journal whether he thinks KISS could one day exist without him and Simmons, Stanley said: "There was a time when people said, 'KISS has to be the original four members.' Well, those people are 50 percent wrong. And all of this is conjecture. I'm not walking away from what Gene and I have built over 45 years. I'm of the mindset that teams don't fold because their star pitcher or star hitter is gone. There's an amazing pool of talent out there. Can it continue? Absolutely." It was back in 2005 that KISS manager Doc McGhee first told the New York Times that the group had "been toying with the idea of recruiting an entire band to don the band's famous makeup." McGhee said: "KISS is more like Doritos or Pepsi, as far as a brand name is concerned. They're more characters than the individual person. I think [new members] have a legitimate chance to carry the franchise." Four years ago, Stanley spoke about how he would go about finding someone to replace him in KISS. He said: "Honestly, I think all the KISS tribute bands are great, but none of them have a good 'Paul.' So I'd like to see somebody who incorporates what I've done with a lot of the things that inspired me. And it's not a matter of a puppet being me; it's somebody who comes in and contributes and adds something new to it while still following the template that's been set." Frehley said in 2016 that the idea that KISS could continue without any original members was "the most ridiculous statement I've ever heard [Stanley and Simmons] make." He added: "I think the only reason they make those statements at this juncture is to try to validate the fact that they have two other guys in the band that aren't the original members. So they're trying to rationalize to the fans, 'Well, you know, we replaced Peter and we replaced Ace, and eventually we're gonna replace ourselves. That's like Mick Jagger saying, 'Yeah, after me and Keith [Richards, THE ROLLINGS STONES guitarist] die, THE STONES will continue on with two other guys.' I mean, it's a joke."
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