Hard rock band KISS joins forces with animated icon Scooby-Doo for a fun, whodunit caper in Scooby-Doo! and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery. It isn't the first time the legendary rockers got animated with the Scooby gang — that was in a 2003 Halloween episode of What's New, Scooby-Doo? But this time around is bigger and better.
According to founding KISS member Gene Simmons: "Warner Bros. really stepped up. This is the most expensive Scooby movie of them all. Ten minutes into the film, and all of a sudden we are in space with monsters, sci-fi, and sorcery. It's a real tour de force."
Scooby-Doo! and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery takes place at the band's theme park KISS World when Scooby, Shaggy and the rest of the Mystery Inc. gang drop by to hear some tunes. Instead, they wind up partnering with the musicians to take on the Crimson Witch, who is plotting to annihilate the world with the evil Destroyer from the alternate dimension of Kissteria. You get the picture.
"KISS is a band that can do these kinds of things whereas most bands, most artists can't," says KISS's other remaining original member Paul Stanley. "We're unique like that. Then, of course, if something cool comes along, something that's a great match for an iconic band like KISS, then, of course, we'll do other things."
Six KISS songs are featured in Scooby-Doo! and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery, alongside an original new song, "Don't Touch My Ascot," performed by the band and written just for the film. As such, it isn't considered by them to be a KISS song. Rather, they call it an "Easter Egg" for fans to enjoy at the end of the movie.
Which raises the questions of if and when there will be more KISS music. It's been three years since the band, which was founded in 1973, has put out a new album. The last was Monster in 2012.
"I think one thing that I've learned after 40-some odd years is to never say never," Stanley says. "Everything is true until it's not true. It's not that you lie, it's that the truth changes from day to day. The circumstances change and we may find ourselves willing to do it. Before we did Sonic Boom , there were years and years, where we said we wouldn't record. Then it just became absurd not to. If and when it feels right, we'll certainly do it again."
In addition to being legendary musicians, KISS is known to be masters of merchandising, and Simmons, who authored Me, Inc.: Build an Army of One, Unleash Your Inner Rock God, Win in Life and Business in 2014, says there is no excuse for people not to learn the tricks of the trade.
"All of the information mankind has ever put together is really available for free," he says. "So, when a guy walks up to you and says, 'Yeah man. What's up?,' that's not society's fault, that's his fault for not taking the time to learn language skills and people skills. All the information you want is right there at your fingertips for free. I used to go to the library every day. Read. Seek and you shall find. I didn't create that, but it's your responsibility."
With all the products that bear the KISS name — from condoms to cookies to a coffeehouse, it is still the music for which they are known. And it is the music that is the most magical.
"Nothing compares to being up on stage and that electric church moment: fan and band. When there's that connection, the pope doesn't have more fun. There's just nothing like it," Simmons tells Bio.
But music isn't all. Simmons continues, "Music is important, but it is like anything in life, you can't point to just one thing. If cheesecake is your favorite food, if you ate it all the time, you'd throw up. Variety is the spice of life. It's what makes everything else really exciting. We love doing it, but all the other KISS stuff, people love the association. They love the branding of it and so do we."
Which is why the door is being left open for a sequel. "We are already talking to Warner Bros. actually," Simmons says. "They are waiting for it to come out. They don't want to announce but I expect there will be more."
Scooby-Doo! and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery, which also features the voices of Pauley Perrette, Matthew Lillard and Grey Griffin, is currently available on Digital HD from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and will be released on Blu-ray Combo Pack & DVD on July 21.