Gene Simmons: ‘I’ve Never Done Drugs So My Soul Is Intact’

By Kelly Burch 08/25/17

This is not the first time that Simmons has spoken publicly about the fact that he has never done drugs or alcohol. 

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Gene Simmons

Kiss frontman and rock superstar Gene Simmons says he’s never done drugs, thus allowing him to enjoy a long and diverse career—first as a rock ’n’ roll star and later as the center of a reality show and a product empire.

Simmons, who is currently touring with Kiss, said during an interview with The Chicago Tribune that performing can be exhausting. Reporter Allison Steward asked him, “Have you ever come close to packing it in—you, personally?” 

“No. Why would you, when you're having so much fun? I've never done drugs or alcohol, never smoked cigarettes, so my soul is intact,” Simmons replied. 

He did not elaborate on the comment and Steward moved on. However, this is not the first time that Simmons has spoken publicly about the fact that he has never done drugs or alcohol. 

Despite being part of the hard-partying world of rock stars, Simmons told the Los Angeles Times last year that he never indulged—partly out of respect and love for his mother. “I’m my mother’s only child, I was concerned I had no right to harm my mother. Life did that enough,” Simmons said, referencing her time in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. 

His reason for abstaining was reinforced when he realized that sobriety gave him a leg up in terms of succeeding in his career. “Life is a race and we’re in constant competition,” he said. “[If] you and I are lined up along with 10 other guys, do you think you’ll do better than the guy who is a little tipsy? Because the alcohol is not going to help him.”

For these reasons, Simmons says he never imbibes. “I literally never drink. Privately or publicly. I simply don't like the taste or the smell of anything with alcohol in it. I have never been drunk in my life and have never taken more than a sip of anything, and hated it every time. I will toast just to be social, but that's it.”

Simmons said that society is too quick to absorb messages about the supposed benefits of alcohol, like red wine contributing to heart health. “People say, ‘There’s my license to drink,’” he said.

Despite his clean living, Simmons said that he doesn’t expect everyone to make the same choices. “I’m not here to convince anyone of my lifestyle,” he said. “This is what I want for me.”

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.

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