Cindy Pearlman
June 10, 1994 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Given his surly mug, who would want to kiss up to Gene Simmons? Plenty of young rockers, apparently. On the eve of the release of Kiss My Ass (see review), Simmons, the band’s lizard-tongued, 44-year-old cofounder and bass player, reclined in a Chicago hotel room, sipped a Diet Sprite, and agreed to answer questions far sillier than “Why is Garth Brooks covering Kiss?”

1. On whose tribute album would you appear?
I’d only do one for the Beatles, my biggest influence. I’d do “Across the Universe,” which is one of my favorites.

2. What’s the best excuse a fan has used to get backstage?
One guy in Toronto said he was my brother. When he met me backstage, he insisted he really was my brother.

3. What movie do you recommend?
I suggest people go see Schindler’s List and then go to the library and start reading so they can learn about life — which is not just music and movies.

4. Do you ever get mistaken for the actress Jean Simmons?
It’s strange — that hasn’t happened for years.

5. Which ”Star Trek” do you prefer — the old or new generation?
I like The Next Generation better. I identify with the new Klingons more. They’re meaner.

6. Who are you for Halloween?
I have the best costume of all — I just dress up like Gene Simmons. It’s a great outfit.

7. Do your kids take you to show-and-tell?
My kids are 5 and 1 1/2. Those are the kids (of mine) I know of. I go to parent-teacher conferences. During the Easter play at school, I got to play the ghoul. Once, every kid had to bring in a picture of mom and dad. My kid brought in this blood-spitting thing.

8. Are you a sloppy guy?
A total slob. A pig. Everything is on the floor in my closet, but what does it matter when everything is black? It all matches.

9. What did you think of the makeup in ”Mrs. Doubtfire?”
He had a good makeup job. Maybe a little less blush, but the base was just right.

10. Do you ever miss your own makeup?
Both me and my pores don’t. It’s like diapers. At a certain time, you have to give these things up. Which isn’t to say we would never wear makeup again. We leave the door open.

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