Gene Simmons Becomes ‘Emperor’ Of Japan


September 18, 2008

Karen Bliss of reports that makeup and role play isn’t out of the ordinary for Gene Simmons. That said, it only seems fitting that the Kiss bassist makes a cameo in Japan’s No. 2 box office hit, ‘Detroit Metal City,’ as Jack Ill Dark, a legendary American death metal guitarist who holds the title “The Emperor.”

Simmons flew to Japan last March for five days of shooting after director Toshio Lee tracked the rocker down with the help of Sony Music Japan. “He was a complete professional,” Lee tells Spinner with the aid of an English-speaking translator. “He didn’t even want to rest. He said, ‘I’m here for business.'”

At first, Lee and Simmons communicated through an interpreter, but Lee soon just started showing him physically what to do. “[Gene would say] ‘Let me see that one more time so I can really master it,'” Lee says. When Lee screwed up, Simmons responded promptly: “That’s not the same thing you did the first time.” “He was really watching and very attentive,” Lee says.

As for the character’s attire, Simmons wears an outlandish horned costume with most of his face hidden under a mask. And yes, even his guitar has spikes. The rocker utters a few English lines, including “Command the beast” and “You’re still wet behind the ears.”

“It would be weird if he spoke Japanese,” Lee says. “He had to speak in English. He’s the king.”

Courtesy of