LOS ANGELES, Aug. 14 (UPI)–KISS and frontman Gene Simmons had strong “advice” for fellow immigrants in an interview with the Huffington Post, urging them to learn Enlgish in no uncertain terms.
Speaking with a visibly uncomfortable Ricky Camilleri on the site’s HuffPost Live subsection, Simmons exclaimed, “As an immigrant, I’m telling you, learn to speak goddamn English.”
“It is the key that will unlock the keys to the kingdom. If you make the effort then all the possibilities of this culture will open up for you and give you all the rewards that I’ve gotten … I’m actually saying the thing that needs to be said because the politically-correct climate is [expletive].”
In case followers of Simmons’ philosophy needed a handy rule of thumb, the KISS bassist offers this quick check: “If Siri can’t understand you, you’re in trouble.”
Camilleri attempted to dial down Simmons’ rhetoric, but only set Simmons up to discourage people from saying “whassup,” which he said in his perception of an African-American accent.
All the while Camilleri can be heard repeating “Gene…Gene…” in a low, defeated tone.
The HuffPo Live piece is not Simmons’ first foray into needling the social thresholds of long-form interview hosts. In 2002, appearing on NPR’s Fresh Air, Simmons infamously told host Terry Gross, “If you want to welcome me with open arms, I’m afraid you’re also going to have to welcome me with open legs.”
Simmons recalled that encounter to HuffPo, saying “I don’t think she was sweet.”
“I think she was practicing holier-than-thou. I found her arrogant and insulting. I told her she should get out, see the real world and not count the dust particles settling on her apartment where she was doing [the interview].”