Gene Simmons of KISS on Ortsbo.com, Communication, Music and More
Thu, 19 May 2011 13:45:16
"I'm deliriously happy," exclaims KISS singer and bassist Gene Simmons.
Simmons has numerous reasons to be elated, but right now he's focusing on just one. On Friday May 20th at 7:30am PST / 10:30am EST, he and KISS band mate Paul Stanley will host the world's largest conversation via Ortsbo.com—the online instant translator.
They're going to engage fans in every nook and cranny of the planet with this exciting new platform that translates languages in real-time, instantly thus demolishing any and all communication boundaries. It doesn't matter where or who you are, you can talk to anyone online via Ortsbo. Simmons and Stanley have always been on the cutting edge musically and with their various business pursuits, however, this conversation brings them to another level as well.
Simmons goes on, "There are no walls. Countries, nationalities, and languages will not keep us apart any longer."
His music has always brought people together, and now he's engaging them like never before. For this exclusive interview, the legendary Simmons spoke to ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino about Ortsbo, communication, and so much more.
What encouraged you to get involved with Ortsbo?
Well, the powerful and attractive Paul Stanley and I are in a band called KISS. We're celebrating 38 years of touring the world. When you become a worldwide phenomenon, you notice that not everybody speaks English on planet Earth. So through Ortsbo, Paul and I are going to hold the largest conversation on Planet Earth. In other words, 107 countries have already registered to participate. In real-time for free, anybody can use this technology. We'll go to Ortsbo.com. We log on respectively to our social network sites. It's Facebook in my case. I pick my language—Swahili, Italian, or German. I start typing in English, and they get it in any language I want in real-time. For the first time we crawled out of the caves we used to hide in, we can communicate with each other. There are no more language differences. Your parents were Italian?
I can hear it in your voice! You probably forgot the Italian you were supposed to learn when you were a kid, right?
You're completely correct.
Okay, so far you and I are communicating, but that's because we speak the same language. If you want to reach out to your family members, friends, or somebody you know in Italy, but you don't speak Italian. Here's the answer. You go to Ortsbo.com. You don't need a penny to do that. Go to your social network site, whatever you use. I don't want to know your password [Laughs]. You can chat instantaneously in real-time.
Has the world become smaller because of this capability?
Well, the thing that separates people is language itself. We think it brings people together, but even in America you've got a large segment of the population that speaks Spanish that doesn't speak English. We want to break down that barrier so people can communicate. The hardest thing to do is to learn how to read and write a language. It's really tough, and that's the most important thing as well.
Does touring the world in a band encourage global consciousness?
Well you have to! We're arrogant; we think everybody speaks English. They don't! I have businesses in China, and when you land there, you realize very quickly that about a quarter of the world's entire population, which is in China, does not speak English. Ortsbo eliminates the language barrier.
Did you see this coming eventually?
Everybody saw it coming ever since the days of Star Trek when all of the space guys land on other planets and they have communication devices that you can talk through. Language is fleeting because there's no notation for it. We've always talked about the idea of being able to communicate. In the Old Testament, before the Tower of Babel we all spoke one language. Then, we were arrogant and started building the Tower of Babel to challenge God. As the story goes, God created all of the different languages so there would be chaos in the world. Ortsbo tears down the Tower Babel. We can finally communicate with each other instantly again.
Would you say music is a global communicator?
No it doesn't. It entertains people all around the world, but you don't quite understand the nuance and old-ance [Laughs]. You don't quite understand what the words mean. You just know the melodies and the sound of the foreign language. Ortsbo is finally the pathway to communicate with any language anywhere in the world.
Will you be participating in tomorrow's chat?
Video of this interview below!