After the online vigilante group Anonymous attacked his websites last October, KISS bassist Gene Simmons promised to hunt the perpetrators down and "sue their pants off." In an interview this week he struck a much softer tone.
Two weeks ago, the FBI raided the Washington home of a 15-year-old boy thought to be involved in the attack, based on records provided by Simmons' lawyer. But Simmons, who's currently promoting an upcoming webchat on May 20, was uninterested in railing against his cyber-assailants when we spoke to him on the phone this week.
"I think they mean well, I think it's misdirected," Simmons said about Anonymous. "You're talking about very bright young people who really have a chance to enter the mainstream and make some money for themselves and climb the ladder of success. If you tear down the structure there's no where to go."
This is in stark contrast to the rant Simmons posted to his site back in October after Anonymous crashed his websites in revenge for a speech he gave urging artists to sue copyright violators into submission. (Anonymous hates copyright laws.) According to Simmons' lawyer, the attack left his sites down for days and cost the rocker as much as $25,000.
In the post, he promised:
We will sue their pants off.
First, they will be punished.
Second, they might find their little butts in jail, right next to someone who's been there for years and is looking for a new girl friend.
We will soon be printing their names and pictures.
We will find you.
You cannot hide.
But the ongoing federal investigation probably speaks louder than even those bombastic words. Simmons said he hasn't been attacked again by Anonymous. "They know I'm being watched," he said. "I have big watch dogs." The teen whose house was raided by the feds would agree.