While many creatives fret about artificial intelligence replacing them, the band KISS has decided they are retiring and will send out digital avatars onto the stage from now on.
On Saturday night, the glam rock band performed their final ever performance at Madison Square Garden in New York City and during the encore revealed the digital avatars who played God Gave Rock and Roll to You.
KISS become the first-ever U.S. band to go fully virtual and their avatars were created by George Lucas’ special-effects company, Industrial Light & Magic, in partnership with the Pophouse Entertainment Group who made the avatars for the ABBA Voyage show — performed by digital representatives of the Swedish pop act.
“What we’ve accomplished has been amazing, but it’s not enough,” says KISS co-founder and frontman Paul Stanley. “The band deserves to live on because the band is bigger than we are. It’s exciting for us to go the next step and see Kiss immortalized.”
“We can be forever young and forever iconic by taking us to places we’ve never dreamed of before,” adds KISS bassist Gene Simmons. “The technology is going to make Paul jump higher than he’s ever done before.”
In an interview with NME, Wayne McGregor, the choreographer who worked on the digital avatar ABBA concert, explains that the crew uses a “process called motion capture, which you’ve probably seen in movies.”
“We use these little dots to take the maths out your body. We take all these zeroes and ones and put them into a computer and build an avatar. It’s a long process. It captures the essence of you, but then we really have to work into that,” he says.
“I was taking dance moves from them – I wouldn’t dare show ABBA dance moves. I just wanted them to be themselves and get them back into their performance energy, because they haven’t performed for a while. Then I had to work with the body doubles to transform some of that amazing physical from the ‘70s into maths and find a way of combining the two.”