They may not sell as many records as in their heydey, but glam rock group Kiss has inspired a convenience store to concoct a spicy steamed bun to commemorate the band’s 40th anniversary.
Circle K Sunkus promises Chili Tomato Man bread — set to go on sale nationwide on Feb. 24 to mark the group’s tour of Japan — will be “Hotter than Hell,” the title of a 1974 Kiss album.
The buns will be made with bamboo charcoal to give them a black exterior and red peppers and jalapeno powder for their gekikara (extra spicy) taste.
But fans will have to be quick as only 300,000 of the hot buns, costing ¥130 ($1.10) each, will be made, a spokesman said, adding that the promotion would begin as Kiss kicked off its tour of Japan.
“The buns are based on the image of the band Kiss,” he said.
“Black on the outside and hot and spicy on the inside,” he added, in apparent reference to the group’s heavy black-and-white makeup.
“Like the band, they have impact.”
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, who shot to notoriety in the 1970s with outlandish live performances, featuring fire-breathing, blood-spitting and levitating drum kits, have sold more than 100 million records worldwide.
Kiss, known for its extravagant costumes and stage pyrotechnics, made a comeback in the 1990s and has a loyal following in Japan, where nostalgia for glam rock acts means artists are able to charge mega-bucks for concert tickets.
The American band has also teamed up with local idol act Momoiro Clover Z, producing the song “Yume no Ukiyo ni Saite Mina.” It features vocals by the girl group with Kiss providing guitars and the kind of shout-along moments that Momoiro fans go crazy over. An English version of the track, “Samurai Song,” puts Kiss vocalist Paul Stanley up front while the idol group does backup. It’s the opener on the rock act’s latest release, “Best of Kiss 40.”
Speaking at a press conference Saturday, Stanley didn’t try to downplay expectations of the tour.
“Nowadays any band with money can put on a big show, but no band can be Kiss. We are the best at what we do.”
Kiss plays Nippon Gaishi Hall in Nagoya on Feb. 23, Osaka Castle Hall on Feb. 25; Hiroshima Sun Plaza on Feb. 26; Sekisui Heim Super Arena in Sendai on Feb. 28, and Tokyo Dome on March 3. For more information, visit www.kissonline.com.