Nick Simmons Talks About Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels

Nick Simmons discusses growing up on reality TV, being Gene Simmons' kid and the gregarious nature of Canadians

Credit: Pattymooney

Father and son, Nick and Gene Simmons

Nick Simmons reflects on the seven-year run of Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels

As the son of legendary KISS bassist and singer/songwriter Gene Simmons, Nick Tweed-Simmons has become a popular television personality in his own right, participating in the wonky antics of his high-profile family in the A&E reality series, Gene Simmons Family Jewels.

Despite the show’s popularity, the well-spoken and affable son of the popular rock frontman admits that looking back, he could have been a little more apprehensive about getting in front of the cameras.

“I probably should have been in retrospect, but I just kind of dove in and I’m not sure why,” admits Nick, speaking about the opportunity to appear in the series.

“I just did it not really thinking about what it would look like. I used to watch it thinking it was kind of exciting. Now I never, ever, ever watch. I just film it and I pretend that it doesn’t exist.”

Seven Seasons of Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels

During its seven-year run, Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels has become one of TV’s most popular reality series, propelling the entire clan into pop culture stardom. Growing up with such a famous and recognizable parent, the 23-year-old Tweed-Simmons says that fame never got in the way of his relationship with his father.

“Dad always told us we should be grateful that anybody likes us for any reason, because we could be living out of a box and many people do,” he tells me. “He always kind of enforced an extreme perspective on us, like don’t be ungrateful because you’re really lucky. He said that he was just an entertainer and didn’t really deserve any of the accolades so when you get them, at least be thankful for them.”

Seven seasons and 150 episodes later, Nick Tweed-Simmons is quick to point out that fans should remember that he has virtually grown up before their eyes on screen. “You have to keep in mind that we’ve been filming this thing for five or six years,” he says.

“I’m 23 now and I was like 17 when we started. People change a lot in those years. My sister Sophie especially has gone through major personality and identity changes and found herself since the show started, and I’ve gone from teenager to adult within the span of the show. For me, a lot of people act like some of the stuff that happened when I was 18 happened yesterday, and it really bugs me.”

Flocking Fans

That said, he admits he’s had an overwhelmingly pleasant fan experience, and acknowledges Canada as being particularly welcoming towards his family.

“Apparently we have quite the following because mom is from Newfoundland. I think we discovered very quickly that we have a lot more trouble walking around there. We had quite a time in Montreal and Vancouver. It was a little bit like A Hard Day’s Night when the whole family was together. I’m actually lucky to live in Los Angeles because it’s a city of people who don’t give a crap. They have bigger fish to fry so it’s kind of nice. I don’t get mobbed here, Dad’s the only one that gets mobbed here.”

That’s not to say Nick doesn’t garner his fair share of fan adulation and attention.

“It honestly depends on the age of the person approaching me,” he admits. “If it’s an older person, they’ll say, ‘You’re Gene Simmons kid.’ If it’s a younger person, they’ll say something like, ‘You’re that guy from the thing – you’re Ozzy’s kid.’ I’ll say, ‘Close enough.'”