KISS band members back Pussy Riot

"They're very pretty girls. It is not a good band, but they have the right to do whatever they want to do," KISS bassist and singer-songwriter, Gene Simmons, said at the release of the group's new book KISS Monster Book.

"It's too bad that politics gets in the way of rock bands," added the 62-year-old famous for his demonic black and white makeup.

Three members of Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years in prison on Friday for a political protest in an Orthodox cathedral that infuriated the Kremlin. The decision sparked a storm of international criticism.

"A strong country should never be afraid of freedom. And with freedom comes independence … and many countries still want to squash that," said singer and guitarist Paul Stanley (60).

The four members of KISS, founded in 1973, released their colossal book – measuring 92cm in length and 76cm in width – at the Viper Room in Hollywood, where actor River Phoenix died of a drug overdose in 1993.

About 200 fans gathered at the club to catch a glimpse of the band behind rock anthems like I Wanna Rock N Roll All Night and I Was Made For Lovin' You.

The book documents the band's nearly four-decade career and includes 127 photographs, some previously unpublished. Only 1 000 copies will be published, all individually signed by the four current members.

Simmons and Stanley, who belonged to the original band, are now joined by bassist Eric Singer and guitarist Tommy Thayer.

KISS is expected to launch its twentieth studio album entitled Monster in October. – AFP

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