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Members of Kiss back Pussy Riot
Musicians Gene Simmons, Eric Singer, Paul Stanley and Tommy Thayer of KISS. Picture: Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

Members of veteran rock band Kiss said on Tuesday they back Russia's punk rockers Pussy Riot even if they don't think much of their music.

"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 told AFP 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 black and white make-up.

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.