KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons has once again defended his controversial “rock is dead” comment, blaming the technology and fans for the current state of affairs.
Simmons told Esquire magazine in September 2014 — in an interview conducted by his son Nick — that “rock did not die of old age. It was murdered. Some brilliance, somewhere, was going to be expressed and now it won’t because it’s that much harder to earn a living playing and writing songs. No one will pay you to do it.”
Simmons went on to elaborate that as a result of filesharing and other issues, record label support for rock music was not available like it was when KISS was coming up, concluding, “It’s finally dead. Rock is finally dead.”
In a brand new interview with Scott of WWL radio, Simmons stood by his comments, explaining (hear audio below): “Rock is dead. It’s because of the Internet and Napster and all that stuff. Once you download and fileshare, then you’re not making it possible for a new band to be able to do this full time.
“There’s every bit as much talent out there as there [was] when we first started, but the new bands have to live in their mother’s basement because they can’t afford to do this full time, because people are just filesharing and downloading,” he continued. “And that’s their prerogative — we allowed it and we haven’t sued everybody’s pants off for doing that. So that’s everybody’s fault — the record company’s fault.”
Simmons went on to say: “Try this: 1958 until 1988 is thirty years, right? During that time, with record companies — the big, bad corporate entities called record companies… Well, without them, there wouldn’t have been Elvis [Presley], THE BEATLES, THE [ROLLING] STONES, Jimi Hendrix… you know, just a thousand classic bands. Even in disco, you got Madonna, you had Prince, U2, AC/DC, us maybe and a few others. And even in pop, you had Michael Jackson, JACKSON 5… I mean, it’s just endless. From 1988 until today, who is the new BEATLES? Name five bands that stand up to THE STONES, THE BEATLES, Elvis, Jimi Hendrix and so on.”