Gene Simmons Keeps Spitting Outdated Theories About Why Rock Is Dead

Here we go again! KISS’s Gene Simmons dug his 7-inch platform heels a little deeper into the dirt and reiterated to metal hammer in a new interview that rock is dead because the fans killed it. It’s been nearly a decade of rock’n’roll hit being blamed for being dead, and that’s enough, let’s debunk Simmons’ ridiculous and outdated theories.

“I stand by my words: rock is dead,” Simmons told the longtime heavy metal outlet and again blamed the fans.

“The people who killed him are fans. Fans killed what they loved by downloading and sharing files for free. How do you want someone who loves the guitar to enter into this creative process? You have to invent yourself. died,” the KISS bassist and co-vocalist said.

Why this statement is false

Simmons gave this interview ahead of a headlining appearance at the Download Festival in the UK in June, where over 100,000 FANS are expected to turn up to watch…who? A bunch of rock and metal bands, that’s who.

What if they don’t buy music anymore like they used to (over 20 years ago, that’s anything the same as 20 years ago?), then the only realistic way for an artist to generate serious income would be through live performances.

Fans are the reason rock is still thriving, as numerous stadium tours have been launched in recent years, which seemed unimaginable since Simmons first proclaimed rock was dead eight years ago. years. Fans are even shelling out exorbitant sums for a concert ticket now that Live Nation has come under increasing scrutiny for the unsavory business practices that have essentially held fans financially hostage, forced to pay more than $1,000 for a single concert ticket or left with the option to stay home.

DISCLAIMER: Later in the interview, Simmons acknowledged the importance of buying a concert ticket in order to help artists and their road crew members survive and feed their families. He immediately followed up by once again targeting fans for killing rock, however.

Moreover, music fans moved away from illegal music downloading quite a long time ago and mainly moved to on-demand services, such as YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Deezer, Amazon Prime Music, Bandcamp. .. you get the indicate. Music is available at subscription rates in countless places, although it’s worth acknowledging that the royalty rates artists are paid for streams are pretty poor.

Sure, music piracy has dented album sales, but what’s often omitted from this discussion is that CD prices have skyrocketed to absurdly greedy totals of nearly $20. per album in the early 2000s.

Complaining about illegal music downloading in 2022 is excruciatingly outdated and, on the contrary, indicates that Simmons either simply failed to adapt to the changes in the industry or stubbornly refuses to do so. It’s a bit confusing because KISS, musically, has always made sure to stay in tune with the times. That’s how we got a hit disco song in 1979, after all. Even the back-to-basics sound of late-career albums was a perfect fit with the trends of bands that were at similar stages in their careers.

For such savvy businessmen, why hasn’t KISS been able to weaponize the modern music climate for maximum benefit? Of course, blaming the fans is the easy way out…

Back to Gene Simmons for more…

“Show a new look. I’ve played this game before and it’s worth noting that rock is still dead. 1958 to 1988, 30 years, right? You’ve got Elvis Presley, The Beatles , Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones and so on.” on. Motown. You have the surfing thing and the Beach Boys, the British invasion – hundreds of bands. We hardly ever talk about the Hollies, they’re a great band. Disco stuff, Madonna, Prince, [David] Bowie, all that great stuff. You’ve had the heavy metal bands Metallica and Iron Maiden, all of those 30 years. Music and bands forever,” Simmons continued.

Again, totally unaware of the past three decades of hit rock music and operating under the false presumption that rock music had a finite end in the late 80s, he explained, “But from 1988 to now, who are the new Beatles? BTS ” There is no denying that BTS are world famous. But am I going to form a garage band to do these songs? No. I think they are well designed and professional, but One Direction and NSYNC and all the boy bands don’t change the world. It just makes little girls’ hearts race and then they’re gone. It doesn’t matter. Influential bands, which make someone want to pick up a guitar, learn to play songs and be in a band don’t. exist, because you can’t make a living.”

Why this statement is also false

Acting like the only good music that ever existed was only from when you were young might be rock and metal’s dumbest argument.

Soungarden, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Tool, Faith No More, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day, Foo Fighters, Disturbed, Nickelback, Linkin Park and more recently Ghost and Machine Gun Kelly have all reached levels of success superstars in rock music, each having a huge impact and influence on new artists. Not everything has to look like “Hoochie Coochie Man” to be influential, Gene.

Many of these bands have also had huge success on the Billboard 200 charts over the past two years, proving that rock still harnesses the power to dominate the charts. Rock bands may not have a gold album in a week, but if you’re in the Top 5 or even #1, that means you’re among the best of them all. What else do you need? Hell, the Chili Peppers made nearly 100,000 equivalent album sales in the first week after releasing their new Unlimited love album to claim the top spot on the Billboard 200.

After demanding that bands “invent themselves”, it’s a contradictory and stupid thing to then ask where the next Beatles are. There will never be another Beatles and that’s fine – we all have to stop living in expectation of another Beatles or another Metallica or another Led Zeppelin. These are just rear-view ambitions and the refusal to recognize that this music can move forward, change and evolve is part of what “kills” rock compared to other genres that don’t shun new artists in favor of hear “Rock and Roll All Nite”. ” for the 8,000th time.

The Beatles were born at a time when there was not a rich history of recorded music to draw upon and recording technology was still in development. This group innovated using new recording techniques and the same feeling can be felt for today’s artists who have become adept at home recording through the use of plug-ins and patches. .

Artists should also let go of the legitimate expectation that making music is supposed to be an absurdly lucrative career. Maybe those so-called golden decades of being in a band were the exception, not the rule. Anyone lucky enough to catch this wave should be thankful it happened instead of embittered that it’s no longer the norm.


Simmons’ arrogant refusal to accept how much is going well for rock artists today may indicate that his own brand of rock ‘n’ roll has seen better days, not that rock in its together is dead.

Many rock alumni are doing just fine with album sales and chart success, so why hasn’t the supposed ‘hottest band alive’ released a new album since? 2012?

Shut up or shut up.

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