KISS's Gene Simmons Declares Rock Dead
Gene Simmons, the KISS bassist and vocalist, recently stated his opinion that rock, as we’ve known it for decades, has died.
Gene Simmons On Death Of Rock
Simmons declared that rock is dead in an interview with Esquire. "Rock is finally dead," Simmons told the magazine, elaborating, "The death of rock was not a natural death. Rock did not die of old age. It was murdered."
The problem, according to Simmons, is partially caused by file sharing, which makes it hard for young artists to break into the industry earning money.
"My sense is that file sharing started in predominantly white, middle- and upper-middle-class young people who were native-born, who felt they were entitled to have something for free, because that's what they were used to,” explained Simmons. “If you believe in capitalism — and I'm a firm believer in free-market capitalism — then that other model is chaos. It destroys the structure."
Instead of young, aspiring musicians spending their time toiling away at learning the guitar and jotting down lyrics, Simmons thinks they’d have a better shot making it in music via reality TV talent shows. Now, he says, those who learn their craft are more often than not relegated to behind the scenes roles.
"You're better off not even learning how to play guitar or write songs, and just singing in the shower and auditioning for The X Factor,” claims Simmons. “And I'm not slamming The X Factor, or pop singers. But where's the next Bob Dylan? Where's the next Beatles? Where are the songwriters? Where are the creators? Many of them now have to work behind the scenes, to prop up pop acts and write their stuff for them."
Simmons goes on to note that in the absence of new, revolutionary rock music, aging bands like KISS remain major fixtures in the touring music scene alongside top-40 acts like Katy Perry and One Direction. At least one modern band taking offense at Simmons' eulogizing of the rock genre is the Foo Fighters, whose frontman Dave Grohl was a member of Nirvana – one of the last true rock bands, according to Simmons’ standards.
“Not so fast, Mr. God of Thunder,” the Foo Fighters tweeted.
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