RAT Rock News

Gene Simmons has elaborated on his previous 'rock is dead' comments and has put the blame on ‘young fans.’

In a new interview, Simmons was asked whether rock’s diminished popularity within music’s mainstream was due to streaming or radio airplay, and he responded with, “In all ways. And the culprits are the young fans. You killed the thing that you love. Because as soon as streaming came in, you took away a chance for the new great bands who are there in the shadows, who can’t quit their day job ’cause you can’t make a dime putting your music out there, because when you download stuff, it’s one-hundredth or one-thousandth of one penny. And so you’ve gotta have millions to millions, and even billions of downloads before you can make a few grand. And the fans have killed that thing. So the business is dead.”

Simmons continued, “And that means that the next Beatles or the next whoever is never gonna get the chance that we did. We had record companies that gave us millions of dollars so we can make records and tour, and not worry about a nine-to-five. Because when you’re worried about nine-to-five, you don’t have the time to sit there and devote to your art, whatever that is.”

Simmons then proceeded to do the thing he often does when talking about the rock genre and ask who’s been a big deal for the past 30 years.

“So, we’re gonna play a game. 1958 until 1988 — that’s 30 years,” begins Simmons. “During that time, you got Elvis Presley, The Beatles, [Jimi] Hendrix, The [Rolling] Stones, just thousands of bands. You had [David] Bowie, you had Prince, U2, maybe us [KISS] in the ’70s, AC/DC, Metallica, and on and on and on. And disco, you had Madonna and Motown — great black music — forever. From 1988 until today, who’s the new Beatles? That’s more than 30 years.”

Well, a number of Seattle-based bands like Pearl Jam and Nirvana may want a word with you, Mr. Demon. Also, Guns N’ Roses really took off in 1988. There’s also Oasis, Green Day, Foo Fighters, The White Stripes, The Black Keys, The Killers, The Strokes and many more.

Look, there’s no doubt that the business model of the music industry has changed drastically since Simmons and KISS first broke out. There’s no denying that mainstream tastes have changed drastically, as well. But this notion that the genre is “dead” is silly, at best, and plain dumb at the opposite end of that spectrum.


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Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well-versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice. #TransRightsAreHumanRights