Gene Simmons Of Kiss Says It’s ‘Valid’ For Bands To Sell Out And Explains Why

Gene Simmons
Kiss Facebook
Published on:

When it comes to Kiss bassist Gene Simmons, he believes that bands should not hesitate to sell out.

The concept of “selling out” has become a little more nuanced nowadays; whereas it was mostly frowned upon back in the day (and frankly, many still look down on the concept when it comes to the music world), there are those folks who look at “selling out” as not that bad of a thing now.

One individual who does not shy at the idea of selling out is that of Kiss bassist Gene Simmons. In an interview with (and transcribed by) Ultimate Guitar, Simmons spoke about why he sides with the concept of selling out. The Kiss bassist talks about how selling out is a “valid” thing for an artists to do (if they want to).

Kiss bassist Gene Simmons talks about selling out

“… I’m untrained, I didn’t go to music school, I didn’t study music theory and, by and large, everybody that I know of is the same. I mean, Eddie Van Halen might have been an exception. I don’t know if Eddie or Alex could read and write music. But clearly, what they did is based on what appealed to their ears. Whether you’re a painter, you’re [going to make paintings] no matter if you’re trained or untrained, what appeals to your very own eyes. Because that’s the judge and jury at the outset.

“Then you can kind of move around your art based on whether you want to please other people or just yourself, which is the eternal push and pull. Whether you’re a writer, or a painter, or musician, or a sculptor, you’re either doing it for yourself or other people. If the two meet, you like what you’re doing, and they like what you’re doing, you’re really happy. But often, it’s a hard choice. [You’re going to say] I like it, I don’t care if anybody else likes it. Or the guy who does it all for people, even though he might hate it, which in my opinion, is just as valid and just as ethical as anything else.

“Imagine going into a restaurant, and there’s a chef there who is world-famous and he personally hates spinach – wouldn’t touch it if he gags. And you walk up to the chef and say, ‘can you make me a spinach souffle?’ The chef would say, ‘of course’, and he makes you the thing and you eat it. He doesn’t have to like it. His job is to give you exactly what you want, even though he hates it. And that’s ethical. You do the best you can – you do the work. And so, I think it’s perfectly valid. [People say to me] You sellout. You’re damn right, bitch. I sell out every night.”

Do you agree with Gene Simmons? Would you rather sell out and try to make a lot of money and get a lot of attention, or, would you rather make art that you truly want to make no matter what?

Gene Simmons Invites Ace Frehley To Rejoin Kiss For Farewell Tour


Words by: Michael Pementel