Author: Michael Pementel
At one point during the interview, Gene Simmons is asked: “What happens to rock music after KISS, and eventually other classic rock acts like Paul McCartney, stop playing?”
While Simmons goes into a long statement where he talks about kids nowadays being into electronic music and financial related issues, he does at least mention one rock band that he finds “interesting.”
Kiss member Gene Simmons talks rock music
“Rock is dead. The kids are listening to EDM and sort of Tame Impala stuff, which I quite like actually. Ghost is interesting. There’s some good stuff out there, but they’re not going to get the chance that we did. They didn’t have a record company who put up posters around, gave you advances that you never had to return, so you could full-time dedicate yourself to that thing. How do you do that if you’re giving your music away for 1/100th of one penny for a download? How do you pay the rent? How do you buy gas? So there’s that vicious cycle of we’re a new band, we don’t make any money, nobody knows who we are. Let’s give our music away for free and hope that we build up enough fans so we can go out and play clubs to make enough money to drive to the next city.
“The model is broken. How many supermarkets and stores, retail and airlines would there be if you could just walk in, put a penny down and walk out with stuff? How long do you think they’d stay in business? And what makes you think being in a band or doing music is anything other than a business? I don’t mean that to simplify or negate it. Everything needs fuel. We need air and water and musicians and writers and painters need money.”
Back in April, we wrote an op-ed speaking to why we disagree with Simmons’ stance on “rock being dead”; while Gene Simmons does speak to real issues regarding streaming royalties and artists deserving money for their work, we feel that the genres of rock and metal are more alive than ever.
What are your thoughts on what Simmons has to say about the rock genre?