Aside from coming up with new merchandise strategies like empty plastic bags, KISS bassist Gene Simmons continues to discuss his belief that rock is dead. It was his 2014 interview with Esquire that made many fans and musicians defend rock claiming it’s still alive and kicking. In a new interview with Scott of WWL radio, Simmons continued to express his theory on rock being dead.
Gene Simmons stated:
“Rock is dead. It’s because of the Internet and Napster and all that stuff. Once you download and fileshare, then you’re not making it possible for a new band to be able to do this full time. There’s every bit as much talent out there as there when we first started, but the new bands have to live in their mother’s basement because they can’t afford to do this full time. Because people are just filesharing and downloading. And that’s their prerogative. We allowed it and we haven’t sued everybody’s pants off for doing that. So that’s everybody’s fault. The record company’s fault. Try this: 1958 until 1988 is thirty years, right? During that time, with record companies, the big, bad corporate entities called record companies. Well, without them, there wouldn’t have been Elvis, The Beatles, The Stones, Jimi Hendrix. You know, just a thousand classic bands. Even in disco, you got Madonna, you had Prince, U2, AC/DC, us maybe and a few others. And even in pop, you had Michael Jackson, Jackson 5. I mean, it’s just endless. From 1988 until today, who is the new Beatles? Name five bands that stand out?”
Simmons continued to express the lacking in iconic rock bands:
“There are many popular bands that are popular now. When I was growing up, it was Leif Garrett and The Partridge Family, and The Monkees, and the thousand bands that were popular for a few years. That’s not what makes iconic.”
Questioning what’s iconic now.
“That’s right from 1988 until today, who’s the new Beatles?”
While debating modern popular artists, Simmons replied:
“I love your positive thinking. It’s unfortunate that new bands don’t have the support of record companies to support them with posters, and tour support, and all that stuff.”
Simmons did have a point when questioning who the next Beatles are, but people have been asking that since they broke up in 1970. While we understand there are significant changes in the music industry, rock isn’t going anywhere, and we wouldn’t expect a 67 year-old to have the answers as to who the next big band is.