Kiss' Gene Simmons Declares "Rock Is Finally Dead"

by Guitar World Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2014 at 10:17am

According to Gene Simmons of Kiss, rock is dead.

"Rock is finally dead," he told Esquire.

"The death of rock was not a natural death. Rock did not die of old age. It was murdered."

Simmons blames file sharing and the fact that no one values music "enough to pay you for it."

"It's very sad for new bands," he added. "My heart goes out to them. They just don't have a chance. If you play guitar, it's almost impossible. 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.

"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 added that 1958 to 1983 was music's pinnacle. Simmons can name only two bands that have carried on the spirit of that era, since that time: Nirvana and, surprisingly, Tame Impala. Yes, Tame Impala.

"The craft is gone, and that is what technology, in part, has brought us. What is the next Dark Side of the Moon? Now that the record industry barely exists, they wouldn't have a chance to make something like that. There is a reason that, along with the usual top-40 juggernauts, some of the biggest touring bands are half old people, like me.

"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. 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.

"I find that many of the more patriotic people are immigrants."

Foo Fighters shared Simmons' "Rock is finally dead" interview on their Facebook page, adding "Not so fast, Mr. God of Thunder..." Dave Grohl and company will release their new album, Sonic Highways, November 10.


Add a Comment
0 Comments

Similar Guitar News

Wrecking Crew Legend Carol Kaye Gives Kiss' Gene Simmons a Bass Lesson — Video (10/28/2015)
In the world of bass guitar, Carol Kaye is a legend. Kaye, who turned 80 earlier this year, was a member of LA's legendary "Wrecking Crew" and is known as one of the most prolific and widely heard bassists, playing on an estimated 10,000 session...
The 21 Greatest Kiss Songs (8/24/2015)
Here's where my story with Kiss began. I was in the seventh grade and was a young hell-raising thrash kid into Megadeth, Testament, Anthrax, Overkill and Metallica. One day my best friend brought a Hit Parader magazine to school and said, “Dave...
Readers' Poll: The Best American Rock Band Ever — Kiss Vs. ZZ Top (9/11/2015)
When Labor Day came and went earlier this month, it reminded us of the American labor movement and the contributions American workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of the good ol' U.S. of A. However, since we're Guitar Wor...
Kiss Guitarist Tommy Thayer Discusses Epiphone White Lightning Les Paul, Momoiro Clover Z and More (3/17/2015)
Kiss guitarists and Les Pauls just seem to go together. Just ask Tommy Thayer, who just introduced his new Epiphone White Lightning Les Paul. We caught up with Thayer—just days before he headed out on a whirlwind tour of Japan—to discuss the ne...
Kiss Guitarist Tommy Thayer to Perform with Steel Panther at NAMMJAM 2015 (1/22/2015)
Kiss guitarist Tommy Thayer will perform with headliner Steel Panther at NAMMJAM 2015. NAMMJAM 2015 is considered "the hottest ticket at NAMM." Now in its sixth year, this invitation-only party will take place Friday, January 23, beginning 6 p....
Foo Fighters Enlist Van Halen's David Lee Roth, Slash, Kiss' Paul Stanley and More for Dave Grohl's Birthday Show (1/12/2015)
Late last week, when Foo Fighters told the universe about frontman Dave Grohl's "surprise" birthday show scheduled for this past Saturday at the Forum in LA, we knew we'd have some interesting clips to share with you this morning. Turns out we w...
Show Review: Kiss — Still Creatures of the Nighttime World (9/1/2014)
Kiss brought their 40th Anniversary Tour to the First Niagara Pavilion in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania, Sunday, August 24 — and were greeted by a packed house. They played what amounted to a greatest-hits set that included "Deuce," "Love Gun," "...
Dear Guitar Hero: Former Kiss Guitarist Bruce Kulick Talks Getting Shot, His Proudest Guitar Moments, Signature Guitar and More (8/18/2014)
He’s a former Kiss guitarist from their makeup-free era in the late Eighties and early Nineties. But what Guitar World readers really want to know is… What is the story behind your new Rock N’ Roll Relics guitar? — Michael Steadman I was first i...
Kiss Guitarist Tommy Thayer Discusses 'Montrose' — The Record That Changed My Life (7/30/2014)
Kiss guitarist Tommy Thayer chooses (and discusses) the record that changed his life. MontroseMontrose (1973) “I came of age in the early to mid Seventies, and in that era, the most influential album to me was the first Montrose record. "I stil...
A Clean and Sober Ace Frehley Discusses Kiss' Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Debacle and More (5/22/2014)
This is an excerpt from the July 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the rest of this story, plus features on Led Zeppelin and Jimmy Page, Albert Lee, "The Album that Changed My Life," the history of Taylor Guitars, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, columns, ta...
Kiss Co-Founder Paul Stanley Talks New Autobiography, 'Face the Music: A Life Exposed' (4/2/2014)
Paul Stanley has risen to international fame playing the role of the Starchild in Kiss. However, in his upcoming autobiography, Face the Music: A Life Exposed (HarperOne), the guitarist discusses two other roles he has played that have affecte...
Nothin’ to Lose: Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley Go for Broke As They Weigh in on Kiss Guitarists Past and Present (3/31/2014)
In this feature from the April 2014 issue of Guitar World, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley go for broke as they weigh in on Kiss guitarists past and present. ACE FREHLEY GENE SIMMONS As a musician, you have to hand it to him. He knew his stuff. An...
Former Kiss Guitarist Ace Frehley to Release New Album, 'Space Invader,' in June (3/31/2014)
Former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley will release a new solo album, dubbed Space Invader, June 24 via eOne Music. The album, Frehley's first since 2009's Anomaly, will feature "at least" nine new songs, according to a statement, plus a cover of the...
Gene Simmons Talks About Setting His Hair on Fire and Convincing Eddie Van Halen Not to Join Kiss (3/13/2014)
This is an excerpt from the April 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the rest of this story, plus an interview with Paul Stanley and much more Kiss (not to mention the Scorpions, three kings of acoustic shred, the hottest gear from the 2014 NAMM Sh...
Book Review: Kiss’ Paul Stanley Lets It All Hang Loose in Autobiography (3/3/2014)
It’s no insult to the band to say that Kiss have always been about window dressing. For years the members hid their true identities behind cartoon personas and hard rock anthems that were powerful and exciting, but did little to reveal the men ...