Gene Simmons Once Again Insists That “Rock Is Dead”


Gene Simmons has once again doubled down on his claims that “rock is dead”.

The KISS bassist first made this bold claim in 2014, stating that it had been “murdered”. 

Simmons also went on to blame the young generation of fans for this apparent demise. He claimed that streaming and downloading music has deprived us of the next “Bob Dylan” or the “next creator”.

“If you play guitar, it’s 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, or pop singers. But where’s the next Bob Dylan? Where’s the next Beatles? Where are the songwriters? Where are the creators?”, he said in 2014.

“took away the chance for the new great bands”

Simmons repeated these words in February 2021. And once again he blamed young fans and streaming services.

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”, he insisted.

“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”.

And now, Simmons stands by his words that rock music is in fact dead.

“I stand by my words: rock is dead”, Simmons told Metal Hammer.

“The people that killed it are fans. Fans killed the thing they loved by downloading and file sharing for free. How do you expect somebody who loves the guitar to come into this creative process? You’ve got to invent yourself. And so rock is dead”. 

Simmons Knows His Stuff!

To prove his point, Simmons provided a lesson in ‘rockn’roll’ history.

“Point to a new look. I played this game before and it bears noting, rock continues to be dead. From 1958 until 1988, 30 years, right? You got Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones and on and on. Motown. You have the surf thing and the Beach Boys, the British invasion – hundreds of bands”, he said.

“The Hollies are hardly ever talked about, they’re a great band. Disco stuff, Madonna, Prince, Bowie, all that great stuff. You had the heavy bands Metallica and Iron Maiden, all that stuff in those 30 years. Eternal music and bands”. 

“But from 1988 until today, who is the new Beatles? BTS? There’s no denying BTS are world famous. But am I going to form a garage band to do those songs? No. I think they’re well-crafted and professional, but One Direction and NSYNC and all the boy bands don’t change the world. It just makes little girls hearts flutter and then they’re gone”, Simmons continued.

“That doesn’t have gravitas. Influential bands, that make somebody want to pick up a guitar, learn how to play songs and be in a band don’t exist, because you can’t make a living”. 

Elsewhere, Gene Simmons also revealed that the upcoming KISS tour will be the band’s last. 

More info on this here.