Former MARILYN MANSON and current ROB ZOMBIE guitarist John 5 (real name: John William Lowery) has responded to KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons' recent comment that "rock is dead."
Simmonstold Esquire magazine in September — in an interview conducted by his son Nick — that "rock did not die of old age. It was murdered. Some brilliance, somewhere, was going to be expressed and now it won't because it's that much harder to earn a living playing and writing songs. No one will pay you to do it."
Simmons went on to elaborate that as a result of file-sharing and other issues, record label support for rock music was not available like it was when KISS was coming up, concluding, "It's finally dead. Rock is finally dead."
Asked to weigh in on Gene's comments, John 5 told Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon: "The industry has changed dramatically. It has changed so drastically, it is like day and night. It has completely changed. It is not dead, but it changed. We just have to keep writing great songs and doing great shows to keep it alive."
He continued: "It is not just rock. It could be rap, country or anything like that.
"Music is a tough business, because there is so much piracy out there.
"I know what it was like, because back in the day, I was around when people were standing in line to buy a record! It has definitely changed a lot."
Asked what the best piece of advice is that he would pass along to those looking to pursue a career in today's music industry, John 5 said: "I would say, if you don't do it, somebody else will. If you really want it, just do it! You will get there eventually. If you do something to move closer to your career every day, even if it is just making a couple phone calls, you will get there eventually."
John 5 digitally released a new solo single, "This Is My Rifle", on June 17. The track is taken from his eighth solo album, "Careful With That Axe", which was made available on August 12 through 60 Cycle Hum. The effort features Rodger Carter on drums and Matt Bissonette on bass.