KISS's GENE SIMMONS: 'The Fans Are Killing New Bands'

June 22, 2015

Sofie of Studio Brussel conducted an interview with KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons and drummer Eric Singer when the band played at the Graspop Metal Meeting in Dessel, Belgium on June 19. You can now watch the chat below.

Elaborating on his controversial "rock is dead" remark from last year, Simmons said: "The biggest bands in the world are not 20 years old. There are no big new bands."

Asked if he think newer bands are simply less creative than the artist from the earlier generations, Simmons responded: "It's not that. It's just there's no record industry. You hurt the thing that you love. The fans killed record companies. Record companies paid new artists to come out."

Added Eric: "You took away the developmental aspect. Bands used to struggle, play, tour… Maybe by the third or fourth record, they'd start gaining some momentum and get famous and become well known around the world. Now, what record label is there to give the infrastructure to support for three albums, or four albums, before the band finally makes it. It doesn't exist anymore. That's the hard part. The talent is there. Maybe even more talent than ever."

Continued Gene: "[There are] fifty thousand people over there [at the Graspop Metal Meeting festival]. Should they get in for free, or do they have to pay?"

When the interviewer responded that "nothing is for free," Gene said: "Yes, it is. You can download and you can fileshare for free. And so you're killing the next new band — you're killing them. It doesn't affect us; we've been around 41 years. But it's very sad for a new band. We want the baby bands to succeed."

Added Eric: "I think people take this out of context, and take the wrong meaning. When Gene says, 'Rock is dead,' it doesn't mean that there's not great talent, or great rock musicians, or great bands. It means the chance for those bands to become the next BEATLES or the next SABBATH or the next big thing, you've taken the opportunities away from them. You've made it so… It's so hard to get anywhere in this business, and it's gotten harder because of this. That's the point. The talent is there. We know it. Go on YouTube. You can see all these amazing kid musicians now that play phenomenal. But it's gonna be tough for them to make it. Most people think, 'Oh, that kid's gonna be a star. Look how great he is.' But if people aren't willing to pay and support these people to have a career, how are they gonna make a living?"

Continued Gene: "[People say] it's not all about money, it's not all about… No. Yes, it is… You wanna get into your car and you wanna drive. You have to buy fuel. If you steal the fuel for free, he's out of business, he stops bringing fuel, and then nobody gets fuel. You're killing new bands. You're killing them. Not corporate entities. The fans are killing new bands, because they're not paying for the music. It does not affect us; we're not complaining. But it's bad for new bands."

Find more on Kiss
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).