Former PANTERA and current HELLYEAH drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott has responded to KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons' recent comment that "rock is dead."
Simmons told Esquire magazine last month — 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, Vinnie Paul told UpstateLive: "I think Gene was speaking from a different perspective. We are talking about, if you wanna look at the bands that are still headlining huge festivals and stuff, it's still KISS, it's still MÖTLEY CRÜE, it's still METALLICA. It's the same bands that were doing it fifteen or twenty years ago. There hasn't been any bands that have stepped to the forefront to be as big as those bands. So that's where his perspective is coming from."
He continued: "As far as rock and metal being dead, there is no way it will ever die. It is the greatest form of music there ever was. People love it and still support it. Sometimes it goes through phases of more popularity or less popularity. Unfortunately, with all the downloading that goes on, it is harder and harder for artists to tour, especially young bands that are just coming up. But there are still people who are out there fighting. We [HELLYEAH] are here, FIVE FINGER [DEATH PUNCH] is here, VOLBEAT is here, there are a lot of great bands out there doing this. I'm not going away from it. It has changed a ton from when you would buy PANTERA albums, and not CDs and all that, but you either get in line or you fucking fall by the wayside."
HELLYEAH's fourth album, "Blood For Blood", sold around 17,000 copies in its first week of release to land at No. 18 on the Billboard chart. The band's previous effort, 2011's "Band Of Brothers", opened with 19,000 copies back in July 2012 to debut at No. 19.
HELLYEAH is currently touring North America as guests of FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH and VOLBEAT.