Guitarist/vocalist Michael Poulsen of Danish/American metal rock 'n' rollers VOLBEAT is the latest musician to respond to KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons' recent comment that "rock is dead."
Simmonstold 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, Poulsen told Terrie Carr of the WDHA-FM 105.5 FM radio station: "If you ask me, rock and roll and heavy metal music are the kind of genres that will always survive, because it's played by human beings.
"I believe Gene is just… he just sees the difference now.
"I don't really, honestly believe that he thinks rock and roll is dead. He's still doing really, really good, so I can't see how it can be dead.
"Rock and roll is not about money, rock and roll is a feeling, and since there have been living creatures, human beings on earth with feelings, [there's been] rock and roll.
"[Fans of rock music are like] one huge family. We share one thing and we take good care of it.
"You also have to understand that when Gene was starting his whole rock and roll thing, it was so much different. So I just guess sometimes you can wake up and ask yourself, 'So this is how it works today?'
"I totally get the frustration.
"I don't take his comment that serious. I don't think he really means it. He's just seeing a huge change with technology and the way people are recording and releasing albums, and stuff like that. Some of it I'm not a fan of either. I still miss the tape-trading days, and stuff like that. Jumping on the bike to get to the record store and find that vinyl that you wanna have, I miss that too and the simplicity of it all.
"But it is what it is today, and honestly, some of it I'm not a fan of. And the other way around, [social media is] a quick way of promoting yourself. So it is what it is."
VOLBEAT's latest effort, 2013's "Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies", has sold 250,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The set features the No. 1 singles "The Hangman's Body Count" and "Lola Montez", as well as the Top 5 track "Dead But Rising" and new single "Doc Holliday".
VOLBEAT's co-headlining tour with FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH kicked off on September 16 in Salt Lake City.