Jonathan Clarke of New York’s Q104.3 radio station recently spoke with KISS frontmanGene Simmons on his Out Of The Box show to clarify the bassist’s statements declaring that “rock is dead.”

Clarke asked if Simmons meant in terms of  radio airplay or streaming numbers?

Simmons replied [via], “In all ways and the culprits are the young fans. You killed the thing that you love. 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. 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. So the business is dead. And that means that the next Beatles, or the next whoever, is never gonna get the chance that we did. We had record companies that gave us millions of dollars so we can make records and tour, and not worry about a nine-to-five [job]. Because when you’re worried about nine-to-five, you don’t have the time to sit there and devote to your art, whatever that is.”

He continued, “So, we’re gonna play a game. 1958 until 1988 — that’s 30 years. During that time, you got Elvis Presley, The Beatles, [Jimi] Hendrix, The [Rolling] Stones, just thousands of bands. You had [David] Bowie, you had Prince, U2, maybe us [KISS] in the ’70s, AC/DC, Metallica, and on and on and on. And disco, you had Madonna and Motown— great black music — forever. From 1988 until today, who’s the new Beatles? That’s more than 30 years. That’s around the time when Napster and all that [illegal downloading] stuff started to [happen]. The fox goes in and steals that first egg from the chicken coop, and when the fox isn’t killed, all the other foxes say, ‘Hey, we can get eggs for free.’ Before you know it, the farmer’s out of business, and there are no more eggs in the grocery stores. The grocery store goes out of business, the trucks that deliver the chickens and the eggs go out of business, just ’cause you didn’t kill that first fox that came in to steal the eggs.”

He repeated again, “Who’s the new Beatles?”

Listen to the entire interview below.

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  • Rattlehead on

    IMO, if Greta Van Fleet is the future of rock, then Gene $immon$ is right…..Rock is Dead

    • Dana on

      OMG, LOL!!!!!

  • RobT on

    Hi Dana, anyone else out there. Been awhile since I posted.
    Gene Simmons has some valid points here and I do miss the days when there was a variety of places to purchase whatever physical format of music you liked and the equipment to play it on.
    If rock isn’t dead or going to expire, it won’t be what it once was. Whether sexist, racist, nihilist, or any other ist, an individual was free to choose on if they would listen and partake of it.
    Rock music certainly has a history filled with debauchery and all around badness, but it also has accomplished much good and has been a life saver for many a fan. In these times that seems to bear more than just a passing resemblance to George Orwell’s 1984, I don’t know.

    • Dana on

      Excellent post, Rob.

  • dcinsc7 on

    The new Beatles: The Cadillac Three; The Struts; Foo Fighters; Drake.

  • Taskerofpuppets on

    Isn’t this just the evolution of a genre’ we’re witnessing? Like Jazz and Classical music Rock will never go away. I dare say the new rock is actually popular country now.

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