KISS' Gene Simmons says rock is dead because "the business model just doesn’t work"

Gene Simmons explains why he believes that 'rock is dead', stating that downloading music and file-sharing "killed the chances for the next generation of great bands".

KISS' Gene Simmons says rock is dead because "the business model just doesn’t work"
Emily Carter

We've been hearing for a long, loooooong time now that Gene Simmons thinks that 'rock is dead'. Rather than being an attack on those who make this music, though, the KISS man has explained that his belief stems from the business side of things.

Going into detail about his often controversial comments, Gene tells Consequence Of Sound that this view of the struggling scene "is not because there's a lack of talent"; it's down to how downloading, file-sharing etc have affected artists' income.

"…Young folks, that kid living in his mom’s basement, decided one day that he didn’t want to pay for music," he says. "He wanted to download and file share. And that’s what killed the chances for the next generation of great bands. The fact that the music was for free. So nowadays new bands don’t have a chance.”

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Gene continues: "It’s like flowers: people water them and make sure there’s enough sun and all that stuff. And as soon as you take your eyes off and you don’t water the flowers, they will die. And people wonder why there aren’t beautiful flowers. Well, because you don’t water them. You get what you pay for. So nowadays, if you download a song, the artist will get 1/100th of one cent. Even Spotify… the artist sees very little of that. So you get what you pay for."

The bassist stresses that "the business model just doesn't work", with artists pretty much solely having to rely on gigs to make money.

"I really hope once this vaccine takes hold – you better get shot up twice – that people go out to the local clubs and see all the new bands and support new bands," he encourages. "Like a baby that’s on the floor, go up there, pick that baby up and coddle it, give it love, because those new bands need your love."

Gene concludes that "new bands need the love attention": "You need to support the new generation of talented people who are musicians and writers and so on. Don’t let the robots take away everything."

KISS will headline next year's Download Festival alongside Iron Maiden and Biffy Clyro.

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