Gene Simmons of KISS recently did an interview with Esquire magazine, in which he stated that rock was “murdered” and now is dead. Check out his questionable allegation and Cory Brandan’s message below.
“Don’t quit your day job is a good piece of advice. When I was coming up, it was not an insurmountable mountain. Once you had a record company on your side, they would fund you, and that also meant when you toured they would give you tour support. There was an entire industry to help the next Beatles, Stones, Prince, Hendrix, to prop them up and support them every step of the way. There are still record companies, and it does apply to pop, rap, and country to an extent. But for performers who are also songwriters — the creators — for rock music, for soul, for the blues — it’s finally dead.
Rock is finally dead.
I am so sad that the next 15-year-old kid in a garage someplace in Saint Paul, that plugs into his Marshall and wants to turn it up to ten, will not have anywhere near the same opportunity that I did. He will most likely, no matter what he does, fail miserably. There is no industry for that anymore. And who is the culprit? There’s always the changing tide of interests — music taste changes with each generation. To blame that is silly.
That was always the exciting part, after all: “What’s next?” But there’s something else. The death of rock was not a natural death. Rock did not die of old age. It was murdered. And the real culprit is that kid’s 15-year-old next-door neighbor, probably a friend of his. Maybe even one of the bandmates he’s jamming with. The tragedy is that they seem to have no idea that they just killed their own opportunity — they killed the artists they would have loved. 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.
The masses do not recognize file-sharing and downloading as stealing because there’s a copy left behind for you — it’s not that copy that’s the problem, it’s the other one that someone received but didn’t pay for. The problem is that nobody will pay you for the 10,000 hours you put in to create what you created. I can only imagine the frustration of all that work, and having no one value it enough to pay you for it.
It’s very sad for new bands. My heart goes out to them. They just don’t have a chance. If you play guitar, it’s almost impossible. You’re better off not even learning how to play guitar or write songs, and just singing in the shower and auditioning for The X Factor. And I’m not slamming The X Factor, or pop singers. But where’s the next Bob Dylan? Where’s the next Beatles? Where are the songwriters? Where are the creators? Many of them now have to work behind the scenes, to prop up pop acts and write their stuff for them…”
Here’s my rant for the month. There’s a lot of talk lately about the Gene Simmons comment that “rock is dead.” First of all, let’s just remember that Sufjan Stevens said it before that (for some reason.) and Billy Corgan too, about 15 years ago? (Because of his electronic based record Adore I think… which I love btw.) I think all three of these guys said it for attention personally and I’m sure they aren’t the only ones, or maybe they think they are above it all like they are the “raddest rock n rollers ever” (guitar solo!) and that everyone else is “square” and no one else should be… What? Playing loud guitars and drums???
Yeah that makes sense. What do they think rock n roll is? Is it dead because record sales are bad? We all know there are many different reasons for that (I’ll keep that out of this post… for now.)
If we go by that standard then MOST music is dead except EDM or something. (Some EDM guy will say “EDM is dead” in 3,2,1) So Jazz, blues, bluegrass, old country, orchestra, and even hip hop. All dead. Give me a break! Stop saying stuff like this. It’s just irritating and doesn’t mean anything, and here’s the kicker… Music can’t die! It also can’t have a job, an opinion, beliefs or anything like that. It can’t be straight edge, vegan, christian, satanic, atheist, feminist, racist or anything like that either. It’s a sound. If I clap my hands, you can’t tell me what that sound was about or what it believed in.
I do think music can conjure emotions and that’s where it’s roots lie, in the PEOPLE that made it, for whatever reason they FELT like they needed or wanted to make it. And I don’t mean to discredit the power of music by any means. I think music can be healing or destructive. It can sound angry, sad, or happy of course.
Music is more than a sound in that regard but it isn’t alive until we make it alive. That can’t die until we do. And on top of all that, music is supposed to be just regular fun with no intentions whatsoever sometimes. Just to headbang to and get stoked about how cool it sounds. That’s the first thing you should be doing anyway.
Example: I love hearing my friends records for the first time and being so excited for them, just knowing how much work they just put into those songs and that recording and that those songs are probably about real things in their lives that are going to reach and affect someone that they may never meet. Hell YES! That isn’t dead! That’s ALIVE mother f***ers!
So hey Gene Simmons. Sorry the gimmick wore off and you aren’t selling as many KISS birdhouses. It’s sad that you forgot what “rock n roll all night” means. Suck it!
(Support the music and artists you love by buying records. Ok there it is.)