Gene Simmons Says Rock Is Not Just Dead, It Was Murdered

Pam WrightLife

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Gene Simmons, the bassist for the iconic rock band KISS, has an interesting take on the demise of rock music.

In a recent interview with Esquire magazine, in an interview conducted by his son, Nick, Simmons said that rock is not only dead, it was murdered.

"Don't quit your day job is a good piece of advice," the 60-year-old Simmons told his son. "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," he continued. "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."

Simmons said he mourns the death of rock and wishes for the the days when rock was in its heyday.

"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 said. "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?'"

Simmons went on to explain that the end of rock music was a deliberate act and not just a natural evolution of music.

"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."

Pam Wright