So I recently read the article where Nick Simmons interviewed his father Gene Simmons in Esquire:
GENE SIMMONS: ‘ROCK IS FINALLY DEAD’
The Kiss rocker expands on his thoughts about the past, present, and future of recorded music.
I have a few things to say about this. I have seen that this article has recently been trending on Facebook. I am of the opinion that it is indeed NOT dead. Gene has pretty much killed the hopes and dreams of future musicians. I remember when music was made for the sake of creating art, the success that followed was a bonus. Imagine if Beethoven or Van Gogh only were only creating art for commercial or monetary gain. That is where the music industry has seemed to have gone. I blame the industry itself for becoming too corporate. If they don’t see an immediate gain for it they don’t see fit to put any money behind it. THAT is the problem. I think that someone that holds the status of Gene Simmons should put his experiences back into helping the industry not discouraging it.
I have a very good friend who is named Dellacoma Rio. He is a vocalist from Australia. He, to me, embodies the spirit of Rock N’ Roll. While he was in previous band Sunset Riot they managed to book shows and gain exposure in the US while still being based in Australia. They toured the US extensively and successfully gaining ground at every turn. Unfortunately due to creative differences and life changes Sunset Riot chose to mutually dissolve. Dellacoma Rio, however, was not done. The spirit and fire of Rock N’ Roll burned passionately within him. With a little bit of reinvention and tenacity he put together a new band and hit the road again. Booking gigs and festivals across the US the newly formed DELLACOMA began the process of making themselves seen and heard. In the midst of touring across the US they took the time to stop and make an old fashioned Rock N’ Roll record. No processing, no extreme overdubs, just raw and fresh. A record that translates to live performances seamlessly. The evening of finishing in the studio they played a gig and set off on the road again. All of this from a gentleman who comes from modest means. There is no one bank rolling this gentleman or his band, just blood, sweat, and tears. Rock N’ Roll is alive and well within DELLACOMA. That is an example of one of many bands I know and love who work equally as hard.
Getting back to Gene Simmons, KISS has always had the opportunity to be trend setters. I feel that they have let us down as of late. When the reunion, and farewell tours were done they had the chance to reinvent themselves and continue to gain new ground. Instead of putting others in the classic makeup they could have invented new “characters” for Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer. It was done before with Eric Carr and Vinnie Vincent. I am of the opinion that what we have now is Diet KISS, or KISS Lite now with 50% less KISS. They have put out two mediocre records and continue to rely on their back catalog instead of searching within and getting in touch with the part of them that drove them in the early days.
Now, to basically tell young rockers to give up is a pretty crappy thing to say. When Rock N’ Roll was in its infancy there was no one there handing out checks or promoting or playing the music. It was all word of mouth and shameless self promotion. I feel that we have returned to those days. While the internet has been a curse to the industry due to the whole downloading issue it has also allowed bands to use it to promote and reach out on their own. OK in the vast sea of bands putting out their stuff on the internet how do they get heard? Well that falls to people who do what I do and the bands themselves. By taking that step and getting out, touring, not taking no for an answer and promotion, promotion, promotion they can be heard. Is the money still there, of course not, it is still lining the pockets of the greedy corporations. I’m sure Gene has his pockets full. I challenge those rockers who have “succeeded” to reach out and help bands be heard and succeed in their musical endeavors. There IS new music being made that defies the current slop being force fed to us by corporate radio and the bloated industry, you just have to open your ears and eyes and look and listen for it. No Gene, Rock is NOT dead by any means, like everything else we just have to work a little harder at it.
thump thump, thump thump, THUMP THUMP….
you hear that? That’s the pulse of Rock N’ Roll and it’s still strong.
it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s ROCK N’ ROLL…and we love it!
Very well stated and I couldn’t agree more. In truth, I hardly ever put any stock in what Gene Simmons says anymore because his M.O. has always been “say something trashy, get the publicity, see how far I can milk it, and if too many people get pissed, I’ll just do a 180.” And his game is getting old.
Rock will never die. It may change, it may grow, it may explode, implode, stretch, and shrink, but never die. Thanks so much for this. \m/