Kiss’ Gene Simmons Blames Fans for Shortage of Rock


Story by Charles Ken

Kiss’ Gene Simmons elaborates on his now-famous ‘rock is dead’ comment

KISS bass player Gene Simmons famously made the remark that “rock is dead” last year, and now, he’s going a step further and saying the fans are the ones to blame. When asked by Planet Rock if modern musicians “don’t wanna be rock stars anymore,” Simmons replied that wasn’t the case at all.

“No, it’s really not that. I blame – this is gonna break your hearts, it certainly breaks mine – I blame the fans. Because the fans have decided en masse – in other words, the masses have decided – that they should get free music, download, fileshare…” Simmons said.

He added, “And you’re not hurting KISS; we’ve been around a long time and we make a good living. You’re killing the next Elvis and The Beatles and the next KISS and the next whoever, because you have to give your music away for free.”

Simmons went on to praise record labels, calling them “a gift from heaven.”

“Yeah, they’re greedy, they’re this, but they wanna make money just like you do,” he said. “But they gave you money – millions! And if it wasn’t for record companies, there’d be no Sex Pistols, there’d be no punk, there’d be no nothing. There would be punk, but it would be in a small club. It would never become huge.”

He wrapped up his thoughts by reiterating that fans “would prefer not to support a new band.”

“Remember, it doesn’t affect KISS. It affects the next great band, who won’t have a chance,” he said. “Why? Because the talent isn’t out there? It sure is. The fans killed it. They killed the infrastructure. Imagine England existing without the value of the pound, if things were free. You would have chaos.”