GENE SIMMONS: ‘Rock Is Dead And The Fans Killed It’

Gene Simmons

In a new interview with Metal Hammer magazine, KISS bassist Gene Simmons has once again said that rock is dead.

“I stand by my words: rock is dead,” Gene said. “The people that killed it are fans. Fans killed the thing they loved by downloading and file sharing for free. How do you expect somebody who loves the guitar to come into this creative process? You’ve got to invent yourself. And so rock is dead.”

“Point to a new look. I played this game before and it bears noting, rock continues to be dead,” he continued. “From 1958 until 1988, 30 years, right? You got Elvis Presley, THE BEATLES, Jimi Hendrix, the ROLLING STONES and on and on. Motown. You have the surf thing and the BEACH BOYS, the British invasion — hundreds of bands. THE HOLLIES are hardly ever talked about, they’re a great band. Disco stuff, Madonna, Prince, Bowie, all that great stuff. You had the heavy bands METALLICA and IRON MAIDEN, all that stuff in those 30 years. Eternal music and bands.

“But from 1988 until today, who is the new BEATLES? BTS? There’s no denying BTS are world famous. But am I going to form a garage band to do those songs? No. I think they’re well-crafted and professional, but ONE DIRECTION and NSYNC and all the boy bands don’t change the world. It just makes little girls hearts flutter and then they’re gone. That doesn’t have gravitas. Influential bands, that make somebody want to pick up a guitar, learn how to play songs and be in a band don’t exist, because you can’t make a living.”

During a recent chat with ET‘s Kevin FrazierSimmons spoke about KISS‘ “End Of The Road” farewell tour, which launched in 2019 and is scheduled to end sometime in 2023.

Gene said: “We start playing the outdoor stadiums of South America, literally within two weeks, and continue on to Europe and Australia and eventually North America, Japan, all that stuff. Mexico. And this is going to be the last tour. We’re done.”

“We’re approaching 50 years of doing this, which is unbelievable because we never thought we’d last more than a few years.”

Gene went on to say that he and fellow KISS co-founder Paul Stanley agreed that it’s time to retire from the road.

“The last thing that you want to do is be a guy that stays in the ring too long and gets his a** beat. Get out of the ring when you’re a champion.”

Dates and tickets for KISS‘ farewell tour are available here.