Gene Simmons Claims Young Fans Ruined Rock: “They Killed the Thing They Loved by Downloading and File-Sharing for Free”
Every so often, someone comes along and says that ‘rock is dead.’ These D-bags usually fall into two categories. The first is newer musicians who think they’re super fucking edgy or insightful by telling us that something is dead just because it isn’t topping the charts. The second is classic rock artists who would rather declare rock dead than try to understand it in their stodgy old age. Obviously, KISS frontman Gene Simmons is in the latter category, having recently doubled down on his claim that rock is dead and its fans are the ones that killed it.
In case you forgot, back in February of 2021, Gene went on a rant saying that “young fans” killed rock music via Napster and other file-sharing formats. The basic idea is that without money and stardom, rock can’t be rock, and therefore it’s dead, because unless you’re some megastar, you’re not really making rock music.
Now, speaking to Metal Hammer, Gene has said that he hasn’t changed his mind a bit:
“I stand by my words: rock is dead. 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.”
Here’s what you have to remember: in the previously-quoted interview, Gene explains that he thinks Napster launched in 1988, and in 2016 he couldn’t think of any artists other than himself and Chubby Checker. This is a dude who hasn’t been a rock fan in earnest for decades. So when he says ‘young fans,’ it’s obvious he has NO idea who or what he’s talking about.
Anyway, to all the young rock fans out there, keep listening to your Soul Glo and your Gatecreeper and your Dirty Honey. Do not worry about the aging facepaint man. He can’t hurt you, because to do so would require coming down to your level, and he’s worried that will make him feel rickety and at risk.