Oh Gene Simmons, you’ve done it again. Let me preface this by stating that I have the utmost respect for Kiss and the legacy that they have forged. It’s also why I’m extremely disappointed and amused at your statement that “Rock Is Dead”. Let’s go ahead and etch the gravestone and say our last words now – not for rock, but for this old, limited thinking that things are “dead”. Death by definition means a permanent end, so why not just do away with all iterations of rock if you are going to call it quits? I’ll even go a step further and state that rock music is vivacious as ever.
This is not without saying that you do not make any valid points, Gene. No, my generation does not have a Led Zeppelin, a Beatles or a Bob Dylan. Then again, who wants to keep recreating the past? I can name a few “rock” acts of today who would take some liberties with that statement. Surely Foo Fighters, Jack White and Queens of the Stone Age would wholeheartedly disagree. Rock music is a growing and ever-evolving genre. There are even new genres that have blossomed in recent years that were not in existence in your heyday, Mr. Simmons, and it’s kind of snobbish to discredit them. After all, didn’t your band attempt to change its image once? Oh yeah, THAT video.
To say that “rock” is dead is a blanket statement. Rock music right now is not what it was 30 years ago. Hell, there was a time when it was thought that Elvis Presley was rock music. Rock has latched itself to everything. If you want to declare that rock is dead, you want to kill music itself. Some may have a problem with that, and that’s okay – it’s all a matter of opinion. However, who are we to say what is best for the masses? This is coming from the head of an entity that commercialized the holy hell out of the Kiss brand. Kiss mugs, lunchboxes and chew toys? Listen, I’m all for making an honest book, but that’s not very “rock” now is it? The Family Jewels reality show? Nope. Upwards to $300 for a Kiss concert ticket? Try again.
Telling kids who may listen to “God of Thunder” and “Detroit Rock City” getting callouses from playing their first lick of guitar that they shouldn’t is kind of irresponsible, isn’t it? While fans getting music for free admits the boom of file sharing, it is old and non-progressive thinking like this that has major record labels hitting the panic button. An inability to adapt is giving the power of choice back to the fans with whom you are here to connect with anyway. Don’t discourage them.
You know what’s “rock”? The fact that a band does not have to use the funding from a major label and can start that same garage band with their friends and be able to record music on their own. It’s rock that they can play at local venues and slowly see their fan base grow. With social media, they can have fans help fund them and actively work to get the word out. It’s not so much that you are the rebel anymore, Mr. Simmons, but you are the same old jargon that you rebelled against when you started. It’s time to find that person again.
Perhaps, you do not want to relate and that’s fine by me. However, if you want rock to stay alive, you have to be an active contributor to it. I don’t mean by the 20th Kiss reunion tour either (how many times are you going to catch the break-up bug?) It’s either be a part of the problem or get left behind by the solution. If you don’t want to rock and roll all night anymore, I understand – just don’t rain on the party of those who still choose to do it.