Gene Simmons On Illegal Music Downloading
KISS bassis Gene Simmons is still defending his “rock is dead” comment, blaming the technology and fans for the current state of affairs.
Simmons told Esquire Magazine in September 2014— in an interview conducted by his son Nick — that “rock did not die of old age. It was murdered. Some brilliance, somewhere, was going to be expressed and now it won’t because it’s that much harder to earn a living playing and writing songs. No one will pay you to do it. It’s finally dead. Rock is finally dead.”
Simmons recently sat down with New Zealand’s The Sound radio station and stood by his comments in Esquire, saying, “The next KISS or the next Beatles or whoever it is is not gonna come along, because there is no infrastructure. Here… Let’s play a game. From 1958 until 1988 is thirty years. What have we got? Well, let’s see… We have Elvis Presley, The Beatles, The Stones, Jimi Hendrix… the biggest bands of all time. And then in disco, you had Madonna, Donna Summer… all that. The biggest of all. And then in pop, you had Michael Jackson, The Jackson 5… all that stuff… and U2. And in heavy metal, you had Metallica and Iron Maiden and all that stuff. Okay. And Prince and all that… From 1988 until today… give me the new Beatles and the new Stones. Give me just one. You can’t. Rock is dead. And the reason for that? Downloading and filesharing. When you stop charging for things, it becomes worthless. And there’s gonna have to be a business model that’s gonna have to change. ‘Cause there are great bands out there, but there’s no support system.”
He continued: “You know, there’s a ten-thousand-hour principle [the principle which holds that 10,000 hours of ‘deliberate practice’ are needed to become world-class in any field]. There’s a book about that. Before The Beatles went into the studio to become The Beatles, they played clubs for ten thousand hours. That’s years. You have to do something for thousands and thousands of hours before you get any good on it. Nowadays, instant gratification means you can hum in your shower, then wind up on ‘The X Factor’ and you’re on television and you get a recording contract. But almost none of these singers who get recording contracts become huge. And that’s because the taller the tree, the deeper the root that needs to be in the ground to hold up all that weight. So if you have a tree with no roots [makes falling hand motion].”
Simmons added: “I love the new pop singers. I love Taylor Swift and Katy Perry. I’ve met them both. They’re all great and talented… What’s gonna happen when you’re 40 and 50? Will it still work? That’s the test of time.”
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