The KISS bassist recently reflected on the current state of rock music, and how the genre has changed over the years.
The bassist and vocalist of the iconic band KISS, Gene Simmons, who is one of rock music's most recognizable figures, recently declared that the music genre is "dead," and he puts the blame on the financial struggles young bands are faced with today.
Simmons declared rock music "finally dead"
The outspoken musician made these brash statements during an interview for Esquire magazine that was conducted by his 25 year-old son, Nick Simmons, who co-starred with him and their family on the A&E reality show 'Gene Simmons: Family Jewels.'
Gene first explained when he was "coming up" in the music industry, recording companies were a lot more financially supportive of rock bands and solo artists.
"There are still record companies, and it does apply to pop, rap, and country to an extent," he said. "But for performers who are also songwriters - the creators - for rock music, for soul, for the blues - it's finally dead."
"Rock is finally dead," he added. "I am so sad that the next 15-year-old kid in a garage someplace in Saint Paul, that plugs into his Marshall and wants to turn it up to 10, will not have anywhere near the same opportunity that I did."
The 65 year-old also referred to the extremely low fees paid by streaming services like Spotify, and people illegally downloading songs, which is essentially stealing an artist's intellectual property.
Simmons blamed the financial burden young bands will face today
"The masses do not recognize file-sharing and downloading as stealing because there's a copy left behind for you," he said. "It's not that copy that's the problem, it's the other one that someone received but didn't pay for."
Simmons, whose stage persona was The Demon, co-founded KISS during the early 1970's and went on to sell more than 100 million albums worldwide due to the success of hit tracks such as 'Rock and Roll All Nite' and 'Detroit Rock City.'
"The death of rock was not a natural death," he told the mag. "Rock did not die of old age. It was murdered. And the real culprit is that kid's 15-year-old next-door neighbor, probably a friend of his. Maybe even one of the bandmates he's jamming with."