Kiss star Gene Simmons has taken aim at record industry chiefs for failing to support the next generation of rockers, boldly declaring: "Rock is finally dead".

The veteran bassist believes there is a serious lack of real talent in the charts and he blames bosses at big labels for not nurturing aspiring musicians like they did in his 1970s heyday.

In a candid interview with his son Nick for Esquire magazine, he advises young musicians and songwriters not to "quit your day job", explaining, "When I was coming up, it was not an insurmountable mountain (to become a success story). Once you had a record company on your side, they would fund you, and that also meant when you toured they would give you tour support. There was an entire industry to help the next Beatles, (Rolling) Stones, Prince, (Jimi) Hendrix, to prop them up and support them every step of the way.

"There are still record companies, and it does apply to pop, rap, and country to an extent. 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."

Simmons admits the rock industry's decline should also be attributed to the rise in illegal file-sharing, which has taken money out of artists' pockets.

He continues, "The masses do not recognise file-sharing and downloading as stealing... The problem is that nobody will pay you for the 10,000 hours you put in to create what you created. I can only imagine the frustration of all that work, and having no one value it enough to pay you for it.

"You're better off not even learning how to play guitar or write songs, and just singing in the shower and auditioning for (reality show) The X Factor. And I'm not slamming The X Factor, or pop singers. But where's the next Bob Dylan? Where's the next Beatles? Where are the songwriters? Where are the creators? Many of them now have to work behind the scenes, to prop up pop acts and write their stuff for them."