KISS’ Gene Simmons continues to lament “rock is dead” and thinks “rap will die”

KISS’ Gene Simmons continues to lament “rock is dead” and thinks “rap will die”

In a recent interview with RollingStone, KISS founder, bassist and singer Gene Simmons reiterated his view that “rock is dead” and he thinks “rap will die.”

The RollingStone article states in part:

“As far as I’m concerned, rock is dead,” he [Simmons] continues. “There ain’t no new bands. Foo Fighters, I love ’em, but they’re a 20-year-old band. These are long-in-the-tooth bands: Nirvana, Pearl Jam. They’re old bands.”

He went on to say, however, that he did not feel all hope was lost. “That doesn’t mean there’s not new bands out there,” Simmons says. “As far as I’m concerned, if Lady Gaga dropped the disco and the pole dancing and all that stuff and put together a rock band, that would be legitimate, because she’s got the musical goods. She can write songs, play instruments and can actually sing. And she understands the fearless quality of spectacle. I’d love to see her do Queen-style music. She can do it. Madonna cannot.”

Then he recapitulated his theme. “Rap will die,” he says. “Next year, 10 years from now, at some point, and then something else will come along. And all that is good and healthy.” Asked about EDM, Simmons says, “EDM is honest. EDM says, ‘Here’s a guy onstage who does fuck-all, he does nothing. He presses a button and puts his hands up in the air. He doesn’t pretend to be lip-syncing to a track.’ He has a light show and it’s an honest relationship.

“My thing about the disco divas who get up onstage — and I love Jennifer Lopez and Ciara and Shakira and Madonna and all the girls with names that end in ‘a,’ they’re very talented in their own way — but it’s dishonest. They have a backing track. It’s really a karaoke bar. Karaoke is more honest, because you know it’s karaoke.'”

When asked whether or not he likes rap at all, he says he thinks it’s OK. “I don’t have the cultural background to appreciate being a gangster,” he says. “Of course that’s not what it’s all about, but that’s where it comes from. That’s the heart and soul of it. It came from the streets.”

Didn’t rap come from the same New York streets at the same time as Kiss? “Sure, but other than Kiss, which plays stadiums around the world, there’s no other New York band that was ever able to do that,” he says. “New York, for all its cultural impact hardly produced any rock bands at all. There’s the Ramones and the Dolls, and that’s kind of it. Ramones never had a gold album until some of them died. We took Anthrax out on one of their first tours, but we’re talking about stadiums.”