October 19, 2015


Gene Simmons: File-Sharing Makes Music "Worthless"

Jo Hale/Redferns via Getty Images
Jo Hale/Redferns via Getty Images

Kiss frontman Gene Simmons has doubled down on some 2014 comments about the death of rock-and-roll at the hands of file-sharing.

Speaking to New Zealand radio station the Sound, Simmons explained that from 1958 through 1988, timeless acts appeared like weeds, citing ElvisJimi HendrixMadonnaDonna SummerMichael JacksonMetallicaIron Maiden and U2. But in the last 27 years, we've been robbed:

"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 file-sharing. 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."

Napster launched in 1999; why we're clocking from 1988 onward is unclear, as is the question of whether Simmons has ever heard of Nirvana.

Blabbermouth notes that Simmons told Esquire about a year ago 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."

In the more recent conversation, however, Simmons skewers reality TV shows (he says they set their winners up to fail) while admitting today's pop stars are okay. "I love Taylor Swift and Katy Perry," he says. "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."