Gene Simmons believes the days of iconic and cross-generational rock bands are in the past. The Kiss co-founder spoke to Gulf News and was asked if he thinks some bands will be considered iconic in 30 years, and said, “I doubt it. Because the singularity that was the Beatles is a band that wrote their own songs — arranged it themselves, produced it themselves, mostly played all their own instruments. No backing tracks. No digital enhancement. No vocal correctness. Yeah, not gonna happen again. Y’know, modern artists rely so much on technology.” He went on to say, “Rock is dead. And that’s because new bands haven’t taken the time to create glamour, excitement, and epic stuff. I mean, Foo Fighters is a terrific band, but that’s a 20-year-old band. So you can go back to 1958 until 1988. That’s 30 years. During that time, we had Elvis (Presley), the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, on and on. In disco, you had Madonna, and then you had your hard rock, you had AC/DC, maybe us, a few others. Motown, all that great music. From 1988, until today, that’s more than 30 years. Tell me who the new Beatles is. You can’t. There are popular bands – BTS is very popular. All kinds of bands are very popular. That doesn’t mean iconic and legacy and for all time. It’s different.”
In regards to modern music, Simmons explained, “You may not be able to recognize the artist if they record themselves singing in the shower. You’d be shocked. And none of the rappers play instruments — don’t write songs. They write words. But chords, melodies, harmonies, and stuff. It doesn’t mean that rap isn’t important. It’s very important. But it ain’t the Beatles.”
Despite his sometimes-harsh opinions, Gene Simmons remains a major music fan: “I love all the pop artists. I think Billie Eilish is fantastic. She’s interesting because she and her brother actually write the material and are unique to themselves. Lady Gaga is fantastic in the female category. She writes her own material, she can sing like nobody’s business. But she actually is a musician, writes her own songs, plays piano, she can actually do that. The rest of the world reacts to a lot of the pop divas, although mostly they don’t write their own songs and can’t play an instrument. And by the way, that’s OK, too. It doesn’t matter what you like. But it ain’t the Beatles.”
Kiss’ 2021 “End Of The Road” European tour dates kick off on June 2nd in Antwerp, Belgium and play through July 15th in Budapest, Hungary — with more dates still to be added.
CHECK IT OUT: Kiss on August 9th, 1995 performing “See You Tonight” from MTV Unplugged: