Gene Simmons Says Rock & Roll ‘Was Murdered’

Gene Simmons son, Nick, whom America came to know best through the A&E series Gene Simmons Family Jewels, interviewed his rocker pop for Esquire recently, and Gene gave Nick a pretty fantastic sound byte — unless you’re a musician.

“Rock is finally dead,” he said. “The death of rock was not a natural death. Rock did not die of old age. It was murdered.”

Simmons credits — or rather blames — file sharing and the public’s general diminished interest in music.

“My sense is that file sharing started in predominantly white, middle- and upper-middle-class young people who were native-born, who felt they were entitled to have something for free, because that’s what they were used to.”

Simmons mourns for young talent, saying, “It’s very sad for new bands. My heart goes out to them. They just don’t have a chance. If you play guitar, it’s almost impossible.”

But he doesn’t just decry the loss of musicianship, he highlights the landscape of the record industry, noting that it “barely exists” and saying “they wouldn’t have a chance to make something like [‘Dark Side of the Moon’].”

In the interview with Esquire, Gene Simmons could only name two “iconic” bands of the last 30 years, whereas hundreds from the 30 years before that came to mind. Though Nirvana was one of the two more recent bands that came to mind for Simmons, Dave Grohl apparently took exception to the fact that Foo Fighters wasn’t. Foo Fighters’ linked to the Esquire article and included the caption “Not so fast, Mr. God of Thunder…”

Foo Fighters has a new album due this November.

It’s not the first time in the past 30 days that Gene Simmons has said something that has prompted a negative response. The Inquisitr recently noted that Simmons deleted his Twitter account after making off-the-cuff comments about suicide and depression that were deemed cruel and distasteful by many. Simmons also voiced his support for former Los Angeles Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, in a recent Wall Street Journal interview.

Ironically, Simmons predicted, “They’re going to go after Sterling and he’s going to put a few million dollars out there, because he can afford it – and he’s going to ask the paparazzi out there to find videos of all the other team members talking trash and racist rants. And then it’s open season.”

News broke over the weekend that Bruce Levenson, owner of Atlanta Hawks and one of the league’s owners that went after Sterling, would be selling his team because he had sent an email with racist content two years prior.

Gene Simmons and KISS just wrapped a tour celebrating 40 years of their own brand of rock & roll. On August 12, the new football series 4th and Loud, which documents the Simmons-owned Los Angeles arena football team the KISS, debuted on AMC. The series will carry the KISS brand to November, when the band will play a residency at The Joint at The Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas.