Now, this post won't be an answer to wether or not I think rock is dead, or my thoughts around the other musician's answers to Gene, but rather an answer to all the rockers out there who see it as their purpose to defend rock and roll, and interpret Gene's statement the way they want, so that they think they are the wise ones. I want to educate and enlighten.
All my life, as a KISS fan, when I have talked about KISS to other people, they seemed to like Gene's persona and the whole KISS-phenomenon. However, in recent times, Gene has gotten this "Axl Rose"-reputation. He has become a person that everybody loves to hate. All because people don't really care to read into what Gene means by what he is saying, interpret it so that Gene looks like the bad guy, and they join the "We hate Gene Simmons"-bandwagon.
Gene has a huge ego, no doubt about it. He's a proud man - proud of what he has accomplished with his band. Proud of his success and "luck" (read: hard work) in life. What separates him from other celebrities, is that he isn't afraid to say what he means, and to cross the borders of what's "allowed" to say, from time to time.
Here's the problem. Gene didn't mean that the rock and roll genre is dead and buried. What Gene meant was that the business-model and way of selling/sharing music has changed in such a drastic way, that the rock and roll industry simply can't compare to what it was back when KISS became huge. It took no less than two years from when KISS was founded (1973), until they released their ground breaking record "Alive!" (1975), and the year after that, they released "Destroyer" (1976), which reached double platinum certification. They released a total of five albums between 1973 and 1976, and by then, they were one of the biggest bands in the US.
Rival Sons, on the other hand, who are finally getting noticed in the US and is considered fairly popular, released their first album (after changing names from Black Summer Crush to Rival Sons and recruiting Jay Buchanan on vocals), Before The Fire, in 2009. They released their fourth album this year, and only peaked at #124 on the Billboard 200 for one week. It took them five years to even reach Billboard 200. Do you see the difference? It's hard to be a rock and roller in 2014 when bootyshaking women is all the rage, as Wig Wam once sang (not sure if the last part was actually sung by them, but you get the picture).
Now, what I'm really getting at is the ignorance of all these people commenting Gene's statement. Take a look below:
They just finished a huge co-headlining tour with Def Leppard (which says something by itself - they have to co-headline to draw a crowd they could draw by themselves back in the day), they are doing the KISS Kruise for the fourth consecutive year this year, and they keep releasing new music. How much more active and not-dead can a band be?
Side note: what was ever wrong with being clowns on stage? That's what made people want to go see KISS, and that's what made them big, so if you can thank yourselves for bringing these "clowns" on stage! They give you "bang for the buck" and Gene likes to say.