During a chat with Musicradar.com, Gene Simmons railed against the state of the current music industry compared to the groundbreaking glory days of rock. Simmons said, “You asked me to pick 10 tracks that blew my mind. I could have picked a hundred. . . . a thousand. That was what it was like to be a music fan in the '50s and '60s. You had the Beatles next to Diana Ross next to (Led) Zeppelin next to (Jimi) Hendrix next to Yes next to James Brown next to the Kinks.”
He went on to explain that the music scene then was an ongoing embarrassment of riches for fans: “Every week, there seemed to be another 20 new songs that just stopped you dead in your tracks. Can you imagine hearing 'Waterloo Sunset' for the first time? Or 'Twist and Shout'? Or 'Tutti Frutti'?
Simmons touched upon the creative restrictions facing the cream of the crop making music today, explaining, “These days we have the talent — (Lady) Gaga, Bruno Mars, Adele, all great artists — but they’re handcuffed by the industry. The industry sets the rules and says rap has to sound like this; soul has to sound like this; EDM has to sound like this. F***king pathetic! I don’t want to sound like one of those miserable, moany guys that says, ‘Man, everything was better back then.' But when it comes to music. . . s***, it was so much better! When I heard it, it changed my life forever!”
A while back Gene Simmons appeared on IFC's The Henry Rollins show and bemoaned the fate of the music business for new bands: “The record industry is dead because of the fans. They killed it. And what you have now is chaos because that happened. And, so, what's going on with new bands — good luck! My God; you're not going to get an advance — or very little of it — tour support is out the window, unless you're an emo band or rap, you're dead. How're you gonna be a punk band and come out here and try to make a living?”
Kiss will be on tour in Europe through July. The band kicks off its next North American run on August 6th at Sunrise, Florida's BB&T Center.