In a new interview with American weekly, KISS bassist/singer Gene Simmons once again talked about the decline of the music industry as consumers prioritize ownership and experiences over assets.
“Overall, new artists will never get the chance we have, because the record companies would give us millions dollars – once we’ve succeeded – as an advance, non-recoverable, with a royalty system and all that,” he said (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). “And so we didn’t have to work day. Now if you’re a new band, you can’t make a living because all the freckled college kids – who, by the way, hate me – because I’m saying it’s stealing. You’re stealing by downloading and sharing this music. It doesn’t affect me; our band came before, when it was a real business. But new artists, you break my heart. It’s like new babies born without being able to eat. You take food out of their mouths so they have to work for a living and don’t have enough time for their art.
“Who killed the music industry? The fans did it,” he continued. “Not a foreign power, not aliens; the fans killed him. And who am I to blame? The record companies for not prosecuting that first putz who dared to break into the chicken coop and steal free eggs and a hen. As soon as you let that first fox in that chicken coop to get some eggs without paying, the rest of the foxes come in. Likewise, the cockroaches – you allow one in the kitchen, you crush the first one, the others s ‘Go, ‘Uh-oh, we have to be careful.
“So Pandora’s box has been opened. There are hundreds of millions of fans around the world who are trained [in their minds] don’t pay for the music. So what does this do for new bands? It kills them. When you take the value out of something, it becomes worthless by definition.
“Imagine you’re a farmer and you sell eggs and chickens – that’s what you do. And this first cute little fox comes along and steals an egg. And the farmer will try to shoot the fox, because , ‘Hey, you’ are stealing my life. And the woman says, ‘Don’t [shoot the fox]. This is so cute.’ This cute little fox brings the egg back to where all the foxes are: “Hey, we have a sucker here. Let’s go get some chickens and eggs. Before you know it, there are no chickens no eggs, the farmer is bankrupt the trucks that transported the farmers’ belongings to the market are bankrupt because they have nothing the supermarkets that sold these products have closed. is bankrupt because that first putz, that first little hole in the Titanic sank the whole ship.”
It’s far from the first time Embarrassed painted a grim picture of the state of rock music. In 2014, he told Squire magazine that “rock didn’t die of old age. It was murdered. A little sparkle somewhere was going to come out and now it won’t because it’s much harder to make a living playing and writing songs. No one will pay you to do that.”
A number of hard rock and heavy metal musicians have weighed in on the subject in a variety of interviews over the past few years, some digging a little deeper into Simmons‘s full remarks and others just obscure the title.