KISS’ Gene Simmons says young fans are “culprits” for the death of rock: “You killed the thing that you love”

He also blamed streaming and digital downloads

Gene Simmons has continued his “rock is dead” tirade in a new interview – this time, he’s blaming young people for the genre’s perceived demise.

Simmons first declared rock to be “finally dead” in 2014, when the KISS bassist accused record labels of failing to adequately support rock artists during an interview conducted by his son, Nick, for Esquire.

Last month, Simmons doubled down on his claims in another interview with Gulf News, telling the outlet “rock is dead” because new acts hadn’t “taken the time to create glamour, excitement and epic stuff”.


Speaking on New York’s Q104.3 radio station on February 4, Simmons further elaborated on his opinion, this time pointing the finger at “young fans”.

When asked by host Jonathan Clarke if Simmons meant his original “rock is dead” comments to be in terms of radio play of streaming numbers, Simmons replied, “In all ways. And the culprits are the young fans.

“You killed the thing that you love. Because as soon as streaming came in, you took away a chance for the new great bands who are there in the shadows, who can’t quit their day job ’cause you can’t make a dime putting your music out there, because when you download stuff, it’s one-hundredth or one-thousandth of one penny.

“And so you’ve gotta have millions to millions, and even billions of downloads before you can make a few grand. And the fans have killed that thing. So the business is dead.”

Watch Simmons’ full interview below:


Simmons has recently announced a partnership with iconic guitar brand Gibson to launch new guitar and bass collections.

Under the name G², the collaboration will introduce new collections of left-handed electric guitars and basses across Gibson’s Gibson, Epiphone and Kramer brands, as well as develop new entertainment content to be streamed globally.

Upon the announcement, Simmons said, “I have been designing and trademarking bass guitars for decades, and when I heard Gibson’s vision and learned about their creative process, it just made sense for us to join forces to take things to the next level.”