Kiss’ Gene Simmons: ‘Thom Yorke has one of the greatest voices. He could rap’

Rock bassist also shares his opinion on Skepta and Death Grips

Kiss frontman Gene Simmons has shared his views on the new Radiohead single, describing himself as “very much a Radiohead fan” and arguing that frontman Thom Yorke could “do whatever he wanted”, even “rap”.

Simmons was speaking to Noisey for a feature in which he reviewed various new tracks.

After being played Radiohead’s ‘Burn The Witch’, Simmons said: “It’s difficult for other bands to do Radiohead songs, because of the strength of their identity. Their identity is key to the song, specifically Thom Yorke’s voice. Thom Yorke has got one of the great voices in modern rock. He could do whatever he wanted with that voice. He could rap, he could sing pop, he could be the new lead singer of [vocal group] the Four Seasons if he wanted to.”

“I’m very much a Radiohead fan,” the rock bassist added. “Funny thing is, Thom Yorke in particular gets very upset when I talk about them. I’m a great fan but I know that they hate everything we do – the over the top visuals, the licensing, the merchandise, we love all that. We bathe in it. That’s not something they want to do. The great thing about Radiohead is that they never tried to look like anyone else. Will Radiohead fans like ‘Burn the Witch’? Oh yeah. Could Michael Bublé do a version of ‘Burn the Witch’? I’m not sure that’s a good idea.”

Simmons went on to name his favourite Radiohead song to be their most famous hit ‘Creep’, adding: “And my favourite Blur song is that number five thing, ‘Woohoo!’ [‘Song 2’]. That’s just my taste.”

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Gene Simmons also addressed his recent beef with rapper Ice Cube after he objected to hip-hop group NWA’s induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Speaking to Noisey, Simmons said of Ice Cube: “I think he’s a great guy, great father. But NWA doesn’t belong in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, in the same way Kiss doesn’t belong in the Hip-Hop Hall Of Fame.”

Commenting later on Skepta‘s ‘Man (Gang)’, Simmons said: “Asking me about this is like asking my mother what she thinks of Miles Davis. We’re not qualified to comment… My favourite rap song of all time is Sir Mix-a-lot, the ‘big butt’ song [‘Baby Got Back’]. It’s so infectious I wind up walking round the house sticking my butt out as if I was in jail. You know what I mean?”

“As soon as I hear someone talking over a drum machine beat, I’m out,” he said of Death Grips.