In a new interview, Kiss bassist Gene Simmons heaped praise on Radiohead’s Thom Yorke by saying that he has one of ‘the greatest voices’. It’s a surprise, because Simmons isn’t exactly known for praise, instead often finding himself at the centre of controversy for his acid tongue and contentious statements about hip-hop, Rihanna and life in general. Here are some of his most controversial.
"I am looking forward to the death of rap. I'm looking forward to music coming back to lyrics and melody, instead of just talking. A song, as far as I'm concerned, is by definition lyric and melody… or just melody."
On music piracy
“Rock did not die of old age, it was murdered. And the real culprit is that kid’s 15-year-old next-door neighbor, probably a friend of his. Maybe even one of the bandmates he’s jamming with. The tragedy is that they seem to have no idea that they just killed their own opportunity — they killed the artists they would have loved”
On Guns N' Roses
"Guns N' Roses could have been the best band in the world and the reason they're not is because of Axl Rose. Drugs, heroin, alcohol and all that but ultimately it falls on Axl Rose's shoulders."
On Death Grips
"As soon as I hear someone talking over a drum machine beat, I’m out"
"Fuck you, then kill yourself. I never understand, because I always call them on their bluff. I'm the guy who says 'jump' when there's a guy on top of a building who says, 'that's it, I can't take it anymore. I'm going to jump’. Are you kidding? Why are you announcing it? Shut the fuck up, have some dignity and jump! You've got the crowd."
On The Rolling Stones and U2
“I have a problem when you charge $100 to see a live show and the artist uses backing tracks. It’s like the ingredients in food, if the first ingredient on the label is sugar that’s at least honest”
"We're sick and tired of girls getting up there with dancers and karaoke tapes in back of them. No fake bullshit. Leave that to the Rihanna, Shimiana and anyone else who ends their name with an 'a'."
On the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame
“It's become a joke… We've been thinking about it and the answer is simply, 'We'll just buy it and fire everybody'. In all seriousness for the fans, for something to be called Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is such an insult to Madonna, Blondie and Tone Loc.”
On Kiss’ original lineup
“Both of these guys had three chances to be in the band and three times they fucked it up,”
On internet hackers
"First, they will be punished. Second, they might find their little butts in jail, right next to someone who’s been there for years and is looking for a new girl friend.”
On Prince's death
I thought he left [Michael] Jackson in the dust. Prince was way beyond that. But how pathetic that he killed himself. Don’t kid yourself, that’s what he did. Slowly, I’ll grant you... but that’s what drugs and alcohol is: a slow death.”