KISS’ Gene Simmons recently talked about apps like Napster that killed music and made it difficult for new bands to earn their living off of music. While he hated the industry’s ways of earning money, he stated that this does not affect KISS.
Artists always have the disadvantage of lack of regulation in the industry. Creating an art form or being involved in a creative process rather than numbers has always been hard to put a price on and save from other people copying the work. In the music industry, this recently became more systematic.
Before the development of digital recording, musicians recorded and released big tapes. They were also only sold at certain spots with money worth the creation process. However, those records are now merely a collection item since the emergence of streaming platforms. Not only that but illegal downloading is also a significant factor affecting the musician as they have no gain from those actions for their work.
Hence, KISS’ Gene Simmons insisted on his controversial remark that rock is dead because there isn’t enough work put into the music by the current artists. Regarding them as ‘baby bands,’ he feels sorry for the newcomers because they were born into the digital era.
When asked if KISS was affected by these developments, the bassist said ‘no’ and stated that they were making more money than ever. Because KISS is not a new band and has distributed its legacy in various art forms and not just music, it’s difficult for them to take a hit, whereas the new generation of musicians struggles the most.
Here are Simmons’ words:
“Right around ’88, Napster and all the rest show people how to get music for nothing. You took away the value, and musicians can’t earn a living., not the old ones who are big and fat and rich. I understand, but the new baby bands, it breaks my heart, but they’re not going to get the chance. Rock is dead.”
The interviewer asked:
“Has it affected your royalties a lot?”
“No. We make more than ever before. It’s not about me; it’s about the baby bands.”
You can watch the interview below.