Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale responded to Gene Simmons declaring rock dead in a recent Weiland Tribune article:
“It’s a little too finite for me – there’s not much wiggle room,” said Rossdale. “I’m sure it’s obviously his opinion that day. I’m sure when he puts the tickets back on sale for KISS, as he will do in about 10 minutes, that he hopes it suddenly gets resuscitated and comes back around. You know all music goes through a thing. You could argue that hip hop is in a quieter stage versus EDM… I just think for me, as a musician, you just have to stay the course. You stand your ground. You try to get better at what you do. And it’s almost like a carousel. Everything comes around, there are cycles to everything, and it comes down to good records.”
AlternativeNation.net has spoken to several rockers about Simmons’ statements regarding the state of rock.
Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan: “I think Gene’s comments, and I do know Gene personally a bit, I think his comments were quickly pounced upon and misconstrued. I read what he said as sort of a lament, not criticism. In essence, saying that he feels bad that musicians don’t have the same opportunities that he did. Obviously, every generation has a different set of opportunities based on media and technology. I feel I’ve talked about this stuff ad nauseum, and I feel like in a way nobody needs to hear anything else from me about it, particularly when if you even step one inch over the line, you get hammered that you’re criticizing this generation’s music.
I’ve kind of come around to a different position, which is that every generation deserves its music, and whether another generation agrees or disagrees is irrelevant. In essence, the artists are making music that connects with the people of their time. Obviously, there are many bands that I don’t know about, and a few bands that I do, that are connecting in that way. I’m not the person to sit there and say whether or not they’re doing it in an effective manner, because they are doing it in an effective manner.
The only thing I can criticize, and I have been very vocal about this, is where the music systems/artists themselves are not aspiring to the biggest main frame available, because at the end of the day, I feel that rock and roll is meant to be a battering ram against convention. Rock and roll is meant to be a battery ram against what is safe in the world. Rock and roll has been a great political tool, and a great social tool, in pointing out injustice and hypocrisy. When rock and roll becomes safe, or plays to its own choir, I’ve always been critical of that, and that goes back to the very beginning of the Pumpkins. That is not something I gained in my 30’s or 40’s, and I took shit for that in my 20’s when I went after my own generation for playing to the choir. Beyond that, I feel like anything I would say beyond that is just redundant.”
Seether frontman Shaun Morgan: “I don’t take Gene Simmons as an authority on anything, because the dude’s out of touch man. To come from a guy like that, I guess it’s something worth listening to, but he also doesn’t live in the real rock world like the rest of us, he lives in Gene Simmons land. KISS’ planet is very different from the rest of ours, he doesn’t get on a tour bus and ride around for a year at a time, he flies around, and has flowers and crap put in his dressing room and stuff.”
Buckcherry frontman Josh Todd: “If you’re passionate about what you’re doing, and your band, you are going to find a way. All that statement means to me is that there is a huge void in music for a great rock band.” He added, “I think a lot of the new rock records are very washed out, they’re muddy, they lack melody, they lack groove, they lack songs.”
Escape The Fate guitarist TJ Bell: “I don’t think that it’s dead, but I do think that it’s harder for bands today to get off their feet, because there is so much out there today, there is just an overload of music you can get for free. I think with people’s attention spans, they’re onto the next band in like a month.”