KISS and “Makeup”

KISS founders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley don’t see eye to eye on the current state of Rock Music.

KISS bassist Gene Simmons has found himself in the headlines numerous times in the past weeks with his controversial comments regarding the current state of rock music. What stared out as an isolated claim regarding the lack of “legendary” artists in the current era eventually caught the attention of Alice Cooper as well as fellow KISS member Paul Stanley.

“Rock is Dead”

Photo: Ultimate Classic Rock

Gene Simmons claims of the end of the rock genre came up during an interview with Gulf News, when asked about the current state of Rock an’ Roll and thoughts about those who claim rock has died, Simmons had this to say, “Rock is dead. And that’s because new bands haven’t taken the time to create glamour, excitement and epic stuff. I mean, Foo Fighters is a terrific band, but that’s a 20-year-old band. So you can go back to 1958 until 1988. That’s 30 years. During that time, we had Elvis, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stones, on and on.” While Simmons is doubtful any current era bands or artist will be considered “Legendary” within the next 30 years, some of his fellow musicians don’t feel this is the case at all.

Cooper Calls Bull!

Photo: Billboard

Upon hearing Simmons’ claims, Alice Cooper told NME, “I would like him to do my taxes, He’s a business man, and business-wise, it’s valid, but I guarantee you right now that in London somewhere, in garages, they’re learning Aerosmith and Guns ‘N’ Roses, There’s a bunch of 18-year-kids in there with guitars and drums and they’re learning hard rock. It’s the same with the United States: there’s all these young bands that want to resurge that whole area of hard rock.” Discussing the state of rock music at large, he said the genre is “where it should be right now”.

Cooper goes on to explain the genre is alive and well existing, not in The Grammys or The Mainstream but rather on “the outside looking in” as it should be. The full NME interview can be seen below:

https://youtu.be/-NBfguTvDx4

Stanley Stands In

Photo: Louder Sound

The comments not only resonated with rock icon Alice Cooper but also fellow KISS band mate Paul Stanley! Stanley’s stance sides with Alice Cooper defending the genre and claiming, “I think that life, rock, whatever it is, is never a constant,” he says. “Let’s say, for example, if you take somebody’s pulse and it’s weak, it doesn’t mean they’re dead. It means that the pulse is weak. And it doesn’t mean it won’t come back stronger. I don’t think that music can ever be dead. I don’t think that bands can be dead, rock can be dead. It just takes somebody to reignite it to the level that it has been at some time in the past.” In an interview with Canada Talks on Sirius XM, according to AltPress.

Bitter Bias?

While both KISS leads appear to be on opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to the current state of the rock industry, that doesn’t appear to have driven a wedge between the two… yet. While the band is still scheduled to tour, they have pushed back any future dates until after pandemic restrictions have been lifted. Stanley still plans to take his solo project on the road playing smaller clubs and venues in the meantime.

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