Gene Simmons has not been short on outlandish statements in the past couple weeks. Between his thoughts on depression, suicide and Donald Sterling, he's been busy running his mouth into trouble. This weekend, the KISS frontman added another memorable interview to his controversial canon.
"Rock is finally dead," he told Esquire.
"I am so sad that the next 15-year-old kid in a garage someplace in Saint Paul, that plugs into his Marshall and wants to turn it up to ten, will not have anywhere near the same opportunity that I did," Simmons said. "He will most likely, no matter what he does, fail miserably."
That's quite the dramatic outlook, but we've come to expect such things from Simmons. He continued:
"It's very sad for new bands. My heart goes out to them. They just don't have a chance. If you play guitar, it's almost impossible. You're better off not even learning how to play guitar or write songs, and just singing in the shower and auditioning for The X Factor. And I'm not slamming The X Factor, or pop singers. But where's the next Bob Dylan? Where's the next Beatles? Where are the songwriters? Where are the creators? Many of them now have to work behind the scenes, to prop up pop acts and write their stuff for them."
Simmons said there's a major reason why rock has died off: illegal file-sharing that racked the industry during the 2000s.
"If you're a native-born American, my contention is that you take a lot of things for granted," he said. "All the freedoms and opportunities you have here are expected, and you feel entitled. I think this has taken over the American psyche. I find that many of the more patriotic people are immigrants, and they're the ones who stand still when the flag goes up, out of gratitude.
"My sense is that file-sharing started in predominantly white, middle- and upper-middle-class young people who were native-born, who felt they were entitled to have something for free, because that's what they were used to."