Kiss singer Gene Simmons has said that he is “looking forward to the death of rap” in a new interview.
The rock frontman recently spoke to Rolling Stone when he said: “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.”
“I’m all for anybody talking,” he added. “‘Wild Thing’ was talking: ‘Wild thing, she makes my heart sing/ she makes everything … .’ There’s no melody there. That’s cool. Napoleon XIV, ‘They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!’ That’s a funny song, but those are novelty records. So was Dickie Goodman and ‘Mr. Jaws.’ These were all hits, by the way. But predominantly, music is about melody and lyric, whether it’s rap or doo-wop, or yeah, even rock.”
Asked why he never connected with rap music, Simmons replied: “” don’t have the cultural background to appreciate being a gangster. Of course that’s not what it’s all about, but that’s where it comes from. That’s the heart and soul of it. It came from the streets”.
He continued: “Rap will die. Next year, 10 years from now, at some point, and then something else will come along. And all that is good and healthy.”
On the subject of EDM, Simmons was more favourable: “EDM is honest. EDM says, ‘Here’s a guy onstage who does fuck-all, he does nothing. He presses a button and puts his hands up in the air. He doesn’t pretend to be lip-syncing to a track.’ He has a light show and it’s an honest relationship.”
“As far as I’m concerned, rock is dead,” Simmons said. “There ain’t no new bands. Foo Fighters, I love ’em, but they’re a 20-year-old band. These are long-in-the-tooth bands: Nirvana, Pearl Jam. They’re old bands.”
“That doesn’t mean there’s not new bands out there. As far as I’m concerned, if Lady Gaga dropped the disco and the pole dancing and all that stuff and put together a rock band, that would be legitimate, because she’s got the musical goods. She can write songs, play instruments and can actually sing. And she understands the fearless quality of spectacle. I’d love to see her do Queen-style music. She can do it. Madonna cannot.”
“My thing about the disco divas who get up onstage — and I love Jennifer Lopez and Ciara and Shakira and Madonna and all the girls with names that end in ‘a,’ they’re very talented in their own way — but it’s dishonest. They have a backing track. It’s really a karaoke bar. Karaoke is more honest, because you know it’s karaoke”.
Previously, Simmons had said that rock is “finally dead” because rock artists do not receive the same support from record companies that they did in the ’60s and ’70s.
When asked what he would say to young musicians and songwriters today, Simmons affirmed: “Don’t quit your day job is a good piece of advice. When I was coming up, it was not an insurmountable mountain. Once you had a record company on your side, they would fund you, and that also meant when you toured they would give you tour support. There was an entire industry to help the next Beatles, Stones, Prince, Hendrix, to prop them up and support them every step of the way. There are still record companies, and it does apply to pop, rap, and country to an extent. But for performers who are also songwriters – the creators – for rock music, for soul, for the blues – it’s finally dead. Rock is finally dead.”