KISS’s Gene Simmons Attacks Music Industry, Streaming Services

By Rami Abou-Sabe

The always outspoken Gene Simmons has unleashed on streaming services and the modern music industry in a new interview with the Thunder Underground podcast.

RELATED: KISS’s Gene Simmons Is Not Happy The Rock Hall Recognizes Rap Music

Simmons, who achieved success as a founding member of shock-rock group KISS, detailed his thoughts on digital services like Spotify and Apple Music. “Good luck to ’em. I am not a supporter,” he said. “I do believe in free market economy — supply and demand and all that kind of stuff — and I support Taylor Swift and Metallica and anybody else who doesn’t wanna play the game; The Beatles didn’t wanna play the game for a long time.”

“Imagine you’re a new band and you have your passion and your music and you really love it, you can’t do it. There’s nothing else. They can’t show up live, because they don’t know who you are, so somehow you’ve gotta get the music out there. But if you wanna earn a living, you can’t get the music out there. So you’re living in your mother’s basement, you have to have a day job and the kids get your music for free,” Simmons continued. “It doesn’t work. And the people that killed all the new bands are the fans themselves. It wasn’t corporate America, it wasn’t aliens from space. The people that killed the music they love are the people who love the music.”

Not one to back down from a controversial opinion, Simmons sunk his teeth into the issue. “It doesn’t work. Charge people. Make them pay. Make a cross, draw a line in the sand. This is commerce, and that’s charity. Once you get your money and all that stuff, then you can decide if you wanna do charity.”

“Did you ever hear a freckle-faced kid go, ‘Hey, you’re too rich. You don’t need that money’? Listen, bitch, I didn’t ask your opinion. I’ll let you know what money I need and what I don’t need. I don’t need some kid who hasn’t wiped his first cum stain off his leg to tell me what I need in my life.”

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