Dee Snider slams Gene Simmons over ‘rock is dead’ claim

Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider has slammed Gene Simmons’ claim that rock is dead.

The Kiss star last week described the genre as having been “murdered” by those who refused to invest in the next generation of artists.

Earlier this week opinions on the subject were offered by Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant and Poison drummer Rikki Rockett.

Now Snider claims the music has a bright future, regardless of business issues. He says via Facebook: “While I have nothing but respect for Gene, he couldn’t be further off the mark. The business model that helped Kiss and my band achieve fame and fortune is most certainly dead – but rock’n’roll is alive and well.

“It’s thriving on social media, in the streets, in clubs and concert halls all over the world. And the bands playing it are more genuine than heartfelt than even because they’re in it for one reason: the love of rock’n’roll.”

Simmons blamed much of the industry’s woes on teenagers who think nothing of illegally downloading albums. But Snider puts the blame on “greedy big-city moguls who made their own velvet noose to hang themselves with.”

He cites the case of CD pricing when the format was introduced. “They said, ‘We have to charge more because there’s a cost to setting up the infrastructure to produce them.’ The consumer believed them, so they paid $18.98 for a product they’d been paying $7.99 for previously.

“But when the infrastructure was in place and paid for in full, and the cost of producing a CD dropped to less than a dollar, did the companies roll back the price in kind? Not on your life. They weren’t about to do the right thing and cut their increased revenue stream.”

The dawn of downloading presented a chance for revenge, Snider says. “When the public realised they were being had, and the opportunity arose for them to stick it to the man, they stuck it and they stuck it good.”

And he underlines that it was always difficult to survive in the rock industry. “Will rockers make as much money as they did ‘back in the day’? Probably not,” he admits. “But that won’t stop them. They’ll be motivated by a much more genuine love of the art. Great rock will continue to be produced, played and embraced.

“Record company executives killed the business model – and rock’n’roll ain’t dead.”

Freelance Online News Contributor

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.