Gene Simmons says rock is dead: We asked Paul Stanley what he thinks

Kiss onstage
(Image credit: Kevin Mazur)

In a new interview with Louder, Kiss legend Paul Stanley has had his say on Gene Simmons' oft-repeated theory that rock is dead. Simmons made the claim during an interview with Esquire in 2014, and has repeated it many times over the ensuing years. 

"It’s a great soundbite, but that’s about all it is," says Stanley. "My son Evan is playing all around Los Angeles with a rock band that kicks ass and is getting great crowds, with beautiful models coming, and that’s proof to me that rock’s not dead. 

"The music that is most popular to mainstream tastes changes over time, and it ebbs and flows. There’s a lot of rock music being made right now, and some of it may be too derivative to really stake a claim and take it to the next level, but it will happen, it will happen. But the next big rock band won’t be huge because it sounds like a band from the past, it will have its own voice."

A host of other musicians have refuted Simmons' theory since it was first espoused, including Dave Grohl, Brian Johnson, Dee Snider, Shirley Manson, Duff McKagan, Slash, Joe Perry, Rob Halford, Tony Iommi, Corey Taylor, Greta Van Fleet, Scott Ian, Måneskin and Alice Cooper.  

"I don't think rock is ever gonna die," Cooper said last year. "When you talk about hard rock, like the Stones, The Who and all that, that's the only music that's lasted. Grunge was here for a while. And punk was here for a while. Emo was here and all this, but hard rock bands just kept going. So if you're in a hard rock band, you can go as long as you want to go."

The full interview with Paul Stanley will be published at a later date.

In December, Kiss announced their final ever UK dates, part of a European tour that will run from early June until mid-July. Full dates below. The latest in Kiss's ongoing series of Off The Soundboard albums, Live In Poughkeepsie, will be released in April. 

Kiss European Tour 2023

Jun 03: Plymouth Home Park, UK
Jun 05: Birmingham Arena, UK
Jun 06: Newcastle Utilita Arena, UK
Jun 10: Prague O2 Arena, Czech Republic
Jun 12: Amsterdam Ziggo Dome, Netherlands
Jun 13: Brussels Palais 12 Arena, Belgium
Jun 17: Munich Königsplatz Germany
Jun 19: Krakow Tauron Arena Poland
Jun 21: Dresden Messehalle, Germany
Jun 22: Berlin Max-Schmeling-Halle, Germany
Jun 27: Lyon Halle Tony Garnier, France
Jun 29: Tuscany Piazza Napoleone, Italy
Jul 01: Mannheim SAP Arena, Germany
Jul 02: Cologne Lanxess Arena, Germany
Jul 05: London The O2, UK
Jul 07: Manchester AO Arena, UK
Jul 08: Glasgow OVO Hydro, UK
Jul 12: Rättvik Dalhalla Sweden
Jul 13: Rättvik Dalhalla Sweden
Jul 15: Tonsberg Kaldnes, Norway

Tickets are on sale now

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.