Slash declares rock is very much alive

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Slash has countered Gene Simmons' repeated statement that "rock is dead" by saying the genre is still producing "fantastic" music.

Kiss star Simmons this week stood by his earlier comments that rock and roll is dead, saying there have been few great rock acts since 1988.

Simmons blames online file-sharing for what he sees as rock’s demise. But Slash disagrees.

He tells The Irish Times: “I don’t think that the file-sharing necessarily is the catalyst to the plight that rock music is in.

“In terms of what popular music is all about in terms of record sales and radio and all of that, rock ‘n’ roll is probably at its lowest ebb of all time. But I know a lot of it does have to do with the fact that everybody is streaming online.

“But as far as the industry is concerned, rock ‘n’ roll is very much the ugly cousin. I sort of dig that because it provides a certain sense of rebellion and attitude that was missing. And all the popular so-called heavy metal bands that do make it to radio are so conformist that I can’t stand them.

“All the real heavy metal bands, they’ve been doing the same thing for years and years on the same level, and they keeping putting out music and doing what they do. I like that.

“The quality of commercial music is in the toilet, but the people who do it for real and mean it are still fantastic. They just don’t have the outlets they used to have.”

The former Guns N’ Roses guitarist adds that there are still good independent record labels signing great bands.

Slash released his new album World On Fire via a Classic Rock magazine fan pack last month.