In spite of the fact that superstar rock bands and pop artists still travel the world in private jets and tricked-out custom buses while having their every whim catered to before and after performing to thousands of fans who pay huge amounts of money for tickets, the music industry is dead. At least if you believe Gene Simmons of KISS. And who’s to blame for this death that has occurred only in Mr. Simmons’ mind? That would be music fans.
In an interview with MetalHammer Magazine [via TorrentFreak], the one-time arena rock god and godfather of rock merchandising laments the end of an era, all due to pesky kids and their file-sharing.
“The sad part is that the fans are the ones who are killing the thing that they love: great music,” explains Simmons. “For fuck’s sake, you’re not giving the next band a chance.”
And by “next band,” we presume he actually means once-popular arena rock acts like KISS, because his statement ignores all the many, many artists who are not only doing just fine in an era of digital downloads and easy file-sharing, but are thriving because of this ease of delivery. Instead, he goes on to complain about how much money he’s not earned.
“How much have we lost through illegal downloading? It’s certainly millions,” explains Simmons. “I don’t think it’s tens of millions, but it’s certainly millions.”
Simmons has long been an outspoken critic of file-sharing, going back to the days of Napster and other early peer-to-peer networks.
“They should have bitch-slapped them,” he says about the operators of the early p2p platforms. “Gone down with the FBI, seized everything and put everyone in jail. But then they should have done what the Allies did with the Nazis: made them work for us.”
Can you imagine Napster founders Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker sitting in a garment factory, silk-screening KISS t-shirts, faking bandmembers’ autographs on KISS photos and posters, and drilling holes in KISS bowling balls?