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Gene Simmons: 'The music business is dead for new bands'

Gene Simmons © PA Images

KISS bassist Gene Simmons claims new bands don’t stand a chance nowadays as ‘generations of fans have been trained not to pay for music.’

An outspoken critic of illegal downloading and file sharing, Gene infamously said back in January that he’s not interested in releasing a new KISS record ‘unless there's a financial model that works’ and insisted that the band ‘is not a charity.’

Now, in a typically candid interview with Detroit's 94.7 WCSX, Gene has lamented the state of the music industry yet again and has put the blame firmly with fans who don’t pay for music.

"The business is dead,” Gene decreed. “Not for us, we can continue to tour, and The Stones can continue to play the songs everybody loves and so can Paul McCartney and stuff. But for a new band, it's dead.

“You have to give away your music for free, because generations of fans have been trained, shamefully, not to pay for music. Download, fileshare, view, I don't care what you call it, the truth is new bands don't have a chance."

Gene continued: "In terms of writing, sure, I write all the time. In fact, a few weeks ago, Ace (Frehley) and I sat down and we wrote two things for his next record, which is gonna be coming out whenever he says.

“So, writing happens all the time, and in my box set, which is gonna come out — oh, I don't know — before the end of the year, there are gonna be hundreds of songs. But the actual business of it? No, it's dead. It's dead. Because the fans won't pay for music."

Echoing previous comments he’s made about the Oxford band, The Demon also stuck his platform boots into Radiohead, who released their 2007 album ‘In Rainbows’ via a pay-what-you-want model that started at £0.

"There was an English band, very well respected,” Gene said. “I don't wanna say their name, 'cause their fans get so upset. And I'm actually a fan of the band. And they decided to put out a brand new album on the Internet, and the headline was, 'Listen, there's no price for this. Just pay whatever you wanna pay, or don't pay anything at all.'

“They only did that once, because it doesn't work. If you can walk into a store and there's a sign up that says, 'You can have anything for free or pay whatever you want,' how long do you think that store would stay in business?"

In other KISS news, earlier this week the band pledged their support to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital following the Ariana Grande concert attack two months ago.

The rock icons have donated Paul Stanley’s signed signature Ibanez PS120 guitar, which he was due to play at KISS’s cancelled Manchester Arena gig on 30th May, together with a VIP meet & greet package to raise funds for the hospital’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit.

The unit cared for many of the young victims who were seriously injured in the Arena attack. A total of £740,000 is needed to buy 26 state-of-the-art life support machines.

You can find out more about the auction here.

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