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KISS's Gene Simmons says music streaming services are 'a disaster' for bands

Gene Simmons © PA Images

Gene Simmons has had his say once again on the current state of the music industry.

The KISS bassist appeared on Fox Business to promote his $2000 box set The Vault featuring 150 never-released-before songs when he was asked if streaming services hurt artists financially.

Typically pulling no punches in his response, Gene said: "It's a disaster. It's a disaster, because the fans have decided, and they've been trained to not pay for music.”

Offering up a metaphor, The Demon continued: "Imagine a supermarket. Farmers have worked all their lives to grow the fruit, and the trucks and the unions that bring it to the stores, and the beautiful stores and the people that work there.

“Imagine walking in there and being able to walk out with anything you want without paying for it. How long is the farmer gonna stay in business? How long is retail gonna stay in business? So everything is dying because fans have trained themselves not to pay for the music.

"Look, you're not affecting me - I'm doing okay, my rent's paid - but you're killing the new band. You're killing the next Beatles, and that breaks my heart."

Explaining that he thinks “legislation is the answer” for solving the issue, Gene added: "Look, my daughter, Sophie Simmons, had a ten-million-viewed single two years ago. Ten million!

"She made two hundred and fourteen bucks. Spotify is taking all the money. The bands are taking, the acts are taking a small percentage of one penny per download, which is a crime."

Gene, of course, has lambasted streaming and illegal downloading on multiple occasions and just this July claimed that “the music business is dead for new bands.”

"The business is dead,” Gene decreed to Detroit's 94.7 WCSX. “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."

Back in January, Gene vowed not to record another KISS album “unless there’s a financial model that works.”

Proclaiming that “KISS is not a charity”, Gene explained: “We're philanthropic, but I'll be the one that decides how much I give and where. I don't want some college kid to decide, 'You have enough money. I don't wanna pay for your record.' Okay, then go download and Radiohead record and see what happ… No, I ain't about that.

“Make a distinction between commerce and philanthropy. So the idea of doing another KISS record, unless and if there's a financial model that works, personally I'm not interested in it."

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