Kiss bassist Gene Simmons shared his grim perspective of the music industry and its current state, pointing out that in his book, late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain and late singer Amy Winehouse simply can't count among the music icons.
Gene reached the subject while discussing the importance of major record labels and corporate music business. Initially, the bassist kicked off talking about piracy.
"The internet's a fascinating experiment, but ultimately it's a very sad state of affairs for the new bands." he told Team Rock Radio. "There won't be another Beatles or another Prince or another KISS because there isn't that support system, there's no record companies 'cause kids have decided they can download and fileshare and bypass paying the artists what they rightfully should be getting."
Simmons then decided to compare the 1958 - 1983 period with post-1984 era, naming artists of each time that can be considered as definite music icons.
"There was once upon a time a corporate record company institution which paid you money that you never had to pay back, even if your record bumped," he said, just to start naming "100 iconic superstars from 1958 until 1983."
"Let me see - Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, the Who and just on and on. And through the '70s - Aerosmith, Kiss, Led Zeppelin, Yes ... Now from 1984 until today, name one superstar that's bigger than their music, and not just somebody that's recorded one or two records, but another Queen or another AC/DC ... None, you can't name one."
Simmons then focused on specific examples, saying, "Kurt Cobain - no, that's one or two records, that's not enough. Amy Winehouse - that's one or two records, that's not enough. What, just 'cause you died that makes you an icon? No, no."
Gene finally noted that modern bands are currently trying out the "Radiohead model" where fans pay whichever amount of money they want for the record. "But it doesn't work, doesn't it?" he concluded.