Gene Simmons: 'Young People Have Stupid Ideas Because They're Young, Who's 20 And Playing Stadiums?'

"We're idiots - myself included," KISS frontman adds.

Ultimate Guitar

KISS bassist Gene Simmons recently discussed the "Never trust anybody over 30" stance he had when he was young, admitting he was an "idiot."

Chatting with mLive, Gene noted that many young people come up with not-too-bright ideas simply because they're young and hot-headed.

"A lot of young people have stupid ideas," the bassist kicked off. "And a lot of young people have stupid ideas because they are young; it's called the folly of youth. We think we know it all; we actually don't. We're idiots - myself included.

"And I remembered as a kid 'Never trust anybody over 30.' Well, guess what? The coolest people are. The people that play stadiums around the world are not only over 30, but they're over 60. Will you still love me when I’m 64? F--k, I'm going to be 65, Jagger is 71, McCartney is 72. They're playing stadiums!

"Who's 20 years old playing a stadium? Nobody! So all those silly ideas as kids are based on how far we could see. And life is actually much bigger than we think it is," he concluded.

Oddly enough, the music domain isn't the only area known for such statements. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was once quoted saying "If you're over 30, you're a slow old man." He turned 30 this May.

97 comments sorted by best / new / date

    He's probably said more stupid things over 30 than he did as a youth
    OR... is it because the majority of us are under 30 and are just too stupid to realise how right he is? No, no not at all.
    Yea because the only people playing stadiums are himself, Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney. He's so right...
    Jake Bugg
    On a stupid note, I think Beiber and One direction are all below 30 and probably have played stadiums. What has this world come to.
    He talking about musicians that play rock.....
    That's called marketing. Why it's not a very strong argument since Kiss got famous mostly for their stage show, not their music as well, it's incomparable with how the hype machine works these days. There's a lot of ghost writing at work too.
    Also, both Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger have been playing stadiums since they were basically 20.
    Not a stadium, but headlining a major festival may be even more of an achievement in my eyes. Arctic Monkeys.
    Was thinking this, exactly this. Have to say, you're not cool, not with 20 not with 60 you're just a douche.
    I honestly tried... but I just can't get into Artic Monkeys. They're not bad. I just don't see what's all that different about them compared to many other rock bands.
    Why does rock band have to special in order to enjoy them, led zeppelin isn't anything special anymore, lots of bands sound like them, still people listen to them.
    I think AM have an incredibly unique sound, though I'm not the biggest fan. Can't say I'm upset when they come on though, they are a kickass band
    Muse sold out two nights in a row at Wembley Stadium for HAARP when Matt Bellamy was 29. I guess that doesn't count though...?
    Amazing ..... cosmetic surgery has mad that bothole between his nose and chin look like a mouth .....
    Musical talent and intelligence are 2 different things Gene...
    Errrrhm, I hate to say this...but One direction and such? GAH!
    They didn't get there organically though. I think that's what Gene is getting on about. It's easy to get to play stadiums when someone is holding your hand
    Ok, I'm gonna be that guy: Nirvana
    And pretty much every band in the pop-punk explosion of the early 2000's.
    BABYMETAL. Also, no shit most 20-somethings aren't playing stadiums; they probably just started.
    pop has nothing to do with punk and conversely ...the same goes....don't understand why you youngsters cant get that through your heads.....
    It's hard to understand what he's saying though cuzz his hair is very distracting. It looks like a weave.
    You must be a fool, if you think any member of One Direction has anything to do with the creative direction. They are like robots being told what to do, they only supply the performing talent...if that's what you want to call it.
    Floyd Phoenix
    Also, the first ever real stadium gig was headlined by a world-famous band whose youngest member was 22 at the time... Hmm...
    Way Cool JR.
    "A lot of young people have stupid ideas," "And a lot of young people have stupid ideas because they are young; it's called the folly of youth. We think we know it all; we actually don't. We're idiots" This is actually 100% true, anyone around 25 may not realize it now but when you get older you will understand exactly what Gene is saying. 30 does seem to be around the age you start really using your head.
    Simmons is right about "the folly of youth" but he's blissfully unaware of just how stupid he's become as he's gotten older. He is NOT a good example of "wisdom with age".
    So, he didn't like old people when he was young and now he when he's "old", he doesn't like young people... that's just normal.
    "We're idiots - myself included." See Gene... I can finally agree on something you said!
    He's just sore that he can never go back to his prime. Your good days are done Gene and there are younger artists. No one has to be 20 and playing stadiums to prove anything. We do it in our own time, our generation, you shut your face.
    There are always going to be a few exceptions to any rule. For the most part, Gene is correct on this one. Think on it for just a second...most bands have to pay their dues for 10 years or so before getting anywhere near that big. And since most start shortly after they turn 21 years old (most bars and places that serve alcohol won't let you play there unless you are 21+), that would put them over 30 by the time they get that big. One Direction, Bieber, and others like them are all packaged up goods and fed to the public. They didn't really pay their dues in any real way. Disney type bullish*t.
    What does that have to do with intelligence? If you're 20, you probably just haven't been in the music business long enough to have that much success. That's like calling the smartest kid in the 8th grade stupid for not knowing how to drive a car.
    When I was 23 years old I was pretty maxed out on book smarts. I am certain that I knew more about almost everything they teach you in educational institutions then than I do now. And now that I'm twice that age I can look back and understand I really was just a dumb kid. Part of what I've learned in the past couple decades is when to keep my mouth shut.
    You don't realize how stupid you were until you're older. Everybody sees that eventually.
    Some say that "wisdom" isn't what you know but rather realizing how much you DON'T know. I agree with those people. More evidence of Simmons' ignorance. He knows it all... just ask him.
    I've never liked Gene Simmons or KISS's music, it's just not my thing. That said, every time this idiot opens his mouth he embarrasses himself more. Simmons is a pathological narcissist who is constitutionally incapable of comprehending just how lucky he is to be as famous and wealthy he is. He's also allowing the fortune that he's amassed over the past 40 years to fuel his delusion that anyone gives a f*ck about what he has to say about society, humanity, music, business, life or anything that doesn't have to do with playing sh*tty pop songs while dressed like a space-clown in the 1970's and licensing everyone and their uncle to make stupid action figures, coffee mugs and other useless crap with his face on it. There are TONS of 20 year olds (and younger) playing stadiums today. Simmons played stadiums in front of their grandparents. In other words... F**K this guy.
    If UG are gonna report everything that Gene simmons says, then of course some are going to be right
    This guy needs to shut his mouth. KISS sucks and he's a dick. There are plenty of young acts playing stadiums. Does he think the people he mentioned didn't start out when they were young? What a dickhead. Do us all a favor Gene and end KISS because without the stage show, it's just pure garbage.
    haha look at all the butt-hurt 20y olds. but don't feel bad guys n''s not that you're stupid, but only inexperienced in life. a lot of kids think they know it all, but that's mainly due to hormones, which can affect their way of thinking. the ego is strong in adolescence and no matter how much your elders try to "wisen" you up about certain things, no matter how true it is, a young person will not be swayed into thinking of another version of truth other than theirs because emotions are their main influence for their actions. it's ok i guess, mistakes make you learn, but some mistakes can also be grave ones(maybe even kill you). so it's important for younger people to let go of their pride/ego and over-powering emotions and let their common sense guide them. yes, some have very poor common-sense(even the most intelligent/"book-smart" people too)...but if there's one piece of wisdom i can share with those younger than i, it's to stop and think/reflect once in a while and allow the sound of good judgment be heard. if your mind is too cluttered with outside influences, it will make it hard for one to think clearly, especially with a fast-paced lifestyle of youth. so stop and think every now and then and don't be afraid to admit it when you need advice or own up to your mistakes when you "fvck-up". that's where true strength and wisdom is earned. /end of rambling/
    Marcus 90
    "Admitting he was an Idiot" Gene you have always been an idiot, as well as a douchebag
    Was Gene playing stadiums when he was 20? This is such a fallacious argument. Gene was like 25 when KISS started gaining traction. The reason Jagger is playing stadiums is because he's been in the music industry for over 50 years and he belongs to the Rolling Stones. How many Rolling Stones bands exist? One. RS is not the rule, but the exception, an outlier. If you have a successful career that spands several generations, then you may afford to have a stadium shows on your tour due to the fact that you have the fan base to support such shows, and your music has become timeless. What kind of music or band becomes timeless? Nobody can predict that with certainty. And it has nothing to do with age, or wisdom. Do 20 year olds should listen to more experienced musicians in the industry? Sure. Everybody should. It couldn't hurt. But that didn't stop him back in 1973-74. I mean, he has become such a 'cool 64 year old man' after all. He undermines his own point. There has been plenty of music acts that have played stadiums early on in their careers.
    Gene Simmons is really the kind of guy you would put on a list of smartest people ever lived. The guy thinks his opinion matters, I think that's enough proof of his stupidity.
    -> People below 30 make mistakes Perfectly true. -> Look at 60 year old players, they know their sh*tYes and no. You rarely see people as skilled as say Black Sabbath or Iron Maiden when it comes to performing together and handling their instrument. On the other hand it's the "young and hot-headed" people that create really genre-changing albums, just because they try new shit and don't care. Look at Metallica, At the Gates, Nirvana, Carcass, .. they were basically adultish teens when they wrote their mayor albums. Sure they practiced before, but without that young attitude they wouldn't have got that inspiration in the first place.
    His logic is flawed. Selling out stadiums does not qualify you as cool or smart. That should go without saying.
    I rather prefer kids with fresh , good and original ideas than od creep dudes with makeup and poor ass songs, yeah just like Kiss
    problem with that is the younger generation is so lacking in talent these days that there haven't been any good originals in 15-20 years.....
    Age isn't the most accurate method of judging an individual's wisdom. Plenty of wise people who're younger than 25, and plenty of utter morons who are older than 40 to prove that. I guess mr. Simmons had a different experience, if this is his conviction.
    Gene is also a prideful idiot. Also, the real problem is that these 20-something year old performers are how do you say, just starting, so how in the hell are they expected to play stadiums, especially in the era of "everything is available everywhere." Lastly, stadiums are pretty terrible. I don't care how much money I'd get paid, I've never had as much fun a a stadium show as I have at dive bars and the like, so I can't imagine playing in one would be much better.
    WOAAAH! everyone stop down voting JelloCrust! As you can tell by the last statement, he has tons of experience playing stadiums, so he knows what he's talking about especially when he says bars are better than stadiums! [For those of you tonally(?) impaired that was sarcasm]
    I wasn't implying I had, I'm simply saying that I don't enjoy attending those shows, so the next logical step is that I would not enjoy playing them. I though I made that pretty clear.
    not really. all you did (at least from my perspective) is come across as uppity. sorry if that wasn't your intent and no ill will meant towards yah, just thought it might make some people laugh
    Stadiums are pretty shit venues anyway, all playing a stadium implies is your mass appeal and popularity, not the quality of your music. I'd rather see bands perform in grimy pubs and clubs myself; so as a 'stupid under 30', I'll choose to disagree with ol' Gene on this one.
    I'm in my 40's, and the kids today seem way more sensible than me and my friends when we were younger. And they are learning music really well at a young age, because of access to more tabs & lessons on the internet. A tiny bit of common sense mixed with youthful energy can take you anywhere. Don't forget the human skills though. If you can't work with people, then you are on your own, and god help you trying to succeed at anything other than wanking with that attitude.
    Unreal T
    Wasn't guns n roses played stadiums in their 20's?
    Virtually every band you can think of was playing stadiums in their twenties. Almost all of the quintessential figures/groups in rock (Beatles, Stones, Hendrix, Nirvana, Sex Pistols, etc - take your pick) influenced pop culture itself with their ideas, personalities, art, or what have you. Rock music is, historically, a young person's game.
    Flying Afros
    His head would totally be engulfed in flames if any type of heat source came near his "hair."
    Ive responded a couple times with some smart ass comments, but I get what Gene is trying to say. As a musician you're gonna grow. Maybe the riffs you wrote 10-5 years ago are of different taste to what you'd write now. It's a long climb to the top for some, not all young kids chasing this dream are gonna start off playing stadium shows. .
    It's not really a matter of age, Gene Simmons. You were an idiot under 30 and will keep being an idiot long after.