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Joe Perry Kind Of Agrees With Gene Simmons That Rock Is Dead

Joe Perry Gene Simmons
Duane Prokop / Theo Wargo, Getty Images

Gene Simmons‘ recent declaration that rock music is dead was met with considerable backlash. But in a new interview, Joe Perry thinks the Kiss bassist has a point, although he added a bit of nuance to Simmons’ words rather than sound rock’s death knell.

“I think he’s right in the sense that this whole era of rock & roll has dwindled down to literally a cottage industry,” he told BAM Magazine. “When we started, being in a rock band was one step away from being an outlaw. No one ever said, ‘Oh good, you’re playing in a rock band, how wonderful!’ But music was so important to the fans, that was our marching music to the revolution.”

Last month, Simmons said that, for several reasons, it has become increasingly difficult for up-and-coming rock acts to make a living, and therefore rock “was murdered.” Perry, who has often spoken about the problems in getting Aerosmith‘s newest music heard by the general public, concurred, adding, “I think that that era of rock bands playing to sold-out arenas and selling millions of records in a pop — yeah, that part of it is dead.”

But Perry is taking a more c’est la vie approach, acknowledging that, while the changes in popular music are part of its natural progression, some things will always remain. “Stuff moves along, technology moves along,” he continued. “I think there’s still going to be an excitement created by seeing your favorite performer live. It might not be the kind of music that you and I like, or Gene likes, but it’s still going to be there.”

Next: UCR's Interview With Joe Perry

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