Billy Sheehan Reflects On Gene Simmons’ ‘Rock Is Dead’ Claim

The bassist Billy Sheehan recently appeared in an interview with Classic Album Review and opened up about his thoughts on Gene Simmons‘ claim that ‘rock is dead.’

Gene Simmons, who has spent years in the rock music scene and witnessed the evolution of this genre closely, initially stated in 2014 that rock was no longer alive. From his point of view, rock musicians didn’t receive adequate support from the music industry, which caused the death of rock. The bassist, who has continued to stand behind his idea in the following years, argued that the fans were another reason for this issue.

The rocker associated the cause of death with the increase in digitalization due to the development of technology. According to him, using digital platforms that allow downloading and sharing music for free was one of the reasons that killed rock. He stressed that fans should support rock bands without using these free platforms.

On the other hand, after Simmons made this claim, many names from the rock scene, such as Scorpions and Justin Hawkins, made statements expressing their disagreement with the bassist. According to these musicians, rock has persisted and is not a genre that will suddenly fade away from the music world. Billy Sheehan has also joined these names, who argued that rock still maintains its presence in the music scene.

Sheehan stated in a recent interview that no music genres will disappear today because there are musicians that ensure their continuity. He said the rock acts still perform to thousands of crowds at European festivals and concerts. According to him, although rock songs are not played on television or radio that much, it is still a significant part of daily life.

Billy Sheehan said the following when asked whether he agreed with Gene Simmons’ claim:

I don’t think any form of music ever really goes away, especially now because I see guys rockabilly and guys doing stoner rock, Grateful Dead style, southern rock, all these different genres and subgenres of rock are all alive and very well. You go to the festivals in Europe and man; there are a hundred thousand people there.

In South America, it’s crazy we play in front of huge sold-out crowds all the time. I think in the mainstream, from what you can see by turning on your regular television or regular radio if you ever do that, that rock is not pretty much not there, but when you walk out in the street, rock is really alive.”

You can check out the interview below.