Gene Simmons Takes A Jab At The Beatles

Gene Simmons thinks the Beatles did well because they wrote ‘simple songs.’

The KISS bassist recently sat down with Adam Carolla for an interview and said a song doesn’t have to be complex to be good:

“The hardest thing to do is to do a simple song. It’s easier to be in a prog band. Really. Because you’re not playing the game of ‘memorable,’ you’re playing the game like jazz, of showing off. You don’t expect somebody to walk out of a jazz concert humming [sings a jazz horn line with many notes]. You don’t expect that.”

He Used The Beatles To Prove His Point

Simmons also said good songs stick in your head after one listen, like those by Bruno Mars, the Beatles, John Lennon, or Jagger/Richards. Many musicians, including himself, can’t read or write music, but they still create music. Then he talked about the appeal of songs with just three chords by using an early Beatles song as an example:

“Well, I believe that in the same way that strippers don’t walk out naked, the last thing you want to do is to have the public know too much about you. So, that when you really try to do something really simple and bombastic, you don’t want them to know all this other stuff, because the mind or the imagination of those less qualified to understand would say, ‘Well, why are you only using three chords?'”

The rocker added:

“That’s called country notes, three chords, and a story. So again, some of the biggest songs The Beatles ever wrote, maybe the masters of them all, only had three chords. [Sings] ‘My love don’t give me presents.’ ‘She’s a Woman,’ three chords.”

KISS’ Connection To The Beatles

The Beatles was an important reference point for KISS when they started out. Simmons thought their band would be like a more powerful version of the Beatles. They believed everyone in the band would get to sing lead songs. The bassist told during his appearance on Howie Mandel Does Stuff:

“And everybody had to play an instrument as opposed to like a Stones model, where there is a guy in the front, and the rest of the guys are in the back and shut up and be quiet. The Beatles was the only band where every single guy in the band was a star and had their own songs and wrote. That was the model we did.”

Simmons will perform with his solo band in Europe throughout the summer. He will visit countries like Finland, Sweden, Germany, The Netherlands, and Belgium.

You can watch Gene’s full interview below.