Justin Hawkins On Gene Simmons Being A ‘Sellout’

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The Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins recently spoke on his regular YouTube show ‘Justin Hawkins Rides Again’ and stated that Gene Simmons‘s relation to music is more about money than love.

In a new interview, KISS bassist Gene Simmons offered a different perspective than many musicians in his views of KISS as ‘sellouts.’ The band has been heavily criticized for this. Still, Simmons believes that groups should not hesitate to sell out since it is a ‘valid’ thing for an artist to do. According to the bassist, making music for other people is just as sensible as making music for yourself.

In his own words, Simmons said:

“You can kind of move around your art based on whether you want to please other people or just yourself, which is the eternal push and pull. Whether you’re a writer or a painter, or musician or a sculptor, you’re either doing it for yourself or other people. If the two meet, you like what you’re doing, and they like what you’re doing, you’re really happy.

But often, it’s a hard choice. You might say, ‘I like it. I don’t care if anybody else likes it.’ Or, you might have the guy who does it all for people, even though he might hate it, which in my opinion, is just as valid and just as ethical as anything else.”

Gene Simmons thinks being a professional musician is also about giving fans what they want. However, Justin Hawkins disagreed with him in his recent appearance. From Hawkins’ perspective, art is about producing what you love. If the listeners also like it, it is, of course, better. Hawkins believes that Gene Simmons has lost his love of music if he can say something like that.

The singer stated that the KISS bassist is probably trying to make money from music as much as he can since he is not much interested in making music for himself. Justin Hawkins thinks Gene Simmons’ all relation to music is about money since his love and passion for it disappeared. He still sees Simmons as an artist and doesn’t take his stance as wrong, but he holds a different perspective than him.

Justin Hawkins speaking on Gene Simmons:

“But that is art, isn’t it, darling? That’s art; you write a song. We make music because we love the music that we make. If anybody else likes it, it is a bonus. That is a phrase you hear in the first round of interviews that every band does in the world. That’s what you will hear, and that’s what you want to hear. If you hear anything else, then you think, ‘Oh, they are a bit cynical, aren’t they?’

You imagine that sort of cynical, jaded idea of how to monetize your musical existence comes from decades and decades of being in KISS. You’d hope that sort of cynicism has emerged from that, or if you fall out of love with what you’re doing, then I suppose you have to make as much money from it as possible while you can. It’s a little bit like a marriage, isn’t it? It is about love and money.

When the love disappears, it is just about money. So, I think if you do see it like that, then you don’t love music, and that’s okay. You just have to pretend that you do or do what Gene does and say, ‘Well, this is about money.’ It doesn’t mean he is not an artist; it is like an artist that panders to an audience that monetizes his existence. I suppose everybody lives happily ever after. There is nothing wrong with it; I think it is a different perspective.”

You can watch the entire video below.