Whether rock music is dead, dying, thriving underground or alive and kicking has been the source of plentiful debate for what seems like… well, far too long now, truthfully.
Back in 2014, Kiss’ Gene Simmons proclaimed that rock music’s time had come to an end, and ever since musicians and fans alike have been squabbling over whether that’s actually true. For, respectfully, we all know that older rockstars can sometimes be a little… out of the loop when it comes to what is popular, and what is not. Has Gene never heard of nu gen?
One of countless voices weighing in on the debate is shock rock godfather Alice Cooper. In a new interview with LA Weekly, Cooper explains that he too thinks the genre has entered a new era, but not in the way Simmons believes. In fact, he thinks rock music’s lack of mainstream popularity is making the genre more rebellious again, similar to how it was first perceived in his youth.
“Well, you’ve got your certain bands– you know, Foo Fighters still going. Green Day, things like that. I kind of look at this a little bit differently. There was a time when we first started playing, that rock bands were outlaws” he explains.
“We were on the outside looking into the party and we weren’t invited to the party. It was more pop music and dance music and disco. I think we’re back to that point. I think it’s kind of healthy that rock bands now are not number one, number two or number three. We’re back to the point of being rebels again.”
Addressing Simmons’ “rock is dead” comment, Cooper says that he does agree to an extent, but only in a financial sense.
“Gene Simmons said rock is dead but I think he was talking financially. I think there are kids in garages right now learning Guns N’ Roses, learning Aerosmith, learning Alice, learning Ozzy… Young 16 year old kids rocking, just rocking.
“That’s healthy. That’s really healthy. I don’t think rock is ever gonna die. When you talk about hard rock, like the Stones, The Who and all that, that’s the only music that’s lasted. Grunge was here for a while. And punk was here for a while. Emo was here and all this, but hard rock bands just kept going. So if you’re in a hard rock band, you can go as long as you want to go.”