In 2014, KISS bassist Gene Simmons declared “rock is finally dead” and in the eight years since, many of his peers have firmly refuted this notion, the latest being Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry, who had a perfect counter to this notion.
“No, not at all,” Perry told VW Music in a recent interview when asked if he thought that rock music is dead.
In defense of the current state of rock, the guitarist cited new examples and even went back to the ’60s to prove his point that this style of music doesn’t need to be hugely popular in the mainstream to indicate that it is indeed alive and well.
“There are some great rock ‘n’ roll bands carrying the flag too, and one example is [Aerosmith guitarist Brad Whitford’s] son Graham, who plays with Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown. I think they’re like kicking ass, and the thing is, there’s a lot of guys who want to get out there and play rock ‘n’ roll guitar and play that kind of music,” said Perry.
“The issue,” he continued, “is that there aren’t enough fans to hear it, so it’s only going to go so far, but there are still people there for them to build a following. These new bands, they still headline places, they open up for other bands, and it’s the same thing.”
Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown, “Born Rockin'” Music Video
Going back to an era where rock was still a burgeoning genre, the guitarist reflected, “It’s not like [these more modern acts are] at the top of the Billboard charts or like the top of the pop charts, but that’s kind of how it was in the late ’60s too. All the rock ‘n’ roll that I liked, they didn’t even have a place at the Grammys for it, and there was nothing overly commercial about it. I mean, I saw The Who in a small club playing Tommy. It was only a club, but the place was packed, and it was still about the fans there who wanted to hear it.”
Drawing a parallel between the timelines, he went on, “It’s the same now, those fans are still there, and that’s what’s really keeping it alive. I mean, if it wasn’t ‘classic music,’ it wouldn’t be ‘classic rock,’ and it wouldn’t be as big as it is. I still see it, people are out there buying artists’ rock catalogs, and paying stupid amounts of money because they know that it’s going to keep getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger. So that tells me rock ‘n’ roll is not dead.”
While Perry credited the fans for rock’s long-lasting success, Simmons actually said recently that it was the fans who killed rock music, citing a host of outdated theories.
Later this year, Aerosmith will play two shows before posting up in Las Vegas for a fall residency. See upcoming dates and get tickets here.
Playlist: Classic Rock Revival (Follow Here)
11 Bands Leading the Classic Rock Revival
They give nostalgia a modern twist.