As he gears up for a mayoral run, Morrissey has kept the inflammatory comments to a minimum. Leave it to Gene Simmons to take his place as rock music’s biggest blowhard.
Last month, the KISS frontman said some very stupid things about hip-hop’s place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Now, in an interview with Newsweek, Simmons has shared his opinion of Prince’s “pathetic” death.
“Bowie was the most tragic of all because it was real sickness. All the other ones were a choice,” Simmons said. “Drugs killed [Prince]. What do you think, he died from a cold?”
“I think Prince was heads, hands and feet above all the rest of them. I thought he left [Michael] Jackson in the dust. Prince was way beyond that. But how pathetic that he killed himself. Don’t kid yourself, that’s what he did. Slowly, I’ll grant you … but that’s what drugs and alcohol is: a slow death.”
Last month, Prince was found dead inside his elevator at the Paisley Park estate. The cause of his death is not yet known — however, he was reportedly treated for a drug overdose a week before his death, and was found with painkillers in his possession. Close friends of the musician said he had been suffering from chronic pain in his hips.
Update – Wednesday, May 11th at 10:55 a.m. CT: Simmons has apologized for calling Prince’s death “pathetic.” In a statement posted to Twitter, Simmons wrote, “I just got such shit from my family for my big mouth again. I apologize.” He added, “I didn’t express myself properly here — I don’t shy away from controversy, and angry critics really don’t bother me at all. If I think I’m right, I’ll throw up a finger and dig my heels in and laugh. But this time, I was not. So, my apologies.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Simmons defended recent comments that rock music is dead. “From 1958 to 1988 we had Elvis, the Beatles, The [Rolling] Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Queen. From 1988 until today, give me the new Beatles? It doesn’t work, does it? Pretty fucking pathetic. The boy band is alive and well—One Direction is a very big band. The pop stuff is good—you’ve got Bieber and Beyoncé. But I don’t know how to tell anybody this, but it ain’t the Beatles. It doesn’t have the gravitas.”
The future of music, according to Simmons?
“That’s why I love EDM—electronic dance music doesn’t pretend to be live. It’s just a guy who presses a button. There’s a big light show and everyone has a great time. Fantastic. I find EDM honest. I find pop music, although it’s well done, is the place for producers and writers in the studio. Live, it’s patently dishonest—lipsyncing, disco boys and all that, it’s just dishonest.” Whatever you say.