Gene Simmons is an opinionated dude with a tongue long enough to express every single thought that comes to his head. That doesn’t mean he should, and he knows this, but he does it anyway. In an interview at Noisey the KISS star is asked to comment on some new singles, and it makes for some entertaining stuff. He says Red Hot Chili Peppers legitimately rap but they’re still definitively rock, N.W.A don’t belong in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in the same way KISS don’t belong in the Hip Hop Hall Of Fame, and Justin Timberlake gets unfair criticism as a white guy in R&B. He’s also a huge Radiohead fan.
It’s difficult for other bands to do Radiohead songs, because of the strength of their identity. Their identity is key to the song, specifically Thom Yorke’s voice. Thom Yorke has got one of the great voices in modern rock. He could do whatever he wanted with that voice. He could rap, he could sing pop, he could be the new lead singer of the Four Seasons if he wanted to.
I’m very much a Radiohead fan. Funny thing is, Thom Yorke in particular gets very upset when I talk about them. I’m a great fan but I know that they hate everything we do – the over the top visuals, the licensing, the merchandise, we love all that. We bathe in it. That’s not something they want to do. The great thing about Radiohead is that they never tried to look like anyone else. Will Radiohead fans like “Burn the Witch?” Oh yeah. Could Michael Bublé do a version of Burn the Witch? I’m not sure that’s a good idea.
My favourite Radiohead song is still their breakout single, “Creep.” And my favourite Blur song is that number five thing, “Woohoo!” That’s just my taste.
Hopefully Yorke will record those bars soon. According to Simmons rap is gonna die, possibly next year.
Bonus: here’s Simmons on Death Grips:
I’m not qualified to talk about the genre, so I can’t really comment on if this is good material. It sure as hell ain’t rock. I recently had my NWA moment with Ice Cube who I get along with great, I think he’s a great guy, great father. But NWA doesn’t belong in the ‘Rock n Roll Hall of Fame’, in the same way Kiss doesn’t belong in the hip-hop hall of fame. By definition that’s what it is. Rock is guitars, drums, amplifiers. We may have started in the same place, black music in America, but we evolved into different places. And people always pull out the race card, which is so stupid, it’s just handy, you can always pick it up. My favourite guitarist is black. Jimi Hendrix. He doesn’t belong in the hip-hop hall of fame. He’s perhaps the pre-eminent rock guitarist of all time. So, in short, I’m not qualified to say anything about Death Grips, but good luck to them.