ALL THAT REMAINS singer Phil Labonte has dismissed the notion that rock is dead, saying that "there's always gonna be a scene for rock and heavy music."
While rock 'n' roll has been king of the music world for decades, in the past few years, it's been unseated by the growing popularity of hip-hop. This has caused many pundits to proclaim the genre "dead" from an industry perspective, noting that it has been eclipsed in all measures by pop, hip-hop, and EDM.
Labonte, whose band released a new album, "Victim Of The New Disease", last November, spoke about rock's supposed diminishing status during a brand new interview with Anne Erickson of Audio Ink Radio.
Addressing the whole "rock is dead" debate, Labonte said: "People like to talk. People have declared rock dead multiple times in history. I do think that it's probably cyclical. There are times where rock is predominant, and then it kind of cools off and then it becomes a little more underground, and then a new sound will come and kind of kick rock up into the forefront again and then it'll kind of cool off. But there's always gonna be a scene for rock and heavy music. I don't think that it'll ever be dead. I mean, the biggest band in the world is still METALLICA. Maybe there's a larger variety of music out there, but to say rock is dead when METALLICA still plays stadiums I think is probably one of the more stupid things I've ever heard… I don't know of any artists or acts that bring in the same kind of attendance that METALLICA does. You're talking about METALLICA, Garth Brooks, Taylor Swift, and everybody else is a tier below them. And the people that are a tier below them that are saying that rock is dead, they're not playing the same-size venues that METALLICA is playing. So, when you've got the largest touring acts out there, and METALLICA is unquestionably if not the largest one, one of the handful — say top five largest — I don't know where they're coming up with the idea that rock is dead, and I think that they're trying to punch up."
The "rock is dead" argument has popped up again and again throughout the years, most recently after MAROON 5 lead singer Adam Levine told Variety magazine that "rock music is nowhere, really. I don't know where it is," he said. "If it's around, no one's invited me to the party. All of the innovation and the incredible things happening in music are in hip-hop. It's better than everything else. Hip-hop is weird and avant-garde and flawed and real, and that's why people love it."
A few years ago, Simmons told Esquire magazine that "rock did not die of old age. It was murdered. Some brilliance, somewhere, was going to be expressed and now it won't because it's that much harder to earn a living playing and writing songs. No one will pay you to do it."
A number of hard rock and heavy metal musicians have weighed in on the topic in a variety of interviews over the last couple of years, with some digging a little deeper into Simmons's full remarks and others just glossing over the headline.