Legendary vocalist Joe Lynn Turner (RAINBOW, DEEP PURPLE, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN) has responded to KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons' recent comment that "rock is dead."
Simmons told Esquire magazine in September — in an interview conducted by his son Nick — 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."
Simmons went on to elaborate that as a result of file-sharing and other issues, record label support for rock music was not available like it was when KISS was coming up, concluding, "It's finally dead. Rock is finally dead."
Asked to weigh in on Gene's comments, Joe told "Totally Driven Radio" (hear audio below): "I don't know… I wonder what Gene was thinking about [when he made that statement]."
He continued: "Rock isn't really dead. I've been all over this world, and it's still alive and breathing really heavily. Europe, Russia especially, there's a resurgence in… by all the bands going to Russia, because [the fans in Russia] were behind the curtain for so many years that they're begging for this music and they still love it. And I have three generations in the audience when I play — grandfathers, fathers, sons and all the women in between, and it's a wonderful experience, because all these people really still love rock — rock as we know it."
Joe added: "They've got plenty of metal bands [in Russia], they've got plenty of progressive… you name it. They're not in fashion, in other words, where something takes over and all of a sudden the old is out and the new is in. They combine it all. In other words, there's what we call classic rock… There's all the genres there. It's just different genres. There's no excluding anyone."
RATED X, the new band featuring Joe Lynn Turner, drummer Carmine Appice (VANILLA FUDGE, CACTUS, MOTHER'S ARMY), bassist Tony Franklin (THE FIRM, BLUE MURDER) and guitarist Karl Cochran (JOE LYNN TURNER, NUCLEAR ASSAULT), released its debut album in Europe on November 7 and in North America on November 11 via Frontiers Music Srl. The CD features all-new songs built upon a classic hard rock foundation, with a distinctly contemporary edge.