ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian is the latest musician to respond to KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons' recent comment that "rock is dead."
Simmons told Esquire magazine last month — 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, Ian told the Portsmouth, New Hampshire radio station WHEB (100.3 FM): "I think the exact opposite. I don't look at things from a strictly business standpoint like I think Gene does. Just because the media may not be paying attention like it used to, or record labels are only looking for the next 16-year-old pop star…"
He continued: "We come from a different place. ANTHRAX started in the underground in New York City in what was not even called thrash metal yet, but we were an underground band, and, in a sense, us and METALLICA and SLAYER, even as big as METALLICA is, we're all still in a way underground. METALLICA, being one of the biggest bands in the world, they still don't get the same media attention as Rihanna or Beyonce and Jay-Z and stuff like that, yet METALLICA is arguably [one of the] top five biggest bands on the planet. Yet, still, in a commercial way, in a media-type way, they are still considered underground, and that's kind of where we come from."
Ian added: "So, for me, rock is never dead, as long as there's bands that wanna play this music. It has nothing to do with what the media is pushing down people's throats. I've never looked at it that way, because we've never needed radio and we've never needed MTV to do what we do. All we do is we write the best songs we can and we've been the best live we can be for over 30 years. And that's why rock will never die. It has nothing to do with the media, it has nothing to do with the business. It only has to do with bands playing music from their gut, and that's all that matters to me."
Ian's autobiography, "I'm The Man: The Story Of That Guy From Anthrax", was released on October 14 via Da Capo Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group.
Due on November 13 via Megaforce Records, Ian's "Swearing Words In Glasgow" DVD is a full performance recording, filmed towards the end of his "Swearing Words" tour in Glasgow, Scotland, and was funded by a wildly popular PledgeMusic campaign, which surpassed its goal with the help of gracious and dedicated fans.