BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi has dismissed the notion that rock is dead, saying that there will always be a market for "good music."
While rock and 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.
A few years ago, KISS bassist/vocalist Gene 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 several years, with some digging a little deeper into Simmons's full remarks and others just glossing over the headline.
Iommi, who is currently promoting the deluxe editions of BLACK SABBATH's "Heaven And Hell" and "Mob Rules" albums, spoke about rock's supposed diminishing status during a recent interview with Greg Prato of Consequence Of Sound. Addressing the whole "rock is dead" debate, Tony said: "I don't think rock is going to die. That's been said for years. I mean, how many times I've heard that statement over the past 50-odd years? It's quite a lot, really.
He continued: "I think good music is not going to go. There's always going to be a market for it. There are going to be an amount of bands that fall by the wayside — as there always is, there always will be. But there are certain bands that are going to stick out and going to be there. You've got METALLICA up there — they're not going to go away. They've got a lot of fans and they've got a great fanbase. There are a lot of bands out there. No, the music is not going to go away."
The "rock is dead" argument has popped up again and again throughout the years, including in 2018 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."