The classic album Kiss’ Gene Simmons claims saved rock ‘n’ roll from “a terrible time”

Gene Simmons

Kiss had the seemingly impossible task of establishing their legitimacy when they first came on. Adopting a somewhat ostentatious or glam rock image tends to draw criticism about artificiality in the rock ‘n’ roll community, but Kiss’ music spoke for itself, and they quickly won over both critics and audiences. They seemed to appeal to a new audience because they were as realistically fake as one could hope to be.

Not only do audiences today have a much broader understanding of what art is, but it also suggests a deeply conservative mindset that is against anything that stands in stark contrast to hard masculinity, which makes the rejection of mainstream theatricality in traditional rock ‘n’ roll venues an intriguing one.

This led to a challenge that felt like “someone pushing you into the deep end of the pool whether you can swim or not,” according to Gene Simmons. Their polarisation made it hard to get by most of the time. Simmons clarified, “The early years of Kiss were far from glamorous.” Every day, we traveled hundreds of miles in a station wagon. We would alternate between sleeping in the back and driving.

The overuse of technical synthetics, such as synthesizers and drum machines, was another problem that appeared to be endangering the rock landscape. The explosion of these sounds in the 1980s forced others to reconsider what exactly makes rock, rock. Some people saw rock as changing. For others, rock had undoubtedly lost its inherent appeal due to the growing popularity of specific production techniques.

For Gene Simmons, the latter was accurate up until the arrival of a certain band, that changed everything. “The 1980s were a horrible decade when drum machines replaced real guitars and guitars stopped sounding like guitars. But then Guns N’ Roses appears out of nowhere,” he remarked. “They just didn’t mess around with any fancy stuff; they just plugged in their guitars.”

The musician claimed that Appetite for Destruction, which “had an honesty that rock & roll had been missing,” was the album that addressed this shortcoming. He even went so far as to compare Axl Rose to another iconic rock vocalist. According to Simmons, “Welcome To The Jungle” is unquestionably a great song. He compares its impact to that of “Satisfaction,” which also features a fantastic riff with lyrics over it. “The moment you heard that high-pitched voice that brought back memories of Robert Plant’s style of singing, which had not been heard in a long time.”

Guns N’ Roses undoubtedly revived the gritty, rebellious spirit reminiscent of rock’s early days. Whether or not they successfully saved rock during a period of significant transformation is open to debate. Their impact on revitalizing the genre, however, remains unquestionable. The hard-hitting riffs and gritty vocals of the band brought back the excitement and danger of rock ‘n’ roll. This stood in contrast to the more polished, pop-oriented sounds that were beginning to dominate the music scene.

Leave a Reply

You May Also Like