FOREIGNER bassist Jeff Pilson has dismissed the notion that rock is dead, saying that "there's always gonna be the inclination for somebody" to play "rebellious, expressive 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.
Pilson, who has previously played with DOKKEN and DIO, spoke about rock's supposed diminishing status during a brand new interview with Music Legends.
Addressing the whole "rock is dead" debate, Jeff said (hear audio below): "Rock, to me, is meant to be rebellious, expressive music. It doesn't have to be rebellious, but there's always been a certain degree of rebellion in there. So I view it as important that it be challenging music. So I don't believe rock's dead, because I think there's always gonna be the inclination for somebody to wanna come out and do that. Is it gonna be the rock that you or I may recognize? Maybe not. Maybe it's gonna come in some other form. Maybe some young kids are gonna discover something that's different that maybe to you and I won't seem like rock music, but it is their rock music. And so in that sense, I don't think it's ever gonna die. I think there will come along other things. Having said that, there certainly doesn't appear to have been too much new very recently. I mean, there are some great rock bands out there, but I don't feel that we've had a radical explosion of something, like when THE BEATLES hit or when GUNS N' ROSES hit or when NIRVANA hit. We haven't had one of those kind of tidal waves in a long time, and I do think we're long overdue for one. And again, it may come in a form that you and I don't recognize. But either way, it's gotta come. And I don't see it coming yet, but I think it will."
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, 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 couple of years, with some digging a little deeper into Simmons's full remarks and others just glossing over the headline.