KISS’ Gene Simmons Meets With Congressional Members to Advocate for Songwriters
While the "rock is dead" comments have often grabbed the headlines, a key talking point for KISS' Gene Simmons about the challenges today's artists face has been the lack of financial support as they start to try to build their career. Simmons took that discussion to a place where it could potentially yield some change, speaking with key members of Congress on behalf of ASCAP's "Stand With Songwriters" advocacy efforts.
According to The Music Universe, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer outlined some of the pressing issues affecting music creators during the session discussion, explaining, "The music that moves the world — R&B, rock, blues, country western, various jazz — was all invented right here in America by the people who now can't even quit their day job to devote their time to art."
He added, "There's not going to be another Lennon, McCartney or Gershwin or somebody else because — even though the talent is out there — most people don't realize every time you download a song, the songwriter is making minuscule amounts of one penny."
"Protecting the rights of American music creators and defending the value of music has always been a core part of ASCAP's mission, and we are thrilled to have some of our most talented members join us as we urge lawmakers in Washington to support the people who make the music we all know and love," said ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews.
With the pandemic of the last year, it has just further highlighted the struggles that songwriters, composers and music publishers face in a current system where artists became even more dependent on streaming income. It also highlighted how outdated music licensing rules no longer work in the modern digital music marketplace, with viable solutions needed to help music creators earn a fair and livable wage for when their music is played.
While speaking earlier this year about the challenges today's artists face, Simmons stated that file sharing and streaming have impacted what financial future a musician could have. “The reason for that is not because there’s a lack of talent, but because young folks, that kid living in his mom’s basement, decided one day that he didn’t want to pay for music. He wanted to download and file share. And that’s what killed the chances for the next generation of great bands," stated Simmons. "The fact that the music was for free. So nowadays new bands don’t have a chance.”
Learn more about ASCAP's "Stand With Songwriters" advocacy efforts right here.
KISS will resume their "End of the Road" tour in August with dates currently booked into October. See the recently announced shows here.