KISS icon also tries
to pick a fight with Idolator (or vice versa, depending on how you look at it)…
By Fred Mills
Word arrives via the trusty RSS feed that KISS
bassist and media entrepreneur Gene Simmons is now donning a new hat: label
That’s right, he’s starting up Simmons Records via a
distribution deal with Universal, and there’s a twist: he’s going to be
concentrating on bands from Canada, additionally signing up to be the keynote
speaker a the Canadian Music Week music conference being held March 11-14.
Writes Simmons at his official website, “If
you’re reading this and you’re in a Canadian band (only!!!)…and you believe
you’re the next Elvis or Beatles (don’t we all…)…go to SIMMONSRECORDS.COM and
we will tell you how YOU can submit your electronic demo. This is serious. We
are signing 3 new acts the first year. We intend on launching them from Canada and then
worldwide. Hopeful artists must also include a video with their demo, as this
is the 21st century and that stuff is important.”
Hey, any way a band can get a leg up these days is okay with us. Interested
artists can go to the Simmons site for instructions on how to submit music,
videos, etc. for his consideration.
We might add, however that most credible indies these days are releasing way
more than a paltry three records a year. Simmons might want to consider casting
his net a tad wider. It’s not like the multi-millionaire will take much of a
hit if the label loses a bundle of money, eh?
Meanwhile, as word of the Simmons enterprise began spreading, our friends at
Idolator.com weighed in:
“Gene Simmons was scratching his head
over how to make money off recorded music in late 2007, but in 2009, he’s figured
out a plan: Embrace the idea of Canadian content wholeheartedly. No, really:
The Kiss bassist has launched Simmons Records, a label that will “make
sure that the next generation of world stars [emanates] from Canada.”
And nowhere else! (At least not yet.)
“It’s an intriguing proposition, for sure, as our neighbors to the north have
had many an artist who’s been crazy famous in his homeland but hasn’t quite
reached star status once it ventured beyond the Canadian borders. (For every
Barenaked Ladies, there are a dozen bands that play second fiddle to them on
their cruise.) How Simmons will turn bands from Canada into superstars who eclipse
the likes of Bryan Adams and Celine Dion is as yet unclear, but I’m going to
hazard a guess that lots and lots of merchandising will likely be involved.
(Hey, since clicking the “submit a demo” link at the top of the page
triggers an e-mail to one firstname.lastname@example.org, maybe I should ask him?)”
To which Simmons himself posted a rebuttal to Idolator at his site’s blog:
Here’s an amateur who’s achieved
nothing in his life. Read it. You will see the built in bias…the arrogance of
What are YOU and I going to do about it? We’re going to shame this guy into
submission. We will send him and his ilk back to fish wrapping factory they
How are we going to do it? We’re going to find, develop, nurture and launch new
talent emanating from — CANADA!!!.
That’s right, Baby.
Why here? Because you actually DO have the talent. And now, you have a WAY.
ME. Send us you electronic demos.
Oh, and the asshole who posted the story? He gets no free tix, no backstage
passes, and therefore, he won’t have access to our parties and our girls. All
Naysayers can get in line. It forms over there…to my left.
Oh Ye of Little Faith.
To which Idolator replied at their blog:
Kiss bassist/serial entrepreneur Gene
Simmons got wind of yesterday’s
post about his all new Canadian-artists-only record label, and he is not
pleased! He took to the blog of his recently relaunched Simmons Records and went off, calling
the person who penned it (a.k.a. me) “an amateur who’s achieved nothing in
his [sic!] life” and saying that soon enough, I
and my ilk would soon be sent “back to [the] fish wrapping factory they
escaped from.” (NB: I am writing this from
my parents’ house, so maybe he has a point.) But then, in a frenzy of whipping
up Canadian nationalism and not linking to our
site (ahem), his threats got even worse! No access to his girls! As if I didn’t
need enough reasons to quit this business already.
Some of the replies posted at the Idolator blog are worth the price of
admission, by the way. Among the gems:
“Any time, from now on, when Gene
Simmons talks shit, just recall his sex tape, and how the hooker he was with in
it wouldn’t even kiss him…oh, and that he has sex with hookers while listening
to “I Want To Know What Love Is”.”
“I love how in his head Canada is just
hopeless until he got there. Somehow he’ll find a way to take credit for
inventing hockey and Molson, which will only add to his list of inventions
(rock music, comic books, merchandise, the Jon Bennet Ramsey murder, etc). He
can also add “not properly researching something before posting it to the
internet” to that list too.”
Meow, meow, meow, meow, meow.