Gene Simmons wholeheartedly disagrees with Radiohead’s “pay what you want” approach. He believes in a tough approach to illegal downloading. Simmons did a Billboard Q&A on the matter. In part:
How are you going to get paid for it if people can just get it for free? . . . The record industry doesn’t have a fucking clue how to make money. It’s only their fault for letting foxes get into the henhouse and then wondering why there’s no eggs or chickens. Every little college kid, every freshly-scrubbed little kid’s face should have been sued off the face of the earth. They should have taken their houses and cars and nipped it right there in the beginning. Those kids are putting 100,000 to a million people out of work. . . [They] may as well be wearing a bandit’s mask. . . Doesn’t affect me- but imagine being a new band with dreams of getting on stage and putting out your own record. Forget it.”
When ‘In Rainbows’ is mentioned, Gene replies:
That’s not a business model that works. I open a store and say “Come on in and pay whatever you want.” Are you on fucking crack? Do you really believe that’s a business model that works?
Billboard asked: So what if music just becomes free and artists make their living off of touring and merchandise? Gene replies:
Well therein lies the most stupid mistake anybody can make. The most important part is the music. Without that, why would you care? Even the idea that you’re considering giving the music away for free makes it easier to give it away for free. The only reason why gold is expensive is because we all agree that it is. There’s no real use for it, except we all agree and abide by the idea that gold costs a certain amount per ounce. As soon as you give people the choice to deviate from it, you have chaos and anarchy. And that’s what going on.
Simmons is well-known for being a marketer with an “I love money” business model, who won’t turn down the chance to market KISS on just about any product- aside from alcohol or hard drugs. He reveals that of all his efforts, touring is the most profitable.
Paul Stanley echoes the same sentiments:
“It’s immoral. The idea that you’re sharing files- you can’t share something you don’t own. It’s like saying I’m gonna share your transportation and then steal your car.”