DISTURBED singer David Draiman has dismissed the notion that rock is dead, saying that bands from the genre are “a dominant force on a global level.”
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.
Draiman, whose band launched a U.S. arena-headlining tour in January, spoke about rock’s supposed diminishing status during a brand new interview with SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation”.
Addressing the whole “rock is dead” debate, Draiman said: “They’re gonna keep on singing that song and dance because it’s a headline that, for whatever reason, every once in a while sells. And people click on it and they wanna read about it, and they’re always so quick to proclaim rock dead. Even some of the gentlemen and ladies within our own genre are very quick to proclaim rock dead, and it’s absolutely the opposite. The rock acts that are doing what they’re doing well are continuing to grow and are continuing to develop, and the fanbase has always been there.”
He continued: “The irony is that if you look at touring exclusively within the rock world, we’re a dominant force on a global level. And in many territories — in fact, in most territories — we eclipse the other genres. But it’s just not one of those soundbites that seem to sell very well these days.”
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.