Aerosmith’s Joe Perry has the perfect counter to ‘Rock Is Dead’


In 2014, KISS bassist Gene Simmons said “rock is finally deadand in the eight years since, many of his peers have strongly refuted that notion, the latest being Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry, who had the perfect counterpoint to that notion.

“No, not at all,” Perry said. VW Music in a recent interview when asked if he thinks rock music is dead.

To defend the current state of rock, the guitarist cited new examples and even went back to the 60s to prove his point that this style of music doesn’t need to be hugely popular in the mainstream to indicate that he is alive and well.

“There are also great rock ‘n’ roll bands that carry the flag, and an example is [Aerosmith guitarist Brad Whitford’s] son Graham, who plays with Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown. I think they’re like kicking ass, and the fact is, there’s a lot of guys out there who want to go out and play rock ‘n’ roll guitar and play that kind of music,” Perry said.

“The problem,” he continued, “is that there aren’t enough fans to hear it, so it’ll only go so far, but there are still people out there to that they’re building an audience. These new bands, they’re still headlining places, they’re opening up to other bands, and it’s the same thing.”

Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown, “Born Rockin'” music video

Returning to a time when rock was still a burgeoning genre, the guitarist said, “It’s not like [these more modern acts are] at the top of the Billboard charts or like the top of the pop charts, but it’s kind of like that in the late 60s too. All the rock ‘n’ roll that I loved, they didn’t even have a place at the Grammys for that, and there was nothing too commercial about it. I mean, I saw The Who playing in a little club tommy. It was just a club, but the place was packed, and it was always the fans who wanted to hear it.”

Drawing a parallel between the timelines, he continued, “It’s the same now, those fans are still here, and that’s what really keeps it alive. I mean, if it wasn’t for ‘music classic”, it wouldn’t be ‘classic rock’, and it wouldn’t be as big as it is. I still see it, people buy rock catalogs from artists and pay stupid amounts of money because they know it’s going to keep getting bigger, bigger, and bigger. So that tells me rock ‘n’ roll isn’t dead.”

While Perry credited fans for rock’s enduring success, Simmons actually said recently that it was fans who killed rock music, citing a host of outdated theories.

Later this year, Aerosmith will play two shows before moving to Las Vegas for a fall residency. See upcoming dates and get tickets here.

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