Gene Simmons Said Rock Was Dead … in 1993
Vain related a surprise phone call he received in 1993, while the grunge movement was in the ascendancy and his band was struggling to find a new record deal after having been dropped in 1991.
“One day, I got a call and answered the phone,” Vain told his audience at the recent Monsters of Rock Cruise (via Sleaze Roxx). After being told he was talking to Simmons, he accused the caller of pranking him before Simmons said, “Davy, listen carefully. It’s Gene Simmons. You know my voice. You’ve been listening to me your whole life. I’m one of your idols. ... And then it hit me, I was a kid listening to Kiss and I go, ‘It’s fucking Gene Simmons of Kiss and he’s fucking calling me.’ ‘What’s up, man! What’s going on?’
“I’m telling you, he was already in this bit in ’93, that ‘We are all fucked. Rock is fucked up right now. I was going to check your band out, but you guys look too fit and you don’t wear your grandfather’s sweater and shit.’ And he’s like, ‘You can’t look like you had sex if you want to make it right now. You got to look like you were just a fucking high-school loser.’”
Simmons went on to tell Vain that he wasn't "the only one. I’m screwed too. We’re all fucked.” The line suddenly went dead and Vain called his manager to explain what had happened before Simmons called back to explain that his limo had gone under a bridge.
“I go, ‘At least you have a limo too,’" Vain recalled. "He says, ‘Fucking right, Davy, but you … I’m really worried. We’re all fucked, and you know in your heart that I’m telling the truth. My advice to you is to gain some weight and to look like a different person. … I think that you’ve got ripped abs right now and that’s not going to make it right now.’”
He said the conversation continued for “a long time” before Simmons concluded. "'The bottom line is, what I’m saying, Davy, is that right now nobody wants to see guys running around onstage singing about how great their cocks are.’ And then he paused and said, ‘Ain’t it a shame?’”