I hate to say it, I really do, but rock is dying. It’s not dead, thank God, but it is dying. I know this has been said countless times before by dozens of different people, but it’s real this time. Rock is truly dying right before our very eyes. Now, before you dismiss this article as fake news, or me as another nut-job pining for attention, there is evidence that supports my claims.
For one thing, during these last few years, the Billboard rock charts have primarily been made up of pop artists, not rock artists. The majority of the actual rock bands are those that have been around for several years and have only made themselves relevant again due to something newsworthy happening to one of the members. Even this year’s Grammy Awards didn’t bother to air the awards for the rock category. A clear statement that those in charge of media are growing disinterested in rock, and it’s not just them.
Surprisingly enough, there are even a few rock artists that believe that their genre is failing. Gene Klein, or, as he is more widely known as, Gene Simmons, one fourth of the “Demon” of Kiss, is probably one of the most vocal figures regarding the genre’s apparent demise. He states that “Rock did not die of old age. It was murdered.” Others, like Marilyn Manson, The Doors, Iron Maiden, and Flea, share Simmons’ belief that rock is a dying art.
If that’s not enough evidence, according to Spotify, hip-hop, pop, and EDM are the dominating genres among the public with EDM being determined as the biggest musical trend this past decade, a study that is reflected in the amount of rock albums released this past year compared to those of other genres. I’m sure that rock fans reading this are denying what I have written, but you cannot deny the facts. Rock is nowhere near as strong as it has been in the past and its steadily becoming less and less relevant, but don’t despair. Just because it’s dying, that doesn’t mean that rock will disappear.
Sat Bisla, one of the industry’s top A&R arbiters, claims that rock isn’t necessarily dying like you might think. It’s more that the numerous other genres, with influences from across the world, are rapidly increasing in popularity. It is for this reason that Bisla feels that rock is falling behind. He calls rock “movement driven” while genres like pop are “trend driven”, meaning that rock tends to gain popularity based on social or political issues while other genres gain popularity randomly based on trends.
While rock isn’t growing as of now, rock isn’t disappearing either. All things considered, rock is in a good place. There are way too many sub genres stemming from rock for it to fully disappear and there are still hundreds of fans of the genre, myself included. I guess what I’m trying to say is that, while rock is dying, or rather losing popularity, it will still exist.