Gene Simmons Takes A Jab At The Beatles

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

Gene Simmons believes the Beatles succeeded because they wrote ‘simple songs.’

In a recent interview with Adam Carolla, the KISS bassist shared his thoughts on songwriting, emphasizing that complexity isn’t necessary for a song to be good:

“The hardest thing to do is to write a simple song. It’s easier to be in a prog band. Really. Because you’re not playing the game of ‘memorable,’ you’re playing the game like jazz, of showing off. You don’t expect somebody to walk out of a jazz concert humming [sings a complex jazz line]. You don’t expect that.”

Simmons used the Beatles to illustrate his point. He mentioned that memorable songs stick in your head after one listen, like those by Bruno Mars, the Beatles, John Lennon, or Jagger/Richards. He noted that many musicians, including himself, can’t read or write music but still create music. He highlighted the appeal of simple, three-chord songs, using an early Beatles track as an example:

“Well, I believe that in the same way that strippers don’t walk out naked, the last thing you want to do is to have the public know too much about you. So, when you try to do something really simple and bombastic, you don’t want them to know all this other stuff, because the imagination of those less qualified to understand would say, ‘Why are you only using three chords?'”

Simmons elaborated: “That’s called country notes, three chords, and a story. Some of the biggest songs the Beatles ever wrote, maybe the masters of them all, only had three chords. [Sings] ‘My love don’t give me presents.’ ‘She’s a Woman,’ three chords.”

KISS was heavily influenced by the Beatles when they started out. Simmons envisioned KISS as a more powerful version of the Beatles, with every member singing lead songs. He explained on Howie Mandel Does Stuff:

“And everybody had to play an instrument as opposed to like a Stones model, where there’s a guy in the front, and the rest of the guys are in the back and shut up and be quiet. The Beatles were the only band where every single guy in the band was a star and had their own songs and wrote. That was the model we followed.”

This summer, Simmons will tour Europe with his solo band, performing in countries like Finland, Sweden, Germany, The Netherlands, and Belgium.

You can watch Gene’s full interview below.

Write A Comment