The debate over the well-being of rock and roll has raged on for eons, and now Richard Kruspe has thrown his two cents into the mix, saying without question, the genre is no more. “Rock is dead,” the Rammstein guitarist says in a new interview, “It’s sad, I know it is.”
Speaking to Revolver, Kruspe was asked about Rammstein still waving the flag for theatrical rock and roll. “We’re just doing what we like,” he says. “But there’s just nothing to say so much anymore. Rock is dead. It’s sad, I know it is. But sometimes you kind of have to make peace with the facts of reality. Every time I’m listening to what’s new and it’s definitely not rock.”
When asked about the difficulty of new bands breaking into the business, Kruspe doubled down, saying, “There are always going to be these old dinosaurs that have a certain kind of performance that will survive. I’m talking about the new generation rock. What happens at the moment is that kids these days don’t have that feeling when they play their favorite rock tracks to annoy the parents. Guitars are not annoying anymore so what they’re using, especially in Germany, they’re using their voice, the lyrics, which basically mostly happens in hip-hop. They start to rebel against everything, and hip-hop is the soundtrack. It’s all about hip-hop at the moment, which is hard to me because hip-hop was always kind of a music that I couldn’t relate to. If I got to a festival and see a hip-hop group play, I’m so bored. That’s one advantage rock still has over hip-hop. There’s a visual and sonic connection between the band and the audience.”
The “rock is dead” debate was ignited a few years back when Gene Simmons declared, “It’s finally dead. Rock is finally dead.” The KISS co-founder faced a swift rebuttal from his musical peers, with everyone from Foo Fighters to Dee Snider to Rob Halford standing up for the genre, intoning that it’s actually stronger than ever.
Rammstein will get to enter into the debate head on next year as the band has confirmed plans to release a new album, their first in 10 years when 2009’s Liebe ist fur alle da came out. Earlier this year, guitarist Paul Landers confirmed, “Right now, it looks like this new record will be coming out next spring.”
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