Gene Simmons met with members of Congress this week as part of ASCAP's “Stand with Songwriters” sessions. The Kiss frontman met with lawmakers as he outlined some of the music industry's most pressing issues affecting artists as the world slowly comes out of quarantine. Simmons himself had to deal with the cancellation of KISS's world tour due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The music that moves the world – R&B, rock, blues, country western, various jazz – was all invented right here in America by the people who now can’t even quit their day job to devote their time to art,” said Simmons in a statement. "There’s not going to be another Lennon, McCartney or Gershwin or somebody else because -- even though the talent is out there -- most people don’t realize every time you download a song, the songwriter is making minuscule amounts of one penny."
"Protecting the rights of American music creators and defending the value of music has always been a core part of ASCAP’s mission, and we are thrilled to have some of our most talented members join us as we urge lawmakers in Washington to support the people who make the music we all know and love,” said ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews.
The session serves as part of a larger program (ASCAP's "Stand With Singers" Advocacy Month) aimed at trying to rebuild the touring industry post-pandemic. Part of the Simmons' conversation focused on how many artists became dependent upon streaming as a means of income, while also highlighting the way music licensing rules no longer work in the modern digital music marketplace.
Simmons has been fairly vocal about his political opinions as of late. He recently slammed U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert for suggesting that scientists change the moon's orbit as an attempt to confront climate change. Simmons tweeted, sharing an online article about the lawmaker's inquiry, which doesn't seem like a completely serious question. "Is there anything that the National Forest Service or BLM can do to change the course of the moon's orbit or the Earth's orbit around the sun?" Gohmert asked. "Obviously, they would have profound effects on our climate." Simmons reacted saying, "please pardon my language, what an Effin Moron…Texas Republican."