Uh-oh...Gene Simmons starts Canadian record label

Gene thinks record companies are dead, except for his
Gene thinks record companies are dead, except for his

CD sales are in the toilet. The economy is on life support. But being the shrewd businessman that he is, KISS's Gene Simmons has decided it's the perfect time to start a new record label. In Canada.

The self-proclaimed "God Of Thunder" has partnered with Universal Music Canada to form - or reform - Simmons Records, with the expressed purpose of signing and developing groups from The Great White North.

Simmons lays out the rules

"We are signing 3 new acts the first year. This is serious" Gene Simmons

On his official website, Simmons writes, "If you're reading this and you're in a Canadian band (only!!!)...and you believe you're the next Elvis or Beatles (don't we all…)…go to SIMMONSRECORDS.COM and we will tell you how YOU can submit your electronic demo. This is serious."

"We are signing 3 new acts the first year," Simmmons continues. "We intend on launching them from Canada and then worldwide. Hopeful artists must also include a video with their demo, as this is the 21st century and that stuff is important."

Track record is spotty, at best

All of this begs MusicRadar to beg the musical question, "WTF?"

It was only last year that Simmons said, "The record industry is dead, it's six feet underground, and unfortunately, the fans have done this. They've decided to download and file share."

So why wouldthe KISS mandecide to involve himself in a business he deemed "dead"? Does he plan on selling CDs and old-school casettes to prisons? (Not a bad idea, actually. KISS's Creatures Of The Night could move some units on 8-track.)

Beyond his recent rants, Simmons hasn't had steller success with Simmons Records. In the late '80s he launched the label with RCA/BMG and signed acts such as House Of Lords, who failed to go Gold. (And this was back in the day, when practically everything went Platinum with three or four spins on MTV.)

On the other hand, who are we to question Simmons's business ventures? After all, this is the man who, in 2002, trotted out Gene Simmons' Tongue, a men's magazine that lasted five issues.

So don't let us sway you. Aspiring Nickelbacks, Gene Simmons is waiting for you.

Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar WorldGuitar PlayerMusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.