Article originally published on Billboard.com
Two of hard rock's biggest acts aren't happy with the state of pop.
"We're sick and tired of girls getting up there with dancers and karaoke tapes in back of them," KISS' Gene Simmons said on Tuesday afternoon as KISS and Motley Crue announced their first joint tour in three decades. "The guys you see on stage are playing their instruments. No fake bullshit. Leave that to the Rihanna, Shmianna and anyone who ends their name with an 'A.'"
Backstage at the Roosevelt Hotel, Motley Crue's Tommy Lee expanded on his colleague's comments, criticizing the state of pop-heavy award shows.
"No disrespect to Rihanna, she's a great singer, but we're in a slump for some shit that has some personality and appeal beyond a bunch of pop stuff that's floating around out there," he told Billboard.com. "I'm glad he said that actually because I don't think i can bear watching another f***ing award show that is just a little bit better than 'American Idol.' It's f***ing pathetic to watch people go out and f***ing karaoke with a bunch of lights and video. It's all completely watered down."
"He's right, anyone can buy a light show, anyone can buy pyro," KISS' Eric Singer added. "You can't keep reinserting a different he or she in there. you have to be able to get up there and play and sing."
Other members of the bands questioned the apparent dearth of guitar rock, on the road and elsewhere.
"It's a shame you don't have as many rock and roll bands, only the cream of the crop has survived," KISS' Tommy Thayer said. "It makes [the tour] more of a unique event. It's definitely the biggest rock show of the year."
While many musicians have found success online in recent years -- Rihanna, for instance, has 53 million Facebook likes -- KISS' Paul Stanley said the real fan interaction happens at the show.
"Isn't that what we're all about? We're only as good as the audiences. So fan interaction, that's really what rock and roll is," he said on Tuesday. "If you [just] want to listen to music, stay home and put it on the stereo."