Published Nov 27, 2008Stephen Harpers government may have drastically cut back on funding for the arts but that doesnt mean theres no help for Canadian musicians, especially when long-tongued Kiss bassist Gene Simmons is around. The legendary rocker recently announced that hell be bringing his record label, Simmons Records, to Toronto with the help of Magna auto parts heiress and former Ontario MP Belinda Stronach, as well as Universal Music Canada.
"I want to find the next great three Canadian acts from different genres [each year], he told the Toronto Sun. "And dont let them go to America. Provide the care and support that they need here, make them monsters here, and then take them to the rest of the world.
Word is, Simmons might be starting with T.O. hip-hoppers Down With Webster, but only if they follow his lead. "If they do it the way they want to do it, they will fail, Simmons says. "You gotta do it my way. Its a benevolent dictatorship Ill be in the studio with the bands. Ill be there to beat them up regarding their image, their names. If one of them is a drug addict hes going to be gone. And Ive had experience with that. Theres no room for idiots in bands. Because aside from the luck of the draw, it really is hard work. You have to get up every day, and cool is a moving target, so its a very hard target to hit.
Whichever band he chooses first may become the subject of a Canadian reality show as they rise to fame. Simmons is also working with Kiss on a new album.
Gene Simmons on the Mike Douglas Show in 1974