Serge Pizzorno Predicts the End of Rock and Roll

June 1, 2014 | By:


Serge Pizzorno Predicts the End of Rock and Roll


Serge Pizzorno Predicts the End of Rock and Roll

Known for rocking out on a red Rickenbacker 481, Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian may be in danger of being known for something else: proclaiming that the end of rock could be just around the corner. While he wouldn’t be the first person to predict the demise of the art form, its artists aren’t typically the ones doing the prophesizing. In an April 2014 statement to the Evening Standard, Pizzorno said that he hopes his band’s new album, 48:13, would usher forth a new generation of new rock bands as he feels the genre is dying.

Kasabian reportedly worked on the album non-stop for more than six months, and there’s every indication that it will be met with the success of the group’s previous albums. Still, some critics feel that Pizzorno is presuming a bit much. After all, rock and roll has always been met with resistance, and some argue that this angst is a major part of the genre’s appeal.

Pizzorno also stated that 48:13 is more raw than his previous work, stating, “I felt that we had the confidence to be more direct, more honest with this album. I started to strip away layers rather than to just keep adding.” Here’s the thing: many rock fans could imagine Kurt Cobain making a similar statement in the ’90s. The legendary band’s second album Nevermind brought people back to rock in droves, and illuminated an entire sub-genre: grunge.

Pizzorno went on to say, “It’s weird to think of ourselves as one of the last rock ‘n’ roll bands around. But it’s important because there just don’t seem to be many left.” Fair enough, maybe, but the Foo Fighters could have said the same thing. As Gene Simmons of KISS fame recently pointed out, the Foo Fighters spurred on a new generation of rock enthusiasts, many of which went on to start their own bands. The moral? Rock and roll’s popularity is cyclical. It always has been.

To be fair, the genre has seen a slump in sales recently. Venues have closed their doors, and album sales are down. But once again, Gene Simmons has a handle on things: piracy is cutting into all genres. It’s not fair to judge rock in isolation. The music industry as a whole has been slow to evolve, and as Kurt Cobain might point out, this is probably down to executives, and not the artists themselves. On the other hand, independent bands have recently reported having to cut their tours short because they weren’t making enough to keep their buses rolling.

Many of those bands have taken to crowdsourcing sites like Kickstarter to raise funds. Still, is this an indication of the public’s waning interest or merely a reflection of the fact that bands are competing for their audiences’ attention more than ever? Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest provide consumers with a never-ending stream of distractions, while Netflix and Hulu+ offer inexpensive entertainment.

At the end of the day, the naysayers of rock and roll have been at it since 1959. Remember, things went south quickly when Elvis was drafted. Then Buddy Holly died in a plane crash, and Chuck Berry was incarcerated. Still, the genre survived, and it evolved. Bands like Nirvana and the Foo Fighters didn’t operate in the void of a dying genre, and neither does Kasabian.