The last few years have seen the world of rock music lose some of its biggest names, including David Bowie, Prince, and Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister, leaving us without some of the big acts that would usually headline an good old-fashioned rock concert. Now, the frontman for Ghost has explained that this only means that current rock bands need to “step up” to fill that void.
Just a couple of months ago, Jack White went on record stating that he thinks the world of rock music needs “an injection of some new, young blood” to help make everyone rethink everything they knew about the genre.
“Since rock & roll’s inception, every 10 or 12 years there’s a breath of fresh air and a new injection of some sort of what you could I guess call punk attitude or something like that. A wildness,” he explained.
“Things get crazy and then they get crazy for a couple years, then they kind of get subtle, and then you gotta wait for the next wave to come through and get people really excited and screaming about it again.”
Now, it seems that the frontman of Swedish metal lords Ghost is agreeing with this statement, saying that rock music has to pick up the slack in order to not only make up for the big bands that we no longer have, but to also help unearth new talent to help future generations of fans.
Speaking with Full Metal Jackie for Loudwire, Tobias Forge touched upon what the absence of musicians such as David Bowie and Lemmy Kilmister has meant for his band, and their role in the rock genre.
“I’m saddened by knowing that obviously, these people have already passed, but just checking a festival poster and knowing that in ten years these guys will not be there,” Forge explained.
“From a professional point of view, I think it means that rock music needs to step up. We need to have new, bigger bands. Bands need to step up and try to fill these spots,” he continued. “I definitely don’t think that rock is dead in any way. But I think that there has been a lack of new talent or new ambition. It’s hard to really put my finger on what has happened.”
“But I think that rock, in general, has been extremely dominated by bands that are thirty, forty years old, which there’s nothing wrong with it, but now as they are disappearing, you can truly tell that there’s a big gap between the big bands and the ones underneath and the one on the bottom.”
“I think that other music styles, other music genres have been better to fill their new, up and coming artists that get a lot of recognition,” he continued. “And, you know, I don’t want to compare rock and hip-hop in any way. I’m a rock guy. I’m not a hip-hop guy in any way, but the hip-hop scene has been way better at bringing up new talent where, you know, artists and management that weren’t around ten years ago, are now filling arenas and stadiums and are hugely successful.”
“I think that rock, if it’s going to survive and if it’s going to be a big thing, and I definitely think it’s going to be a bigger thing again, but I don’t think that the bands that are in the bills right now and the one has been waiting around for twenty years on the bill, on the middle part of the bill there, they are not the ones that’s going to, you know, rise to the top part.”
“I think it’s going to be new bands that we don’t know about right now. Fifteen-year-olds that maybe are listening to this show right now. You are the ones that need to create these new bands. You are the ones that are going to be the big band ten years from now.”
“Again, you have to face the fact that things are changing and things are circulating.”
While it’s going to take quite a few years to see if any young rock bands do take Tobias Forge’s advice and decide to step up their game help make rock music the dominant force it used to be, we never know just where the next big rock band will come from. Why, with triple j’s Unearthed High comp opening yesterday, there’s every chance the world’s next rock legends are about to be discovered.