Friday, October 10th, 2014 | Toronto, Canada

 By Rich “The Meister” Dillon

I have to admit that Gene Simmons is a promotional master. Perhaps he meant his recent words concerning the death of rock and roll or was it just a ruse to get things stirred up and KISS talked abouSkrou Band Photot in the media and the general public? Perhaps Simmons’ words were simply poorly phrased, and the actual meaning misconstrued, but there are certainly parts of truth to the statement.

The business model that helped KISS and so many other musicians gain recognition, success, fame and fortune is, in fact, dead. The days of a record company throwing money at you to record your album are definitely long gone. Many musicians now are “do-it-yourselfers” relying heavily on social media and crowd-funding to promote their music, gain followers and issue albums, but rock and roll is certainly not dead. Take my recent Friday night, for example, and  I’m sure there are rampant examples of this in every town or city throughout North America and the world.

Friday night, September 26, 2014 I worked late at the restaurant and then headed over to a local bar with purpose in mind and a couple of friends in tow. A band that I actually briefly mentioned in my recent “Oddities of The Meister’s I-Pod”) blog, Skrou, was playing a lengthy three set show there on the night in question. Vocalist and founder Sam Kirou, a hybrid of whose name inspired the band’s moniker, lead the rest of the band through each 45 plus minute segment with enthusiasm and vigor. Alongside Kirou were band members; bassist R.C. Ricci, drummer Eric Bonatti and guitarist John DeFino sharing the rather small stage space. The material was heavy on cover versions of classic 80’s songs. We heard things like Judas Priest’s “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’”, Scorpions’ “Big City Nights” and KISS’ “Shout It Out Loud” among others.

Even though, the songs wereSkrou Video Shoot Promo Poster, for the majority, from twenty plus years ago, there was certainly nothing dead about the evening. The crowd, which consisted of many walks of life and a wide age range, was up and danced for a good portion of the show as the band ripped through the well-known songs. One young lady even “donated” her bra to RC Ricci, draping it over the stretched neck of his bass guitar during one song. When Sam Kirou exclaimed that he was the singer, and he should get the bras, a ladies thong quickly appeared on his mike stand…..sounds like rock and roll to me Mr Simmons!

Skrou mixed in some of their original compositions that fit well into the theme/style of the set and their earlier this year released debut CD was on hand for purchase. Skrou also had a camera man on site, filming portions of the event including crowd shots for use in their upcoming video. To me these songs are just one example that rock is alive and well, and there’s tons of great bands and music out there for you to discover. Get out to your local tavern this weekend with some friends and support the live music scene. Rock is not dead by any means. It’s alive and well probably in your hometown, and each and every one of us can help keep it going!

The Meister

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