KISS rocker Gene Simmons has built a career on controversial antics, but has he gone too far this time?
In a recent interview with journalist Roger Catlin on Songfacts.com, Simmons made some extreme comments regarding suicide and depression that now threaten to have long-term effects on his band’s career.
Asked whether he still keeps in touch with original KISS members who left the band over the years, Simmons launched into a shocking tirade:
“No, I don’t get along with anybody who’s a drug addict and has a dark cloud over their head and sees themselves as a victim. Drug addicts and alcoholics are always: ‘The world is a harsh place.’ My mother was in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. I don’t want to hear f**k all about ‘the world as a harsh place.’ She gets up every day, smells the roses and loves life. And for a putz, 20-year-old kid to say, ‘I’m depressed, I live in Seattle.” F**k you, then kill yourself,” Simmons said.
It didn’t end there.
“I always call them on their bluff. I’m the guy who says ‘Jump!’ when there’s a guy on top of a building who says, ‘That’s it, I can’t take it anymore, I’m going to jump.’ Are you kidding? Why are you announcing it? Shut the f**k up, have some dignity and jump! You’ve got the crowd,” he said.
Simmons’ comments have drawn condemnation from other legendary rockers. Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx yesterday denounced Simmons on his radio show, Sixx Sense.
“It’s pretty moronic because [Simmons] thinks everybody listens to him, that he is the God of Thunder. He will tell you he is the greatest man on earth, and to be honest with you, I like Gene. But in this situation, I don’t like Gene. I don’t like Gene’s words,” Sixx said. “There is a 20-year-old kid out there who is a Kiss fan and reads this and goes, ‘You know what? He’s right. I should just kill myself.’”
Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx (at left) has publicly denounced Simmons’ comments. Source: Supplied
The backlash has reached all the way to Australia, with Triple M today announcing they would remove all KISS songs from their playlists nationwide.
In a statement published on the Triple M website, network head Mike Fitzpatrick labelled Simmons’ comments “misguided and insensitive.”
“Depression and suicide are not topics he should be using to further his notoriety or sell records. His desperation to use mental health issues to find relevancy in a modern age is sickening. I can only put it down to a brain fade on his part. The Triple M Network can’t and won’t be playing or supporting this d***head’s music. I put the challenge out to other stations across Australia and North America to also drop any of this nudnik’s songs until such time as he reconsiders his thoughtless and insensitive position.”
Simmons comments were published on the Songfacts website on July 31, and it appears that, in the wake of actor Robin Williams’ tragic suicide this week, the KISS bassist may already have softened his views on those dealing with depression:
Simmons also retweeted the following (US based) information for those struggling with depression following Williams’ death: