Gene Simmons' recent controversial comments about suicidal people have garnered additional backlash, as the music of KISS was officially banned from prominent Australian radio station Triple M.
As reported, Simmons told Songfacts that he gives zero sympathy to drug addicts and alcoholics, touching on depressed individuals along the way. "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," he said. "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.
"I never understand, because 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.
"By the way, you walk up to the same guy on a ledge who threatens to jump and put a gun to his head, 'I'm going to blow your f--kin' head off!' He'll go, 'Please don't!' It's true. He's not that insane," Gene concluded.
Furthermore, Simmons was denounced by Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx, who called his comments "moronic."
Back to the radio ban, Triple M network head Mike Fitzpatrick called the bassist a "d-ckhead," issuing a following statement via official website:
"Gene Simmons' recent comments are 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-ckhead'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."
Noticing how far things have gone, Gene took to his Facebook page in an attempt to clarify the matter. "I want to make this statement about my views on depression for the record and to clarify my prior remarks," he kicked off.
"To the extent my comments reported by the media speak of depression, I was wrong and in the spur of the moment made remarks that in hindsight were made without regard for those who truly suffer the struggles of depression. I sincerely apologize to those who were offended by my comments. I recognize that depression is very serious and very sad when it happens to anyone, especially loved ones. I deeply support and am empathetic to anyone suffering from any disease, especially depression.
"I have never sugarcoated my feelings regarding drug use and alcoholics. Somewhere along the line, my intention of speaking in very directly and perhaps politically incorrectly about drug use and alcoholics has been misconstrued as vile commentary on depression. Unkind statements about depression was certainly never my intention. Fully, you will know that and I do not intend to defend myself here and now, by listing the myriad charities and self-help organizations I am involved with. Rather, I simply want to be clear that my heart goes out to anyone suffering from depression and I deeply regret any offhand remarks in the heat of an interview that might have suggested otherwise," he concluded.
As Gene apologized, Sixx issued a lengthy Facebook statement to compliment the fellow bassist and ask the media to stop the lynch they started. "I want to address and compliment Gene for publicly apologizing," he said. "That was 100% the right thing to do. This has turned into a bit of an anti-Gene Simmons bashathon and I don't condone that nor do I support that radio stations across the country who are banning KISS (the guys in the band didn't do anything). Gene said something that has been addressed and maybe in a moment of bravado he was just being cocksure and pompous?
"Out of everything in my life that's has gone array either from my own action's or others I try to learn a lesson. There is good in everything. What I know is this. When people are listening we have an opportunity to pass along some valuable and positive information.
"Since I have had my own struggle with addiction and depression I have been exposed to both sides of the process. Its not as simple as we are lowly addicts or morally incapable of pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps, doing the right thing or just snapping out of it. The process involves hard work and hopefully some form of a support team (family, friends etc) around you. That could mean therapy, rehab, 12 step programs or sometimes-even medication. It's better than the alternative. Trust me...
Nikki concluded the post with depression and suicide stats to raise the awareness.
- 14.8 million American adults (6.7%) are affected by a major depressive disorder each year
- 1 in 10 Americans are affected by Depression at one point in their life.
- Women are twice as likely to have depression and symptoms of depression
- People aged 45-64 have the highest percentage rate for depression. (4.6%)
- The most common age to start developing symptoms of depression is 32.
- Depression is the cause of over two-thirds of reported suicides each year (20,000 a year)
- For every 2 homicides in the US, there are 3 suicides.
- Untreated depression is the #1 risk for suicide among youth.
- The death rate from suicide is higher than chronic liver disease, Alzheimer’s, murder or hypertension.
- 80% of people that have symptoms of clinical depression are not receiving any treatment
- The Number of patients diagnosed with depression increases by about 20% each year.
- 60-80% of all depression cases can be effectively treated with therapy and medication.
- Depression causes $70 billion in medical costs and lost productivity each year.