Gene Simmons of the once-was rock band, KISS, likely has little sympathy for this week’s death of Robin Williams. On his seemingly never-ending ‘how big an a-hole can I be’ tour, where Simmons told the poor they should worship his money and where he told immigrants to “learn goddamn English,” he suggested to depressed people with substance abuse problems that they should kill themselves.
In an interview with Songfacts, Simmons was asked if he gets along with his former bandmates. His answer?
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 fuck 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.” Fuck 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 fuck 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 fuckin’ head off!” He’ll go, “Please don’t!” It’s true. He’s not that insane.
Mötley Crüe’s bassist, Nikki Sixx, who suffers from addiction had this to say about Simmons:
“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.'”
Source: Rolling Stone
Simmons issued an apology on his Facebook page (no doubt in light of William’s suicide):
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.
We can only hope that this teaches Simmons to think before he speaks next time.