Outspoken KISS rocker Gene Simmons may have bit off even more than he and his freakishly large tongue can chew with his latest comments. Speaking to SongFacts.com at the end of July, Simmons had little sympathy for those struggling with addiction and suicidal thoughts, telling them they might as well kill themselves.
"Drug addicts and alcoholics are always, 'The world is a harshplace,'" Simmons said. "My mother was in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. I don't want to hear f**ck all about 'the world is 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 didn't stop there, however. He went on about calling out people with suicidal thoughts, saying he was the kind of person to "call their bluff."
"I'm the guy who says 'Jump!' when there's a guy on top a building who says, 'That's it, I can't take it anymore, I'm going to jump,'" Simmons continued to say. "Are you kidding? Why are you announcing it? Shut the f**k up, have some dignity and jump! You've got the crowd."
Simmons made the statement two weeks ago, but they are just now coming to the attention of many as the death of comedy legend Robin Williams still lingers on the midns of many. Williams committed suicide Aug. 11 after battling depression. The stars death has caused an increased awareness about depression and suicide.
Some of Simmons fellow rockers, as well as his fans, are calling him out on his stance. Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx spoke out against Simmons on his radio show "Sixx Sense" and on Twitter.
"I like Gene," Sixx said, "but in this situation, I don't like Gene. I don't like Gene's words. 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."
Sixx, who like many rockers at one time struggled with addiction that often times goes hand-in-hand with depression, tried to fix some of the harm Simmons had done.
"For people who are depressed, there is a way out," Sixx said on his show. "There are many, many ways out...Don't listen to people who don't know what they're talking about."
Simmons issued a statement today on his official Facebook page amidst the backlash and in light of Williams' suicide in an attempt to clarify his comments.
"I have never sugarcoated my feelings regarding drug use and alcoholics," he says in the post. "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."
He states that he realizes depression is a disease not to be taken lightly.
"I recognize that depression is very serious and very sad when it happens to anyone, especially loved ones," he says. "I deeply support and am empathetic to anyone suffering from any disease, especially depression."
Despite the second attempt at clarifying his words, it seems Simmons still shows little pity for addicts and alcoholics, and still fails to realize that alcoholism and drug addiction are often intrinsically linked with depression. He also doesn't attempt to take back any of his words about suicide. Saying kids should commit suicide, addicts or otherwise, is beyond insensitive, and surely won't be winning him and new fans.