Bosses at an Australian radio station have banned KISS music from the airwaves as a protest against comments bassist Gene Simmons recently made about people battling depression.
The rocker upset a lot of people when he suggested people with depression and addiction issues should kill themselves in a recent interview when he was asked about relations between himself and former KISS bandmates Ace Frehley and Peter Criss.
Simmons told SongFacts.com, “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 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 went on to say he always calls calls people on their bluff if they are standing at the top a building saying they are going to jump.
Motley Crue star Nikki Sixx attacked Simmons over his remarks on his satellite radio show earlier this week, and now bosses at Triple M have pulled all KISS tracks from playlists nationwide following the bassist’s “misguided and insensitive” comments about depression and suicide.
Network head Mike Fitzpatrick says, “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**khead’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 has released a statement on Facebook.com in an attempt to clarify his remarks. It reads: “Depression is very serious and very sad when it happens to anyone, especially loved ones. I have not commented on various allegations made in the media, but I want to make this statement for the record and to clarify. 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 intentions in speaking very directly and perhaps politically-incorrectly about drug use and alcoholics have been misconstrued as vile commentary on depression.
“Unkind statements about depression was certainly never my intention. And I do not intend to defend myself here and now by listing the myriad charities and self-help organisations I am involved with.”
He adds, “My heart goes out to anyone suffering from depression.”
* Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467