Artist News

Gene Simmons apologises for comments on suicide

By | Published on Monday 18 August 2014

Gene Simmons

Kiss bassist Gene Simmons has apologised for comments he made about suicide in a recently-published interview with

Asked by the website if he still gets on with former Kiss members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, Simmons replied: “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”.

Potentially libellous statements aside, he quickly went off on a tangent, saying: “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'”.

He then went on to suggest that most of the hypothetical people he finds on hypothetical rooftops are faking their distress for attention. Criticism of the comments blew up in the wake of the death of comedian Robin Williams as the result of suicide, although the interview was actually published before that news broke.

But after several US radio stations banned Kiss from their playlists in protest at the remarks, Simmons wrote in a statement on Facebook: “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 apologise to those who were offended by my comments. I recognise 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”.

However, he continued: “I have never sugar-coated my feelings regarding drug use and alcoholics. Somewhere along the line, my intention of speaking 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 organisations 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”.

In another interview last week, Simmons told immigrants to the US that they should “learn to speak goddamn English”, and then accused The Black Lips of having a racist name after they accused him of misogyny. So it was quite a week.

For information on coping with suicidal feelings and finding support, read Mind’s guide, or call The Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90.