25 Aug 2014 08:22 PM EST
-by Laura Tucker, Staff Writer; Image: Gene Simmons of KISS (Image Source: Harald Bischoff via Wikimedia Commons)
In light of what we learned about Robin Williams and his depression, KISS frontman Gene Simmons’ comments are seeming ill-timed, although these are comments that were made last month, before Williams chose to end his own life.
During an interview with Songfacts.com, Simmons suggested that people dealing with depression should just kill themselves.
He said, “My mother was in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. I don’t want to hear ... about ‘the world as a harsh place.’ She gets up every day, smells the roses and lives life.”
He used an example of a 20-year-old “putz” living alone in Seattle and saying they are depressed. His advice would be to “kill yourself.”
Simmons also said, “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.’”
These comments sparked a flurry of action. Several radio stations across the world went on record saying they would no longer play KISS music. It also became a topic on social media with a hashtag of #BanGene.
One tweet read, “as a sufferer of depression & long time listener I love seeing the stand that @Power97 is taking against crapbags like Gene Simmons.”
One tweet suggested that Simmons “may have just destroyed his career with one comment.”
Simmons must be worried about the same thing, that he was destroying his career. He issued a Facebook message of apology.
“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,” he wrote.
His other comments include, “I sincerely apologize to those who were offended by my comments,” and “I recognize that depression is very serious and very sad when it happens to anyone, especially loved ones.”
Simmons ended it saying, “I simply want to be clear that my heart goes out to anyone suffering from depression and I deeply regret any offhand marks in the heat of an interview that might have suggested otherwise.”
Only the fans and radio stations can decide whether this apology is enough to once again enjoy KISS music.