KISS boycott begins after Gene Simmons tells depressed people, ‘kill yourself’
KISS singer Gene Simmons treats controversy as a personal currency, but he may have gone a little far this time as his recent comments encouraging depressed people to kill themselves are making waves in the wake of Robin Williams’s suicide.
Most recently Simmons made headlines for suggesting that immigrants need to learn to “speak goddamn English.” As with most of Simmons’s controversial statements, he justified it by saying that he and his family—immigrants themselves—learned to speak English. And if they could do it so could everyone else.
Applying the same narcissism to depressed people, Gene recently dismissed all depression as charlatanism in an interview with Songfacts.com:
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 f**k 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 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 f**k up, have some dignity and jump! You’ve got the crowd.
The remarks were made in late July, before Robin Williams took his own life, but in the wake of the loss Simmons’s diatribe is rubbing some especially badly. Fellow ’80s rocker Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue denounced the comments and Australian radio station Triple M announced a boycott of all KISS material, calling the comments “misguided and insensitive.”
However News.au notes that Simmons did tweet a message of solidarity after Williams’s death:
R.I.P. Robin Williams. A kind and generous man.
— Gene Simmons (@genesimmons) August 11, 2014
Looks like Simmons was just doing what he does best in his Songfacts interview—being an asshole.