Australia’s Triple M Network has banned all Kiss songs as response to Gene Simmons’ “misguided” comments about suicide. A few days before Robin Williams’ death, the U.S. rocker slammed depressed people, saying, “F--- you, then kill yourself.”
In an interview with Songfacts.com published on July 31, Simmons made it known that he couldn’t stand people suffering from mental health problems.
“… And for a putz, 20-year-old kid to say, ‘I’m depressed, I live in Seattle.’ F--- you, then kill yourself,” he 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.’
“Are you kidding? Why are you announcing it? Shut the f--- up, have some dignity and jump! You’ve got the crowd.”
He continued, “By the way, you walk up to the same guy on a ledge who threatens to jump and put a gun to his head, I’m going to blow your f---n’ head off!’ He’ll go, ‘Please don’t!’ It’s true. He’s not that insane.”
Simmons’ comments were made prior to Williams’ suicide on August 11. So when he offered his condolences on Twitter, people accused him of being a hypocrite.
R.I.P. Robin Williams. A kind and generous man.
— Gene Simmons (@genesimmons) August 11, 2014
In Australia, radio station Triple M Network has banned all Simmons’ songs and, in extension, all Kiss music from playing on air.
Network head Mike Fitzpatrick has issued a blunt statement, explaining why he pulled all tracks from the band from their playlist nationwide.
“Gene Simmons’ recent comments are misguided and insensitive,” Fitzpatrick said. “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 supporting this d---head’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.”
Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx wasn’t supportive of Simmons’ comments as well. He called the elder rocker’s stance on depression and suicide “pretty moronic.”
“It’s pretty moronic because he thinks everybody listens to him, that he is the god of thunder. He will tell you he is the greatest man on earth, and to be honest with you, I like Gene. But in this situation, I don’t like Gene,” Sixx said on his “Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx” radio show.
“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.’”
He added, “For people who are depressed, there is a way out. There are many, many ways out. And I don’t want people to listen to an interview from a rock star who’s telling you that the only way out is out when I’m telling you, and I wrote it in ‘The Heroin Diaries,’ you can get out of this.”
According to Williams’ widow Susan Schneider, the “Good Morning, Vietnam” star suffered from depression and was diagnosed with early stages of Parkinson’s Disease before he took his own life.