Saturday, August 16, 2014

KISS face radio ban following suicide comments by Gene Simmons

KISS music is being banned by radio stations following insensitive comments made recently by bassist Gene Simmons regarding people suffering from depression.

Triple M broadcasting, owner of five metropolitan radio stations across Australia, pulled all KISS tracks from playlists countrywide on Friday.

"Gene Simmons' recent comments are misguided and insensitive," said Triple M Network head Mike Fitzpatrick. "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,” he added. “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.”

Two Canadian radio stations in Winnipeg, Manitoba – Power 97 and BOB FM – have also pulled KISS from their airwaves, and the hashtag #BanGene is trending on Twitter.

Simmons has been widely criticized for making insensitive comments about depression and suicide after he told sufferers 'f*** you, then kill yourself’.

While taking shots at former bandmates Ace Frehley and Peter Criss over their past substance abuse issues in a candid interview with Songfacts, the bassist went on to say, “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*** 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.’ F*** you, then kill yourself."

“I never understand, because I always call them on their bluff,” Simmons continued. “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. 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***in' head off!’ He'll go, ‘Please don't!’ It's true. He's not that insane.”

Simmons made the controversial comments the week before actor/comedian Robin Williams took his own life, which brought a media focus to the subject of mental health issues.

Ironically, Simmons tweeted his own thoughts on the comedian, writing, “R.I.P. Robin Williams. A kind and generous man.”

Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx weighed in on the matter during his Sixx Sense radio show this past week.

“Gene is basically saying he has no sympathy for drug addicts or people who are depressed,” said Sixx. “I’m a recovering drug addict. If I had done what Gene Simmons said and that is to jump, so many wonderful things would have not happened in my life. We’ve just lost Robin Williams. He dealt with drug addiction and mainly depression. When I was young, I was depressed, drugs helped me suppress that. I came from a messed up situation not unlike a lot of people. There’s almost 15 million American that are depressed. Gene Simmons says I should have just killed myself…15 million people should just kill themselves?”

Simmons is ‘pretty moronic’, he added. “To be honest with you, I like Gene, but in this situation, I don’t like Gene. I don’t like Gene’s words, because … 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’.”

Sixx, who wrote about his own addiction issues in the 2001 book “The Dirt” and 2007's “The Heroin Diaries”, told listeners that he sought therapy, and for a while took Prozac, to help overcome his issues.

“For people who are depressed there is a way out. There are many, many ways out. I don’t want people to listen to an interview from a rock star, who’s telling you the only way out is out,” he said. “All bad things will pass. Keep that in the back of your mind if you are feeling depression and don’t listen to [someone] who doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

Simmons and KISS are currently playing shows across North America with Def Leppard on a summer tour that will wrap up in Houston, Texas at the end of the month.

See also:

KISS: Ace Frehley to hire Gene Simmons for next album?
VIDEO: Ace Frehley performs New York Groove at The Tonight Show
Ace Frehley premieres cover of Steve Miller Band’s The Joker
Ace Frehley previews cover of Steve Miller Band’s The Joker
Search KISS at hennemusic