Gene Simmons has come under fire from Motley Crue member Nikki Sixx for comments he made regarding depression.
Speaking to Songfacts, the Kiss singer said that kids who “say ‘I live in Seattle. I’m depressed'” should kill themselves.
Simmons 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 fuck up, have some dignity and jump! You’ve got the crowd.”
The comments have come under intense criticism from different parties, with Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx labeling the speech “moronic” on his Sixx Sense radio show. Referencing the recent passing of actor Robin Williams, who committed suicide following a battle with depression, Sixx also noted his own troubled past and how damaging comments such as Simmons’ could be.
“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. 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?” he began. “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 continued: “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.”
This comes shortly after the Kiss man was called out live on air by Atlanta garage punks The Black Lips, who called for an end to Kiss’ “misogynistic, sexist rock’n’roll”.