During an interview with Songfacts, the singer suggested he had no sympathy for those suffering from mental health issues.
He said: “…for a putz 20-year-old kid to say, ‘I’m depressed, I live in Seattle. Fuck you, then kill yourself'.”
Gene Simmons is under fire
Simmons didn’t stop there.
In the piece published on 31 July, he went on to say: “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 anymore, I’m going to jump’.
“Are you kidding? Why are you even announcing it? Shut the fuck 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 fuckin’ head off!’ He’ll go ‘Please don’t’. It’s true. He’s not that insane.”
Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx says Simmons's comments were 'pretty moronic'
He said: “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 the only way out is out.”
Simmons’ comments were made before the death of comedian Robin Williams and the singer appears to have back-pedalled somewhat in his uncompromising opinions on depression and suicide.
On 12 August he tweeted: “RIP Robin Williams. A kind and generous man.”
R.I.P. Robin Williams. A kind and generous man.
— Gene Simmons (@genesimmons) August 11, 2014
— Scott Stockdale (@tnbarbq) August 12, 2014
Hours later he retweeted an image of Williams featuring the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline telephone number.
But his comments have cost him...
In a statement published online, network head Mike Fitzpatrick said: "Gene Simmons' recent comments are misguided and insensitive.
"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 dickhead’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."
If you've been affected by the issues in this article, please call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90.