Gene Simmons of KISS has never had a problem speaking his mind, and now he has a piece of advice for the estimated 121 million people worldwide, and one of every 10 Americans, who suffer from symptoms of depression.
“F*** you, then kill yourself,” said the 64-year-old, Israeli-born rock star, whose real name is Chaim Witz. “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.”
Apparently competing with Ted Nugent to see which 1970s-era hard rock musician can issue the most outrageously offensive public statements, Simmons also said that he has no sympathy for original KISS bandmates Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, despite a show of camaraderie at the recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony when the four original KISS members gathered on stage to accept the honor.
“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,” he said in an interview with the SongFacts music site, when asked whether he remains friends with Frehley and Criss. “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.’”
Gene Simmons has long been public about his conservative political beliefs. He vocally supported Republican Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election and declared that being part of the “one percent” of top-level American income earners is “fantastic.”
On less controversial topics, Simmons confirmed that a planned movie based on a 1975 visit by KISS to a high school football team, Cadillac High, will film in the state of Michigan.
“It’s now been fully funded and it’s now in pre-production,” Simmons told CBS News. “The only date or timeline (for a release) I can give would be a guess.”
In 1975, KISS was just beginning to experience the early stages of the stardom that the band continues to experience today. When the band members learned that a winning football team at Cadillac High School in Michigan listened to KISS records in their locker room to psych themselves up, the band paid a surprise visit to the team.
That incident is the basis of the KISS movie.