Kiss musician Gene Simmons has apologised to fans for remarks he made about depression and suicide.
The rock star caused outrage when he said depressed people should “have some dignity and jump”, in an interview on July 31.
He apologised on his Facebook page on the weekend, saying his comments were “spur of the moment”.
Simmons said his comments were “made without regard for those who truly suffer the struggles of depression”.
“I sincerely apologise to those who were offended by my comments,” the bassist and singer wrote.
“I recognise that depression is very serious and very sad when to happens to anyone, especially loved ones,” Simmons said.
“I deeply support and am empathetic to anyone suffering from any disease, especially depression.”
In the original interview with Songfacts, Simmons said he didn’t get anyone who couldn’t just get on with life and enjoy it.
“My mother was in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany … She gets up every day, smells the roses and loves life,” the 64-year-old said.
Describing a hypothetical 20-year-old who was depressed, Simmons said he would tell the kid to “kill yourself”. “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.’”
His comments received more attention following the death of comedian and actor Robin Williams, and sparked international condemnation.
A number of radio stations in North America as well as Australia’s Triple M banned Kiss songs from their airwaves.
Triple M's network head Mike Fitzpatrick said the band’s songs would not be played because of Simmons’ “misguided and insensitive” comments.
“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,” Fitzpatrick said in a statement.
“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---head’s music.”
Simmons' apology has already been accepted by some, including by fellow rock and Motley Crue member Nikki Sixx who had initially taken a stand against the bassist on his radio show Sixx Sense.
However despite his apology for the remarks about depression and suicide, Simmons stands by his comments about alcohol and drug addiction.
“I have never sugar-coated my feelings regarding drug use and alcoholics,” the musician’s Facebook post said.
“Somewhere along the line, my intention of speaking in very directly and perhaps politically incorrectly about drug use and alcoholics has been misconstrued as vile commentary on depression.”
His comments about depression followed a mini rant about addicts, when he was asked if he still got along with the original band members. “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,” he said.
“Drug addicts and alcoholics are always: ‘The world is a harsh place.’”
Simmons and Paul Stanley are the only remaining original members of Kiss: lead guitarist Ace Frehley left in the 1990s, while drummer Peter Criss left the band twice.