Former Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello discussed suicide taking the life of Chris Cornell and many others in the last couple of years in a new Shortlist interview.
Unfortunately, rock music and male suicide continue to be bedfellows – a fact you know all too well after the death of your Audioslave bandmate Chris Cornell last year. What can be done to change things?
“As someone who has not gone through it myself, I can’t fully understand how it feels. But I do feel that we’re getting closer to identifying the problem. The stigma around mental health is wearing away, and blaming issues on a lifestyle, I think, is in the past.”
Has that rock’n’roll lifestyle relaxed?
“I don’t know about that. I spent time making my new record with young hip-hop guys who are living in a world reminiscent of Led Zeppelin 1971. Tom Petty died not that long ago [from an accidental drug overdose]. There should be a sensitivity to the fact that life is precious, and if you don’t feel right, you need to be comfortable seeking help. What I do know is that there are people who love you, and professionals who can engage with you to make it better. The only way to overcome it is to seek help.”
Gene Simmons also recently discussed suicide and mental health issues in an interview with Kat Walters of Ithaca, New York I100 radio station.
“When it gets really bad and you want to hurt yourself, I please ask that you give a call to 911 or the suicide-prevention hotline and just talk or if you know somebody and it could be a family member. It could be mom or dad or kids or brothers and sisters or your next-door neighbors, just talk. ‘Hey, how are you doing?’ ‘Oh, I had a bad day.’ ‘Me too. I was watching the ballgame and they lost.’ Just engage in the conversation and reach out and just let people know they’re not alone.
“When people are alone and they’re not feeling good, some bad stuff can happen,” Gene added. “So, by talking to people, you may be saving a life. You can see it all the time when people are on top of a building about to jump or on top of a bridge and somebody comes along and gets beside them and hangs out and tries not to grab them and says, ‘Hey, how you doing?’ You just start talking. You talk him off of suicide and make him realize that everyday above ground is a good day. That there is hope and the sun will come up tomorrow and why shouldn’t you be here to see it?”