Slipknot and Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor criticized fans who have called Linkin Park's Chester Bennington and Soundgarden's Chris Cornell "cowards" for taking their own lives, describing that viewpoint as "immature" in a recent Loudwire interview.
"Obviously they're hurt, which is why they're lashing out and saying that," the vocalist said. "It's the easy way to look at something like that because it makes you not have to face what a serious issue it is. It's easy for someone to label it like that so they can turn their back on it and pretend that it was something that didn't happen to them, when inside they're hurting."
The revered rock singers both died by suicide weeks apart from each other. Cornell died in May at age 52, and Bennington died in July at age 41. Taylor called their deaths a "goddamn tragedy" and rejected the idea that their suicides were "bound to happen."
"I've gotten so angry hearing that that I've gone on record saying, 'You are absolutely wrong for saying that,'" he said. "A suicide should not be a foregone conclusion. That means you're not listening."
Taylor added that, in the wake of these tragedies, people should more closely examine the reality of depression and "other issues that are going on in [the U.S.] right now," like opioid addiction. "People don't want to feel," he said. "Why don't they want to feel? Let's get to the bottom of that. Let's get to the bottom of why there is a rise in not only PTSD but severe depression across the board.
"I suffer from manic depression, which means I rise and I fall," he continued. "I crash and I burn. I've got the practice, and I've got the people to talk to so I can keep myself from really breaking myself against that wall. But it's tough, man. It's tough. Some people don't have that luxury. Some people, like our friends ... the wall pushes back."
The singer ended the interview by encouraging those struggling with mental illness. "You're not alone," he said. "Not one person out there who feels that way is alone. It is important for people to know that."
Taylor also recommended a series of lifelines for those in need, including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255), You Can NOT Be Replaced, the You Rock Foundation and the National Runaway Safeline.