Corey Taylor Says Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell were Not “Cowards” for Suicide
Loudwire caught up with Corey Taylor last week right before a signing for his new book, America 51, and Taylor — always outspoken on mental health issues — shared his sentiments on a few sorry individuals who have labeled the recent suicides of Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell as cowardly acts (for example: Korn guitarist Brian Welch called Chester a coward on the day of his suicide and Gwar’s Brent Purgason (“Pustulus”) called Linkin Park a joke after learning of his death).
Here’s Taylor response:
“Calling them ‘cowards’ is a very immature way of looking at it. 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. People who fight depression are almost in a constant state of hurting.
“It is a goddamn tragedy. That does not make them cowards. I’ve even heard people recently say something to the fact of, ’It was bound to happen. This was always going to happen.’ I’ve gotten so angry hearing that that I’ve gone on record saying, ‘You are absolutely wrong for saying that.’ Suicide should not be a foregone conclusion.”
Corey’s response is wonderful and important — what he says here digs into the heart of this issue — but in my opinion he treads too lightly and remains too forgiving. I don’t know if outright calling these individuals a dick is really going to make them see the light on this issue — maybe being more understanding is what we need to lift each other up — but that isn’t going to stop me from calling these people assholes. If you think Chester Bennington’s suicide was cowardly, you’re a dick and you need to re-evaluate your prejudices, rethink what you’ve said, apologize, and move on. No need to defend yourself. You fucked up, and trying to defend your words is only going to dig you a deeper hole. The tragic losses of Chris and Chester are just that: tragic. Suicide is a tragedy. It is no act of cowardice, it is not selfish, and for so many it looks like the only way out in a world wrought with strife. It is a spiral into depths you could not believe. In the mind of someone with suicidal thoughts, nothing is rational, nothing matters, everything is meaningless, and god does it hurt. To look upon suicide as a cowardly act is to remain a coward yourself, and to not see that the issue is so much more than what you feel is to remain a fucking idiot.
At Taylor’s request, Loudwire has listed a few resources for those struggling with suicidal thoughts. We are well aware that people need more than a suicide hotline to help them; people need medicine, stability, care, and love. But when you are spiraling out of control and winding yourself into deeper despair, it can be helpful to talk to someone, anyone. Let your thoughts into the air, verbalize, agonize with a stranger on the phone. Just letting those emotions out can relieve so much suffering. It’s not you that is in turmoil, it is life, and you will be better for coming out of it marred but alive.
Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to speak to somebody who can help you: 1-800-273-8255
You Can NOT Be Replaced works with young people struggling with mental illness: www.youcannotbereplaced.com
The You Rock Foundation shares stories from musicians like Taylor to educate and empower people suffering from depression: www.yourockfoundation.org
The National Runaway Safeline is an outreach group dedicated to adults who need help talking to their youths about mental illness or have had a youth run away from home — www.1800runaway.org