We recently caught up with Slipknot / Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor right before a signing for his new book, America 51. Always a genuine voice for the mental health community, Taylor spoke out against those who’ve been calling Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell and Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington “cowards” for committing suicide.

Cornell and Bennington died just weeks apart and in the exact same manner, causing immeasurable sadness throughout the rock community. The loss of two modern legends is tough enough, but some of the reactions to their deaths has caused the grief of many fans to expand. The labels of “coward” and “selfish” have echoed online, but Corey is quick to slap those terms down.

“Calling them ‘cowards’ is a very immature way of looking at it,” Taylor says. “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.”

Corey adds, “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.”

The musician eventually began to address those who may be struggling with mental illness. “You’re not alone,” Taylor declares. “Not one person out there who feels that way is alone. It is important for people to know that.”

If anyone feels they may need to reach out for help, Corey would like to recommend the following lifelines:

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline if you need someone to talk with — 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 Corey 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.

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