“Ride the wave, until the grave, and hope it never stops”.
Three piece alternative boy band The Blinders formed in 2014 combining political punk rock and psychedelic tones. In October they kick of their Columbia tour. We caught up with Thomas from the band to talk about life challenges, depression and cooking.
What are you listening to, reading and watching at the moment?
I don’t watch television, I’m reading ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ by George R. R. Martin and ‘Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan’ by Howard Sounes (I like to alternate between two books at a time), and listening wise, well I’m slowly but surely working through the entire back catalogue of The Brian Jonestown Massacre.
What has been your biggest life challenge so far and what did you do to overcome it?
Myself and the band recently hit a wall whilst recording our debut album in the studio. Though it started out as a hell of a ride, it very quickly felt like we were spiralling into chaos due to the physical and emotional stress the album was taking on us. Luckily, we had a producer who understood what were going through, had been there and done that, and attempted to alleviate many symptoms which some would describe as anxiety and depression. Without him, we don’t really know what would have happened and we are thankful in more ways than many. We also relied heavily on our families to pick up the pieces, which they did. For that we are eternally grateful.
What would constitute a ‘perfect’ day for you?
There’s no real step-by-step process. It’s entirely subjective. Personally, my life revolves around music and art, so for me as long as I’ve done all I can to actively seek inspiration and reach a peak of creative energy, then my day has been a productive one. Doesn’t even matter if you don’t write a song, so long as my pencil is dull and my scrapbook is full.
For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
The ability to question and challenge. The awareness of what is right and wrong. The love received from family.
Complete this sentence: “Ace mental health for me means…”
… life is ‘ace’.
What do you eat to stay healthy?
Anything made from fresh ingredients. Cooking can be incredibly artistic and takes your mind off of things. If you’re blessed/cursed with a racing mind, then preparing a meal for 45 minutes or so can be very beneficial. Also grapefruit. Top that with a little bit of sugar and you’re in heaven.
Do you have a daily routine of exercise or do you make it up as you go along?
I know the other lads in the band go running or walk to places a lot. I try to swim three times a week thanks to some sound advice from a friend in a band called ‘Strange Bones’.
Here at The Mind Map we remember playing football and ‘tag’ – running around the playground everyday and loving it – can you share a similar memory?
Ours a little twisted. I hope this happened around the country, and not just where we are from. We used to play a game called ‘Mercy’. There’d be two teams. On one team, each kid was given the individual letters of ‘Mercy’. The other team had to hunt down and beat the shit out of them until they gave up their individual letter.The game was over when all of the letters had been ‘acquired’. The teams would then swap roles, and the other kids got to get their own back. It was very violent and a lot of fun. Good times.
What three songs lift your spirits?
‘Shake Appeal’ by Iggy Pop and The Stooges, ‘I’m Looking Through You’ by The Beatles, and ‘Children of the Revolution’ by T. Rex
What is your favourite self-help book, or motivational quote?
When I’m stuck in a rut a very good friend of mine likes to say to me ‘Ride the wave, until the grave, and hope it never stops’.
What advice do you offer to friends when they are feeling overwhelmed?
Take a step back. Put everything on hold if you have to. Keep your friends close, stay true to yourself and dig life.
An artist unafraid to chart new musical waters, Astles has been praised for hRead More