“It’s important to be true to who you are, recognise when you’re losing a part of yourself and do something about it!”
Clean Cut Kid is a love story. A Liverpudlian blind date and the beginning of a band, a marriage, and a record deal. Frontman Mike met Evelyn Halls and wrote a song for her the second time they ever went out. Polydor signed them on their second gig.
If you’ve ever seen Clean Cut Kid live you’ll know that the power pop energy they charge you with makes it impossible not to smile, to dance and to feel as hopeful as you would during the end credits of an 80s coming of age movie. They are a full shot of Vitamin C right in your auditory cortices.
The band are currently flirting with their fans via social media; teasing the release of their second album. On the cusp of our second sonic date with Clean Cut Kid, we caught up with their leading lady Evelyn Halls to talk about faith, finding your soulmate and the practical benefits of cognitive behaviour therapy for Going Through The Emotions…
What are you working on at the moment?
We’ve just finished our second record, so we’re working on the plan for it’s release plus all the artwork and promo materials. We’re also getting ready for our tour in November!
What has been your biggest life challenge so far and what did you do to overcome it?
I had what I can only describe as a breakdown in my early 20s. My Dad drove across the country to get me and took me home. I was touring with another artist then, and Mike sorted out all of the logistics of finding a replacement to stand in for me, and cancelled all my things I had coming up.
I basically had to hand over the reigns of my life to Mike and my family because I just couldn’t handle anything- even what to wear each day or what to eat. I gradually worked my way through stuff at home with my parents, got in to see a GP, reluctantly (but thankfully) agreed to go on medication and got into therapy. I also found my faith again which has been an integral part of who I am ever since. It’s important to be true to who you are, recognise when you’re losing a part of yourself and do something about it!
What would constitute a ‘perfect’ day for you?
No phones. Doing something creative and seeing my family and closest friends with our mini Yorkie Bea. She’s teeny and the nicest gal ever.
What are you listening to, reading and watching at the moment?
I’m reading a book called The Happiness Project. I’m watching The Job Lot on Netflix and listening to mostly podcasts. True crime/true life and anything to do with psychology are my faves.
For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
That I am alive and have met my soulmate. We get to do our dream job together and we both have the most inspirational and selfless family. We really are blessed and I have to remind myself of that a lot.
Complete this sentence: “Ace mental health for me means…”
Being able to trust my own mind and know I’m operating with rational thought.
What do you eat to stay healthy?
I’m not doing too well on this one at the moment because we’ve just bought a flat and the renovating hell we’re currently in means I’ve been eating takeaways nearly every night whilst the kitchens out of use!
When I’m in the zone and making better decisions I normally try and eat loads of fruit, I love vegetables and I cook most things from scratch so I can control how much sugar/salt is going in. Those are the things that catch people out when you buy ‘already made’ stuff.
Food really affects my mood, I really try not to eat too much sugar coz I don’t like the highs and dips you get. Again, not doing too well on that one either at the moment haha.
Do you have a daily routine of exercise or do you make it up as you go along?
I have problems with my back from an injury so I have to try and stretch every day and I do Pilates. I’m gonna start running again and I go climbing as often as I can.
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?
Yep, I remember those days. They were so good- I loved primary school. I remember when I was about eight, I formed my first band. I used to write the songs at home after school and come in and show my band the next day and we’d make up dance routines then perform them to anyone who’d watch. People probably thought we were the most annoying little tits but I loved it!!
What three songs lift your spirits?
Second Hand News- Fleetwood Mac
Motion Sickness- Phoebe Bridges
What is your favourite self-help book, or motivational quote?
The Bible. It has every answer to every question I’ve ever needed! And that’s coming from someone who has a strange mind and asks some of the weirdest questions. Also, it’s like studying anything- the more you read and the deeper you get, the more it makes sense.
What advice do you offer to friends when they are feeling overwhelmed?
I tell them to not feel bad for feeling those things and that their feelings are legitimate and real. If I think it’s appropriate I might go over some of the stuff I learnt when having CBT- in particular the thought, behaviour, feeling loop. Then I try and give advice on practical things (have they eaten, have they slept, are they dehydrated, do they need to write everything down etc). Sometimes though, I just make sure I listen- sometimes people just wanna unload and might not have the headspace at the time to take on any advice.