The Goon Sax – Going Through The Emotions

3 months ago   |   Words: Rebecca Durband

The Goon Sax are a trio from Brisbane whose brand of awkwardly transcendent guitar pop recalls early Talking Heads, The Moldy Peaches and Aussy jangle pop masters The Go-Betweens. We caught up with singer Louis to discuss living with OCD,

What are you listening to, reading and watching at the moment?

I am listening to Deceit, the second This Heat record a lot. I’d always liked the first one but hadn’t given the second a go until my friend put it on at her house, and I liked it even more than the first record. I’ve also been listening to the 3 eps compilation by Mystic Inane. I’ve been reading the Serpent and the Rainbow by Wade Davis, it’s a pretty entertaining read. Also Gaseneta Wasteland by Osato Toshiharu. I am watching Neon Genesis Evangelion and Outer Limits at the moment. Classics I guess.

What has been your biggest life challenge so far and what did you do to overcome it?

I think one of the hardest things has probably been trying to overcome OCD which I have had all my life. But I have come up with some cheats like avoiding all repetitive patterns in my life so that I don’t get obsessed with them being in certain way. Things like alternating which shoe I put on first and things like that. It’s been much harder with things like writing songs though, because I spend virtually all my time doing it. Just obsessing over little bits, and writing lyrics 15 or 20 times, and then almost always being unable to actually accept what I have done which has made me feel like I am wasting my life all the time because I throw almost everything away. A good way to deal with this has been showing songs to people I really trust I guess, Riley and James are alright, and then they force me to play them even though I can’t accept them myself. I’ve also been trying to just force myself to stop and realise that songs are a sum of a lot of parts and some of the little bits I obsess over won’t drag the song over the line of good and bad.

What would constitute a ‘perfect’ day for you?

It’s nice to have lots to do. Maybe swimming and having a really good sleep afterwards. Not having to worry about how things will happen or come to together, seamless transitions and plans working out. Sleeping in the car on an unavoidable trip is probably the ultimate action for this.

For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

Food and Water those are pretty important and I am lucky to never have had to really worry too much about how I could access them.

Complete this sentence: “Ace mental health for me means…”

Living without too much thought to things, just doing stuff and moving on and feeling like I can exist properly within time without feeling like I am holding my head out a car window. It’s kind of hard to think about because I don’t think it’s something I have ever really experienced, so to me it’s just a long list of things that wouldn’t be anymore rather than an idea of what ‘ace mental health’ would actually feel like. I guess my goal is to lose a sense of self, in the way of seeing no distinction between myself and anything else. I accept this as a concept and know it to be true, but it’s something else to see the achievements and actions of all forms of life in equal measure and with equal care to your own because you can’t feel the difference. I hate competition and jealousy and would love to completely eradicate those from my mind. There are a lot of things I think we accept as concepts but don’t feel with 100% certainty all the time although we think we do because we agree with the idea.

What do you eat to stay healthy?

I could definitely eat much healthier than I do. I mainly just eat sandwiches but I do put greens on them?

Do you have a daily routine of exercise or do you make it up as you go along?

No definitely not. I walk a lot seeing as I don’t drive, I probably end up walking several kilometres every day but it’s not really planned and I don’t keep track of it really. Tracking your steps on google maps kind of freaks me out, I know they’re doing it anyway. Swimming in summer is really good too, there’s a big reservoir surrounded by bush right near where I live so I go there quite a but when it’s warm.

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?

Yeah definitely, I grew up in a street with lots of kids my age so I was doing that everyday really. I remember playing kick the can. That comes up in the Twilight Zone I was watching the other day. I didn’t realise that it was a widely spread game outside of my friends. Someone probably convinced me they made it up

What three songs lift your spirits?

Rama Rama by Alice Coltrane is a really good one, it’s the first track of her divine songs album which I listen to before going to sleep. It’s so good that being the first song it’s usually the only one I’lll hear before I’m off. Fire of the Mind by Coil also really really lifts my spirits, it kind of confronts everything in a way that is sad but makes you feel really alright. Third one, um um um maybe maybe Total Control by The Motels or Original Sin by INXS, those are great pop songs that get me bouncin’, probably not completely happy but hopeful in some way.

What is your favourite self-help book, or motivational quote?

“Do unto others as you would have other do unto you,” can you beat it? Also this is not a self help book or a very interesting answer but the myth of Sisyphus changed my life in a really positive way when I needed it back in high school. Sorry I am giving such serious and not very funny answers but mental health is really important and something I struggle with and care about a lot, and I think sharing in a constructive manner (which I hope this is) is helpful for everyone.

What advice do you offer to friends when they are feeling overwhelmed?

Focus on the split second between breathing out and breathing back in where your body’s really still and you’re not really moving at all.

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Tyson Fury details his battle with depression

3 weeks ago   |   Words: Wes Pilgrimage

“The worst thing someone suffering with their mental health can do is get into drugs and alcohol” said heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury in his candid interview with podcast host Joe Rogan this week.

Talking to Rogan ahead of his upcoming WBC title fight with Deontay Wilder on December 1, the 6ft 8 Mancunian opened up about his battle with depression and 2016 suicide attempt.

“I was waking up and I did not want to be alive,” Fury said. “Nobody could talk any sense into me at all and I felt very low.

“I had just bought a brand new car – a Ferrari convertible in summer 2016 – and I was on the motorway. At the bottom of about a five-mile stretch, there is a massive bridge and I got the car up to 190mph and did not care about anyone.

“I didn’t care about nothing, I just wanted to die.”

But Fury revealed how the thought of leaving behind his wife and children made him pull over.

With the help of a psychiatrist, Fury is back where he belongs, living a healthy life and fulfilling his ambitions.

Ending the interview in fighting spirits. Fury warned his upcoming opponent: “You’ve fought the Europeans and you’ve fought the Americans, but you’ve ain’t never fought the Gypsy King before!”

Fury’s response to his depression is a common one. The NHS state: “When life is getting them down, some people try to cope by drinking too much alcohol or taking drugs. This can result in a spiral of depression.

Cannabis can help you relax, but there’s evidence that it can also bring on depression, particularly in teenagers.

“Drowning your sorrows” with a drink is also not recommended. Alcohol is categorised as a “strong depressant”, which actually makes depression worse.”

To get help with depression or suicidal thoughts call Samaritans on 116 123 24 hours, 7 days a week or visit www.samaritans.org

There are also many services available in our ‘find help‘ section on our homepage.

THUMPER – Going Through The Emotions

3 weeks ago   |   Words: Natalie Lorimer

The clue is pretty much in the name with THUMPER. Earning a reputation as one of Ireland’s most exciting live acts, the noise-pop quintet unleash a whirlwind of frenzied energy both live and in the studio. Combining the best bits of rock, pop, and grunge to create a sound in which howling feedback and pounding rhythm mix harmoniously with pop hooks, THUMPER are an exercise in unpredictability. We caught up with frontman, Oisin Furlong, to chat about the process of growth, The Blindboy Podcast, and mental health in the Irish music industry. 

What are you working on at the moment?

We just brought out a single called ‘(You’re Bringing Me) Down’ which is part of an EP we’re releasing in November called ‘Out of Body Auto-Message.’ The whole thing was produced by Dan Fox from Girl Band, and it’s a body of work we’re really proud of.

What has been your biggest life challenge so far and what did you do to overcome it?

Severe depression and anxiety hit me in my teens, and reared its head again in my early twenties. The public mental health sector in Ireland at the time was pretty threadbare but I did manage to get professional help and learn to unlearn negative thinking patterns. Overcoming issues with your mental health is more of a process than an event, but continued mindfulness has always been key for me.

What have you learned about yourself over the past five or so years?

When you’re younger, you think that there will come a moment at some point in your twenties when you arrive as a “grown up.” I guess the one thing I’ve learned over the last few years is that we are always in a perpetual state of growth, and that’s the way it’s going to be for a long time! I’m not the same person I was last month, let alone last year.

What would constitute a ‘perfect’ day for you?

Being with friends, creating something just for the sake of it (music, food, conversation), comfort in the familiar, excitement in something new.

For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

I feel so grateful that I latched on to music as an outlet so early on. It has given endless joy and direction to my life. I also feel truly grateful to have found so many like-minded souls to play music with.

What are you listening to, reading and watching at the moment?

I’m listening to records by Idles, Bodega & Kojaque on a fairly continuous rotation at the moment, and I’m currently switching between reading ‘And The Ass Saw The Angel’ by Nick Cave, and Carrie Brownstein’s autobiography ‘Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl.’

I also just finished the most recent season of Bojack Horseman, which is as hilarious as it is heartbreaking.

Complete this sentence: “Ace mental health for me means…”

Ace mental health doesn’t mean never feeling anxious or low. Ace mental health for me means not being overwhelmed by these feelings, and recognising that life is ups and downs, good times and bad.

What do you eat to stay healthy?

I stopped eating meat about three years ago, which helped a lot as I had to start paying attention to what I was putting in my body. It’s hard to stay healthy when you’re gigging or touring a lot, but when at home I do try to get a decent breakfast and eat plenty of fruit during the day. I have a bad habit of not eating anything all day and then stuffing my face at three in the morning, which I don’t advise.

Do you have a daily routine of exercise or do you make it up as you go along?

Does loading amps in and out of venues count? We were gigging so much during the summer that any semblance of an exercise routine fell apart, but I’ll get back on it for winter – promise!

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?

I wasn’t the most athletic kid, but I did win a school-wide basketball tournament when I was about ten. A proud moment for sure. I also remember being very invested in nailing the Cha Cha Slide, though I didn’t pursue dancing in any sort of professional capacity…

What three songs lift your spirits?

Chelsea Hotel Oral Sex Song – Jeffrey Lewis
All My Friends – LCD Soundsystem
God Only Knows – The Beach Boys

What is your favourite self-help book, or motivational quote?

I’ve never really responded to self-help books, or any kind of universal school of thought when it comes to mental health because I do believe everyone’s journey is unique, but I find it inspiring to hear individual stories of overcoming hard times.

The Blindboy Podcast is a great example of this, because he doesn’t prescribe any method but simply discusses his own journey to wellness, and what worked for him. I guess I empathised with his story because he’s also a performer (with the Rubber Bandits), and someone you would imagine is a massive extrovert, which couldn’t be further from the truth.  

What advice do you offer to friends when they are feeling overwhelmed?

Sometimes life is overwhelming, but making a point of noticing the good things you have is key to a balanced outlook. That said, emotions like grief and anger are sometimes healthy and normal reactions, so letting yourself feel these things and accepting them is sometimes the key to overcoming what life throws at you.

You recently played a show as part of the Hard Working Class Heroes showcase, which also featured a conference discussion on the importance of promoting good mental health within the Irish music industry. Would you like to see this topic more widely discussed by fellow musicians?

Increasingly the discussion on mental health in the music industry is coming to the fore in Ireland, which is great because even five years ago it wasn’t really talked about. It’s bizarre terrain to navigate as a performer because ultimately you have to balance the person you are offstage with the person who exists the rest of the time. Leaving a pound of flesh on stage after every gig can have its consequences if your mental health isn’t up to scratch. 

Lucy Spraggan – Going Through The Emotions

3 weeks ago   |   Words: Natalie Lorimer

Lucy Spraggan provided a breath of fresh air when she appeared on The X Factor in 2012, challenging the format with her unique brand of pop infused folk. Her songwriting helped her stand out amongst the years contestants, with songs ‘Last Night’ and ‘Tea and Toast’ finding humour and candid emotion in everyday scenarios. Now, with four albums behind her, Lucy continues to evolve her signature musical style and tours relentlessly to bring her songs to her loyal fanbase. We caught up with Lucy to chat about her new single which continues vital conversations about male suicide.

What are you listening to, reading and watching at the moment?

I am listening to Lana Del Rey – her ‘Born To Die’ album – because it’s iconic! I’m reading ‘Goodbye, Paris’ which is the American version of my mum’s newly published book, and I’m going to watch ‘A Star Is Born’ tomorrow as I’m in love with Lady Gaga.

What has been your biggest life challenge so far and what did you do to overcome it?

I think at my darkest time in life I really struggled with my own thoughts. I got into a pretty terrible place and really had to pull myself out of it. The first part of that was letting my friends and family know how I was feeling – that was a pretty hard moment, but I was so much better for it.

Your new single ‘Stick The Kettle On’ was written in support of charity CALM to raise awareness of male suicide. What do you think are the pressures on young men?

There are too many pressures to list. Guys are expected to be this macho, indestructible superhero from pretty much late childhood ‘til the rest of time. Men are seen as providers, which isn’t always the case. They are pressured to look a certain way, to feel certain things, to be a certain sexuality, to not talk about their feelings in case they seem “weak.”

What help do you feel is out there?

There is help down many different avenues, but I know firsthand that reaching out to take that help is incredibly hard. At my lowest time I saw text services, phone numbers, email and online help but just couldn’t bring myself to go there. Looking back I’m not sure why I felt like that. There are so many important helplines and charities that are doing amazing things, I just feel like we need to normalise using them a bit more.

What have you learned about yourself over the past five or so years?

My best asset is my perseverance.

What would constitute a perfect day for you?

My wife, my dog, some autumnal weather, and our VW camper. Probably somewhere we could see the sea.

For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

Being and feeling alive.

Complete this sentence: “Ace mental health for me means…”

Ace mental health for me means that everything else will come naturally.

What do you eat to stay healthy?

Fruit and vegetables, fresh fish… Cakes, scones, chocolate…

Do you have a daily routine of exercise or do you make it up as you go along?

I use a little timer app and rotate through several exercises. I find it useful to have a countdown as I lose interest quickly!

Here at The Mind Map we remember playing football and ‘tag’ – running around the playground every day and loving it – can you share a similar memory?

We used to run the cold tap and see who could keep their hand under it the longest. Weirdos.

What three songs lift your spirits?

Delicate – Taylor Swift

American Pie – Don McLean

There’s a Guy Works Down The Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis – Kirsty MacColl

What is your favourite self-help book, or motivational quote?

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars” by Oscar Wilde.

What advice do you offer to friends when they are feeling overwhelmed?

Take a break, find someone you trust, sit down and have a chat. You never know what might come out.

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