“Just talk about everything – being as open as you possibly can be absolutely saves lives”
Formed in 2017 Pale Rider are still in their infancy but have blasted onto the North West music scene with ‘wild oceanic performances’.
The band bonded over a love of The Stooges’ Fun House, The Black Angels and wild space-rock. Their debut single I Run on Rain was recorded at the infamous Parr Street Studios and promises to take you on a fuzz-fuelled trip of rock and roll magik. We caught up with lead guitarist Fran Codman for Going Through The Emotions…
Hello Fran, what are you working on at the moment?
At the minute band-wise we’ve been really busy on the gig front and not had too much time to be all together writing in the practice room so I’ve been trying to get as much done at home as I possibly can, when I’m not in work at least!
What are you listening to, reading and watching at the moment?
I can’t remember the last time I had enough spare time to read a good book to be honest! TV-wise I’m totally gripped by Westworld, and I recently started rewatching Treme which seemed to pass a lot of people by at the time – it’s a show about New Orleans post-Katrina and the music in it is absolutely phenomenal. Musically I’ve had Bowie’s Hunky Dory on repeat for about the past month, it’s probably my all-time favourite record and basically functions as my ‘happy place’ when I’m having a hard time mentally. Dylan’s Blood On the Tracks as well, which is another old favourite that I’ve recently become obsessed with again.
What has been your biggest life challenge so far and what did you do to overcome it?
I’ve had a few to be honest, it’s been a bit of an odd ride so far – when I was 3 I lost my Mum to a brain aneurism, I think I was a pretty happy kid considering that but as I got older it really started to affect me – I developed a sort of bitterness that manifested in some pretty nasty ways when I was in my late teens and into my early twenties, I spent a lot of time lashing out at people who were clearly just trying to love me but I didn’t really know how to let them. As I moved further into my twenties my mental health really started to spiral, I was massively depressed and crippled by anxiety for a long time. I’m 28 now and truth be told it’s probably taken me until now to really appreciate my support network and the fact that those people are the main reason I’m still here. The same issues still reoccur a lot to this day but I feel much better equipped to deal with them now.
What would constitute a ‘perfect’ day for you?
I’m a pretty boring fella really, probably a nice Sunny day, get up early and feed the cat and listen to a boss record with some coffee and then spend the day with my good mates having a pint and arguing over what’s the best Captain Beefheart album or something – then wake up the next day with a banging hangover and do the exact same again!
For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
My Auntie, who’s my Mum’s sister and has always been the most important person in my life – when my Mum passed away she took me in and brought me up, and she always taught me to be as open as possible about my feelings which is definitely the most important lesson I’ve learnt in my life. I actually feel quite lucky in a sense to lose my Mum and have another one, obviously a lot of people aren’t afforded that luxury. I wish I’d known how to appreciate how lucky I was when I was younger, I still carry quite a lot of guilt with me for the way I behaved for years when I was a teen but I’m trying my best to make amends for that now!
Complete this sentence: “Ace mental health for me means…”
A fresh start really I suppose! When you’re stuck in the depression cycle it’s really hard to see the positives in your life, or it always was for me at least – as I’ve progressed over the years into becoming more healthy I’ve taught myself to appreciate all of the incredible friends and family that I spent so many years pushing away when I was unwell. I never thought I’d reach the point where I could consider myself a very lucky lad but I have now, and that makes me happier than anything.
What do you eat to stay healthy?
I’m not gonna lie, I’m really not a healthy eater, I usually eat one meal a day. I’ve recently gone veggie again so at least I might lose a bit of weight, so every cloud and all that.
Do you have a daily routine of exercise or do you make it up as you go along?
Mostly just sweating cobs running tables and shaking cocktails in work!
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?
Pretty much the same really – I was a massive fat get when I was a kid but we were always out playing togger in the street, or running around Aigburth Road playing manhunt.
What three songs lift your spirits?
Young Americans by Bowie – One of my favourite records and the title track is absolutely joyous!
Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad? by Prince – Prince is a major idol of mine and has been since I was a kid, and this is probably my favourite Prince tune. Really uplifting synth part and a cracker of a guitar solo.
Cowboy Song by Thin Lizzy – I couldn’t decide what to put for my last tune but I’m actually listening to Live & Dangerous as we speak so this is going in! Thin Lizzy were one of the first rock and roll bands I was into when I was a kid and Cowboy Song always reminds me of coming home from school and spending about 8 hours a day trying to learn my favourite riffs on my really nasty Stagg starter guitar.
What advice do you offer to friends when they are feeling overwhelmed?
Just talk about everything, even talk to a stranger or a councellor if you struggle to speak about your feelings to family or friends – being as open as you can possibly be absolutely saves lives. It’s hard to open up sometimes but trying to bottle things up will only ever make you more miserable in the long run.