“I’m concerned I’m being way to heavy here.”
Picture a painted marquee housing Liverpool’s idiosyncratic creative community and that’s pretty much Strange Collective. As their name suggests, the band’s output extends far beyond their Ty Segal and Black Lips inspired garage rock. Led by the polymathic talents of Alex Wynne, the band are designers, promoters, poets and party planners. We caught up with Alex to discuss self esteem, being hard on yourself and childhood memories of ‘The Stick Game’.
What are you listening to, reading and watching at the moment?
As of very recently a lot of The Gories, The Dirtbombs, Bass Drum of Death, Thee Oh Sees, King Khan and The Shrines, The Black Lips. I’ve been getting myself into that lo-fi garage sound really heavily…some might say too heavily. I tried the second season of Westworld and just got bored of everyone speaking in riddles so turned it off. I need to read more full stop, something I’m very guilty of.
What has been your biggest life challenge so far and what did you do to overcome it?
Having low self esteem is something I definitely need to work on. Being super negative is also something I struggle with, if I’m being honest I think its something passed down through genetics. Glass half empty and all that. But ultimately I think I’ve been pretty lucky.
What have you learned about yourself over the past five or so years?
That I need to grow up and stop being so hard on my self, that’s a pretty hard question to answer as I feel like I haven’t learned much. I’m not sure if thats a good or bad thing. There are lots of things I would like to think I’ve developed and moved forward but the last five years have flew by and not given me much chance to sit and contemplate. Saying all this I can marginally play guitar little better….this may not be true.
What would constitute a ‘perfect’ day for you?
Just a quiet day to draw a little, to play my guitar maybe a few drinks and time with my fiancé and friends, a simple day no stress or expectation no plans. Just an open day where we make it up as we go, sunny but not roasting, being ginger effects this. Basically laugh and make my loved ones laugh, make a bit of music with the band, simple. bit deep that wasn’t it.
For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
Honestly the people around me and they how constantly deal with me and put up with my moaning. The people I don’t tell enough how much they mean to me. My fiancé for loving me and helping me as much as she does which will always be a mystery. My band who happen to be my best friends who I should tell them more how much they mean to me. My family. Without those people in my life, I would be nothing. I mean, I’m not trying to be horribly emotional they just do keep me going, despite me being a weirdo.
Complete this sentence: “Ace mental health for me means…”
A clear mind, with a smile on my face.
What do you eat to stay healthy?
Well as I’ve recently just started trying to lose weight and get fit it has dramatically changed and is more considered. I deal with some mental health issues and medical issues, so its a no brainer to eat better and make an effort. Unknowingly to me I’ve pretty much became vegetarian, its working for me and I actually feel better. Vegan maybe a bit much for me. As much as I respect it, I love cheese.
Do you have a daily routine of exercise or do you make it up as you go along?
Im annoyingly into routine almost OCD levels, I don’t know how deep you want me to go. Every day pretty much consists of a run or bike ride, the same breakfast, the same salad for my dinner with some rice and hummus, and we try to cook different things every night. Haha I can’t believe how much of a psycho or boring I sound right now.
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 was a weird kid I wasn’t into footy and stuff of the like even though I played, I just remember drawing with a few of my friends and making up monsters and robots, simple stuff. I think it was more the group mentality and being creative and being silly. That and a game we called “the stick game” played in Newsham Park in Kenny, the rules were subtle and nuanced…throw sticks at each other until some one has to stop, good times…good times.
What three songs lift your spirits?
Neil Young – Don’t Let It Bring You Down. I was going through a pretty weird time of intrusive thoughts and depression and anxiety an the words “don’t let it bring you down its only castles burning” just made me feel better and told me shit was gonna be okay.
The Beatles – Getting Better. Same reason as the last really, just over the last couple of years the song just let me know that I’m fine and gonna get better, the chorus makes me feel infinitely better every time I hear it.
Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band – I’m the Urban Spaceman. No deep meaning its just dead fun and my dad used to play it to me as a kid, just proper fun init.
What is your favourite self-help book, or motivational quote?
I think just reminding yourself that you’re good, is good. And breathing in, appreciating what you have. Im concerned I’m being way to heavy here haha.
What advice do you offer to friends when they are feeling overwhelmed?
Just to talk, talking helps you understand what the problem is, where the stress comes from. I find with me personally its like steam being let out thats built up. Honestly it is just to let them talk and to listen and try to understand.
Check out the third annual ‘Strange Collective All-Dayer’, taking place at Constellations on 11 August here.