DiscoverSound Affects Podcast: Music & Mental Health, with Katy Georgiou
Sound Affects Podcast: Music & Mental Health, with Katy Georgiou
Claim Ownership

Sound Affects Podcast: Music & Mental Health, with Katy Georgiou

Author: Katerina Georgiou

Subscribed: 30Played: 209


Welcome to Sound Affects Podcast – featured in NME's Podcasts for the People series. A music & mental health podcast exploring all crossovers between music and mental health: how music and sounds affect us somatically and psychologically, the songs that see us through, what drives people to music careers/a life on the road, the music industry climate, music therapy as support for mental illness, music fandom, music journalism and research in all these crossovers. I speak to well-known musicians and figures, experts, therapists, academics, researchers, authors, journalists, charities, and music fans. Each episode is an interview with a guest centred around a specific theme of music and mental health.

Sound Affects is produced, edited and hosted by me, Katerina – a qualified counsellor and psychotherapist working professionally in both the NHS and private practice. I'm also a freelance sub-editor and writer published in The Independent, The Guardian, The Times and Wellcome Collection. Before becoming a therapist, I was a Samaritan helpline listener supporting people struggling to cope with suicidal feelings, and I worked full time as a copywriter and editor for Samaritans during the time of the charity's male suicide research launch. I've worked in magazine and newspaper publishing for many years and spent a lot of time during this time speaking to musicians and creative people.

The idea for Sound Affects came while writing about and interviewing bands – I noticed a theme emerging around existential identity and just how sad some of the so-called "rock n roll" stories of excess were. I was also aware of just how much music impacts me, and in particular, specific bands and sounds. It is no secret that I'm a huge Oasis fan, and this theme features regularly in this podcast as alongside my interviews, I occasionally pause to reflect and consider what draws me to this music and how it has shaped me. When I trained as a psychotherapist, I drew together all my interests, culminating in this podcast. I often see musicians as clients for therapy, and I routinely appear in the press and radio commenting on various aspects of therapy and emotional health. I've been a guest on BBC Radio, and appeared in OK! Magazine, Psychologies, Stylist, Grazia, The Independent and more.
18 Episodes
James McMahon was Features Editor of NME in the early 2000s, and the Editor of Kerrang 2011-2017. He now freelances, writing about music, gaming and mental health.  We discuss life at NME and Kerrang, the merits of music journalism as an endeavour, the chaotic lifestyle of journalism, what it means to be a music fan, and James's lifelong struggles with OCD which ultimately led him to leave Kerrang and re-evaluate his life. Photo Credit: Tom Oxley For more on James and his projects: Website: His OCD Chronicles, where he interviews peoples with OCD: Indie Heaven, where he tracks down childhood indie heros: For support with OCD: OCD Action helpline: 08453906232 To find a support group: OCD Stories (stories and podcasts on OCD): To find a therapist trained in working with OCD: More info and advice: Mind: Mad Covid: Order of episode: Intro, and explanation of OCD, intrusive thoughts and images: 0.00–19.30 Rage Against The Machine, Know Your Enemy: 0.21 The Doors, Love Me Two Times: 2.33 Nirvana, Polly: 5.55 Morphine, Shame: 8.55 NGHFB, Alone on the Rope: 11.20 Interview with James: 19.30–1.56.59 Morphine, Cure for Pain: 1.29.10 Interview with James ends: 1.56.59 Sub-Pop Sundays, You Amaze Me: 1.56.60 Outro, support and contact info: 1.57.56 Follow Sound Affects Podcast: Twitter @SoundAffectsPod Facebook @SoundAffectsPod Instagram sound_affects_podcast Email Subscribe to Sound Affects on iTunes/Apple podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and all preferred platforms Support Sound Affects Podcast
Jonathan Antoine was a finalist in 2012 Britain's Got Talent, and has since gone on to release 5 studio albums and a Christmas album Christmasland out now. Twitter @jonantoine Christmasland album out now 5th Studio album Going the Distance also out now Follow Sound Affects Podcast: @SoundAffectsPod (Twitter and Facebook) sound_affects_podcast (Instagram) Email
Welcome back to Sound Affects podcast, after a long hiatus during which time we've been in a 6-month lockdown/post-lockdown pandemic. In this episode, I speak to Steve Lamacq, aka Lammo – BBC radio DJ for BBC 6 Music, former NME journalist and co-host of BBC Radio 1 Evening Session with Jo Whiley, founder of Deceptive Records (Elastica, Placebo, Idelwild), and author of Going Deaf for a Living. He famously interviewed Richey Edwards of Manic Street Preachers in the early 90s, resulting in one of the most iconic and sobering NME images of all time. I wanted to speak to Steve in more depth about this experience and other complex encounters that he documents in his book. IDLES, who we discuss in this episode, will be performing on Steve’s BBC Radio 6 show today, Monday 5th October. If you miss it, you can catch up for 30 days on BBC Sounds: As ever, please leave comments below, reviews on iTunes/Apple Pod, or follow Sound Affects on Twitter/Facebook @SoundAffectsPod and Instagram @sound_affects_podcast. Email I love hearing from you! WARNING: This episode explores self-harm. Please see links below for support and help with self harm/injury:   Link to Going Deaf for a Living by Steve Lamacq:   Thank you for all of your support.
In Part 2 of Episode 13 with Marianne Rizkallah, she talks more about music therapy, her role as Director of North London Music Therapy, plus I visit her in her home where I discover she is a member of Crouch End Festival Chorus, through which she toured with Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds in 2015. This leads us to a discussion about her experiences on that tour, and we explore the transcendental nature of music and how this affects us. Finally, we look at Marianne's work as a singing teacher, and her work with music therapy and autism. Follow Marianne and British Association for Music Therapy on Twitter: For music therapy sessions with Marianne, visit For more on Guildhall School of Music and Drama, visit  
In Part 1 of episode 13, I speak to music therapist Marianne Rizkallah about her role as vice chair of BAMT,  her work with the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, her journey into music therapy and how music therapy works, particularly with refugees and survivors of trafficking, war conflict and other traumatic and sexual abuse. She gives me a sample music therapy session to exemplify how it works, and discusses her various other roles as a choir member and cantor, exploring links between her own therapy and psychoanalysis with confession. Follow Marianne and British Association for Music Therapy on Twitter: For music therapy sessions with Marianne, visit For more on Guildhall School of Music and Drama, visit  
When Jess Greenfield got a call to say she was joining Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, she was obviously delighted. She was also pregnant in a long-term relationship (now husband) with Gav Condor. Faced with the choice of motherhood or a successful career, Jess was confronted with a painful dilemma that many women find themselves in in their 30s. In a male-heavy music industry climate, this dilemma is magnified where the support structures for women to have children and maintain careers as touring musicians are not adequately in place. Jess and Gav explore what choice they eventually made, and the impact of it on their marriage and individual self-esteem. They also speak candidly about their relationship as the musical duo The Kondoors – the ups and downs they’ve faced and how their romantic, marital journey gets mapped onto that. Disclaimer: I do not own any music used in this podcast. It is used for discussion purposes under fair use law. Support and advice provided below. Music – The Kondoors, 'Forgiveness' The Kondoors   Jess Greenfield on Twitter and Instagram   Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds:   For support and advice, see below:   Help Musicians UK: The Music Industry Therapists and Coaches (Formerly the Music Industry Therapist Collective): Tavistock Relationship counselling: Abortion support and advice for men and women:
Drummer Mark Richardson joined Skunk Anansie in 1995, re-uniting with the band in 2009 after a long stint in Feeder 2001-2009. He talks about his addiction struggles that led him to co-found the charity Music Support for anyone in industry experiencing emotional difficulties. We also discuss his experiences in Little Angels, Feeder and joining Skunk Anansie; race and gender; the generational trauma that led to his drug addiction; male identity, suicide and colleagues who took their own lives. Disclaimer: I do not own any music used in this podcast. It is used for discussion purposes under fair use law. Music Support: Skunk Anansie: Follow Sound Affects on Twitter and Facebook: @soundaffectspod Follow Sound Affects on Instagram: sound_affects_podcast Subscribe to Sound Affects on Apple Podcasts and Spotify: As ever, please leave a review on Apple Podcast, comment here, join me over on social media, or email
What is the definition of 'sane'? Bez would like to know. I interviewed Bez in Manchester this month amidst Happy Mondays' UK reunion tour. You can still get your tickets here: Please be aware, this is not an interview with an academic or professional so please don't expect that. It's an interview with Bez who has his own point of views about mental health. These are his views and you may or may not agree with them. I'm really fascinated by the way he thinks and this is an opportunity to understand how his mind works.  In this episode, we talk about: fatherhood, his childhood, what it was like for him being homeless and in prison, his relationship to drugs, the time he nearly died of MRSA, his thoughts about what it means to be sane, as well as how he feels about what people think of him. It's an alternative point of view and I was really curious to understand where he gets his views from. Please excuse the sound quality, I was recording in a cafe, the sound isn't perfect as there's a lot of background noise. I hope you enjoy this episode. Brace yourselves...
James of Oasis Pod talks to me through his life story through music
I speak to Kat and Rob from Fife band Pilgrims – after spending years feeling disillusioned with their music careers, the Scottish duo joined forces and found meaning in their work again by campaigning for their love of animals through song. In this candid interview, they share their histories with depression, loss and grief, and the power in music to heal and tell important stories. WARNING: This episode explores topics of grief and suicidal feelings – please use links below for support Follow Kat, Rob and Pilgrims on Facebook and Twitter: Find their albums on: Wilderness: Tundra: Helplines, Counselling and Support For grief, bereavement and loss: Cruse: For depression or suicidal feelings: Samaritans: 116 123 or Papyrus: Maytree: CALM:  Other useful helplines and avenues of support: Time to Change: Mind: Specific support for musicians: Help Musicians: Bapam: Music Support To find a therapist visit: BACP: UKCP: NHS Counselling:
In the early 2000s – post-Britpop – an influx of indie bands emerged, beginning with New York based The Strokes. This paved the way for the Hives, The Vines, The Soundtrack of our Lives, and then a host of British bands – the most popular of all of them, The Libertines, as fronted by Pete Doherty and Carl Barat. Around 2003/4, following Pete and Carl's falling out in relation to drug abuse, Pete formed side project Babyshambles, which took off in its own right. After a turbulent start with drummer Gemma leaving the band, Adam Ficek – previously a musician in the band The White Sport – was brought on board as Babyshambles' drummer. My overriding memory of these early 2000s years was the extent to which drug use and litigious activity by rock stars were getting equal prominence in the press (if not more) as the music itself. While Britpop spread a message of invincibility, togetherness and youth, there seemed to be darker, sinister undertones connected to the drug culture around the 2000s bands which, for me, started to become synonymous with that time and which led to a noticeable isolation, separation and exclusivity within the indie music scene, spilling out into the behaviour and attitudes of the public fan base. I observed this shift acutely while at university when I was working a part-time job in a ticket box office of an indie club in my late teens. I really wondered about this phenomenon and welcomed the opportunity to speak to Adam Ficek of Babyshambles who was in his musical ascendancy around this time.  On speaking to Adam, I became fascinated by his trajectory into the psychotherapeutic world after experiences with Babyshambles. I was keen to hear about his own understanding of how his turbulent upbringing led to deep emotional wounds that got re-triggered within the rock music industry climate of the time. We talk about that upbringing, his lifestyle on the road within Babyshambles, his exit from the band and subsequent healing process that led him to a new music journey and academic career in music psychology and psychotherapeutic practice. We also explore Adam's interest in the way sound production affects us emotionally.  Helplines and support listed below (hover over text for hyperlinks). Follow Sound Affects Podcast: Twitter: @soundaffectspod  Facebook: @soundaffectspod Instagram: sound_affects_podcast Contact Sound Affects Podcast: Subscribe to Apple Podcasts: Download on Spotify: Episode breakdown: Intro 0.00–0.20 Babyshambles, 'Killamanjaro' Live at S.E.C.C. 0.20–0.38 Adam Ficek, 'Sun' 0.38–1.40 Intro to Adam 1.40–1.02.25 Interview with Adam Ficek 52.35 Adam Ficek, 'Interlude' 1.02.24–1.03.43 Adam Ficek, 'Sun' 1.03.43–1.06.58 Signposting, helpline support and guidance for getting therapy 1.06.58 Listener feedback from David Walker and news 1.07.38 Outro 1.07.41 Babyshambles, Killamanjaro Live at S.E.C.C. Contact Adam: Adam Ficek: @adamficek, @musicandminduk, @amusiciansmind, Support, helplines and guidance mentioned in this episode: Helplines and charity support: Samaritans, CALM, Music Minds Matter, Help Musicians UK, Mind, Cruse Accessing therapy: IAPT, Mind, or visit GP Private therapy directories: Counselling Directory, BACP, UCKP, Welldoing Additional support: 1 North East, Music Support, Help for drug addiction
Music industry exec Alan McGee has witnessed the moving tide of the music industry over the last 30 years. Given that he's worked with some of the most notorious rock stars in history – including Bobby Gillespie, Liam Gallagher, Pete Doherty and Shaun Ryder – I was curious to know what cumulative mental health impact this has all had on him over time. His stories of drugs and excess are often passed with humour and anecdotal charm, but dig deeper, and I'm in touch with a haunting tale beneath – a world of self-harm, heroine, overdoses and childhood abuse. I wanted to pause with Alan for a moment to reflect on some of these specific moments in time, from his own unique perspective. There’s a clear sense of humour in his narration, and you’ll catch glimpses of Alan’s life and charm as people weave in and out of this interview to say hello to him at different moments. You get a sense of his warmth and amenability, wisdom and compassion. There are times when the interview really makes me laugh – it's a beautiful, sunny day, a wasp nearly stings my face, bands are rehearsing all around us, and Alan extols the virtues of his new healthy diet of fish and veg. It makes for a chaotic backdrop, which I love for its quirkiness and melancholy rolled into one. I’ve left in some of these glitches and blips to add to the sentiment behind this episode: that sometimes, the crossover between glam and grim is a really fine line. (0–2.47) Intro  (0.01–0.56) Primal Scream, Higher Than The Sun   (2.47) Biff Bang Pow, She Haunts   (2.47–38.05) Interview with Alan McGee  (38.05) Biff Bang Pow, She Haunts  Support, helplines and therapy One North East London – specialist counselling, advice and workshops for friends and family of those affected by addiction, as well as for those suffering addiction of any kind themselves. Music Minds Matter – Helpline for musicians looking for support Samaritans – Anonymous, free, emotional support helpline for anybody feeling suicidal or struggling to cope CALM – Support and advice for men struggling with their mental health or suicidal feelings Adfam – A list of helpful organisations dealing with issues around family, drugs and alcohol Frank – For local drug treatment services To access free counselling via the NHS, follow these links Click here or here to find private therapy from insured, registered bonafide therapists For urgent help, visit    
In this episode, drummer Paul Costello of Primitive Machine explains what it's like to be a blind musician and we discuss the added dynamic of being in a relationship with a fellow band member (in Paul's case, with the band's lead singer/songwriter Tracy). Primitive Machine: Twitter: @PrimMachine Songs in order: Primitive Machine, 'BoogeyMan' Primitive Machine, 'Primitive Machine' Nine Inch Nails, 'Head Like a Hole' Primitive Machine, 'Primal' Primitive Machine, 'FreeFall' Interview with Paul Costello begins at 0.44 and ends at 54.50 NB, my appearance on Alan McGee's Boogaloo Radio about mental health in the rock n roll industry as mentioned at the end of this episode can be found here (interview begins 58 mins): Follow Sound Affects: Twitter: @SoundAffectsPod Facebook: @SoundAffectsPod Instagram: sound_affects_podcast Or email  
In this episode, I speak to psychotherapist John Bassett from MITC (Music Industry Therapist Collective). All therapists in MITC began with fruitful careers within the music industry before retraining in therapy. They worked for record labels, in artist and tour management, A&R, or, as in the case of John, as sales and marketing reps for labels and music companies. They have first-hand, lived experience of the environment, and are now using that knowledge to educate, offer support and guidance, and cross-refer anyone in need of help. John and I explore the endemic culture within the industry perpetuating conditions for poor mental health, what music industry life was like in the 90s when he was involved, how songs of the time still trigger John physically, the impact of the industry on men compared to women and much more. Important websites and contact details: MITC: @MITCollective CALM: Samaritans: Mind: Help Musicians UK: Music Minds Matter: Music Support: BAPAM: Follow Sound Affects: Twitter @soundaffectspod Facebook: @soundaffectspod Insta: soundaffectspodcast Email Sound Affects:
In this epsiode, I visit a high-security psychiatric hospital in London to talk to a music therapist Phil Clarke about how music therapy works for people experiencing psychosis. We also discuss Phil's background as a drummer to former rock band The Lipstick Melodies/Tourniquet which disbanded under tragic circumstances following the death of the lead singer, leaving a profound impact on Phil and his bandmates. We talk through Phil Clarke's own personal journey from musician to therapist.
The rock n roll romance. Sex, drugs, rock n roll. A common thread running through a rock star's narrative is emphasis on the drugs, the mayhem, the madness. We instinctively laugh along. You can hear it happen in this episode. But is it funny?
Caution: This episode discusses experiences with chemotherapy and the emotional effect of PTSD post recovery. Brandon is very open and explicit about the hardships of cancer. I have added a list of helplines and links beneath the episode. You may have already heard Brandon speak on the Oasis podcast. This time, he talks about how his fandom of bands like Oasis and The Beatles instilled in him a positive mindset attitude which he felt contributed to his recovery from cancer. It’s an interesting discussion that takes us from his sense of identity as a musician before and after his diagnosis; the power of positive music and how he draws on that positivity for his rock n roll studio album fundraiser. There is a point where my voice levels become very faint and you can barely hear me – I apologise about that and will try to fix it but you can still hear Brandon clearly though which is all that matters. Brandon Arend is the lead singer, songwriter and guitarist of The Band Delta @thebanddelta. To donate to the Livestrong campaign, visit To hear Brandon's interview with Oasis Podcast, visit Support and advice: Testicular Cancer Awareness: Testicular Cancer Awareness month: April Cancer Research: Macmillan:    
Tom Bellamy is the producer, songwriter and guitarist for the band Losers and the former guitarist and multi-instrumentalist of The Cooper Temple Clause. Caution: This episode contains occasional high-pitched sounds to demonstrate tinnitus (beginning around 6 mins 20 secs) Tom Bellamy/Losers – @losersuk (Facebook & Twitter), Advice, support and helplines: British Tinnitus Association –, 0800 018 0527 Tinnitus Awareness Week – 5-11 February 2018 CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), dedicated to preventing male suicide –, 0800 58 58 58, (London) 0800 802 5858  Samaritans –,, 116 123 Mind –, 0300 123 3393 Music Minds Matter – 24/7 support line for musicians: 0808 802 8008 Tom's article about suffering with tinnitus on Noisey, March 2016: Order of discussion and music: 0.0 Intro 0.5 Sound effects: guitar strum and pencil scribble, 0.15 Filmmaker, The Cooper Temple Clause 0.26 Let's Kill Music, The Cooper Temple Clause 0.32 Introduction to what's coming up in the episode 4.52 Explanation of tinnitus 5.06 What tinnitus sounds like: 10.30 Interview begins with Tom Bellamy 10.30 Did You Miss Me?, The Cooper Temple Clause 18.58 Red Hot Chilli Peppers, live at Reading festival 1994 27.30 A.I.M Live, The Cooper Temple Clause 33.06 The Cooper Temple Clause spontaneous jam of The Devil Walks in the Sand, interview with Supersweet 2004: 34.51 The Cooper Temple Clause, The Devil Walks in the Sand 41.21 STV interview: 41.42 Ask The Cooper Temple Clause interview with Supersweet, 2004: 42.43 STV interview: 42.52 Interview with Zane Lowe, MTV 5 Night Stand 2002: 48.32 Murder Song, The Cooper Temple Clause 51.43 Pearl Jam, Alive 54.00 Acrobatica, Losers 59.55 Mogwai, Live at Pitchfork Music Festival, Paris 2014: 1.16.35 Comfortably Numb, Pink Floyd 1.18.40 Good Enough, Dodgy 1.19.30 Ain't Got No Life, Nina Simone 1:34:50 End of interview 1:34.50 Written Apology, The Cooper Temple Clause 1.35.23 Support, advice, signposting and information 1.38.44 Outro
Download from Google Play
Download from App Store