DiscoverSound Affects: Music & Mental Health
Sound Affects: Music & Mental Health
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Sound Affects: Music & Mental Health

Author: Katy Georgiou

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Music & Mental Health podcast by qualified counsellor and music writer Katy Georgiou – from the songs that get people through, to the psychology behind why people join bands through to the unique mental health issues prevalent within the music industry.
8 Episodes
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: @soundaffectspodInstagram: sound_affects_podcastContact Sound Affects Podcast:soundaffectspodcast@gmail.comSubscribe to Apple Podcasts: on Spotify: breakdown:Intro0.00–0.20 Babyshambles, 'Killamanjaro' Live at S.E.C.C.0.20–0.38 Adam Ficek, 'Sun'0.38–1.40 Intro to Adam1.40–1.02.25 Interview with Adam Ficek52.35 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 therapy1.06.58 Listener feedback from David Walker and news1.07.38 Outro1.07.41 Babyshambles, Killamanjaro Live at S.E.C.C.Contact Adam:Adam Ficek: @adamficek, @musicandminduk, @amusiciansmind,, helplines and guidance mentioned in this episode:Helplines and charity support: Samaritans, CALM, Music Minds Matter, Help Musicians UK, Mind, CruseAccessing therapy: IAPT, Mind, or visit GPPrivate therapy directories: Counselling Directory, BACP, UCKP, WelldoingAdditional support:1 North East, Music Support, Help for drug addiction
Episode 6: Alan McGee

Episode 6: Alan McGee


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 therapyOne 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 supportSamaritans – Anonymous, free, emotional support helpline for anybody feeling suicidal or struggling to copeCALM – Support and advice for men struggling with their mental health or suicidal feelingsAdfam – A list of helpful organisations dealing with issues around family, drugs and alcoholFrank – For local drug treatment servicesTo access free counselling via the NHS, follow these linksClick here or here to find private therapy from insured, registered bonafide therapistsFor 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: @PrimMachineSongs 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 54.50NB, 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): Sound Affects:Twitter: @SoundAffectsPodFacebook: @SoundAffectsPodInstagram: sound_affects_podcastOr 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: @MITCollectiveCALM: Musicians UK: Minds Matter: Support: Sound Affects:Twitter @soundaffectspodFacebook: @soundaffectspodInsta: soundaffectspodcastEmail Sound
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.
Interlude: are we 4 Real?

Interlude: are we 4 Real?


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 hear Brandon's interview with Oasis Podcast, visit and advice:Testicular Cancer Awareness: Cancer Awareness month: AprilCancer Research: www.cancerresearchuk.orgMacmillan:  
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),, support and helplines:British Tinnitus Association –, 0800 018 0527Tinnitus Awareness Week – 5-11 February 2018CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), dedicated to preventing male suicide –, 0800 58 58 58, (London) 0800 802 5858 Samaritans –,, 116 123Mind –, 0300 123 3393Music Minds Matter – 24/7 support line for musicians: 0808 802 8008Tom's article about suffering with tinnitus on Noisey, March 2016: of discussion and music:0.0 Intro0.5 Sound effects: guitar strum and pencil scribble, Filmmaker, The Cooper Temple Clause0.26 Let's Kill Music, The Cooper Temple Clause0.32 Introduction to what's coming up in the episode4.52 Explanation of tinnitus5.06 What tinnitus sounds like: Interview begins with Tom Bellamy10.30 Did You Miss Me?, The Cooper Temple Clause18.58 Red Hot Chilli Peppers, live at Reading festival 199427.30 A.I.M Live, The Cooper Temple Clause33.06 The Cooper Temple Clause spontaneous jam of The Devil Walks in the Sand, interview with Supersweet 2004: The Cooper Temple Clause, The Devil Walks in the Sand41.21 STV interview: Ask The Cooper Temple Clause interview with Supersweet, 2004: STV interview: Interview with Zane Lowe, MTV 5 Night Stand 2002: Murder Song, The Cooper Temple Clause51.43 Pearl Jam, Alive54.00 Acrobatica, Losers59.55 Mogwai, Live at Pitchfork Music Festival, Paris 2014: Comfortably Numb, Pink Floyd1.18.40 Good Enough, Dodgy1.19.30 Ain't Got No Life, Nina Simone1:34:50 End of interview1:34.50 Written Apology, The Cooper Temple Clause1.35.23 Support, advice, signposting and information1.38.44 Outro
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