…and every woman you perceive to be perfect hates themselves anyway. Millie Manders explores the impossible beauty standards we face, and how that affects her as an artist.
Guest article written by the marvellous Millie Manders, of Millie Manders & The Shut Up Fame. This is part of our #MentallySound series, exploring mental health in music. Trigger warning: eating disorders, body dysmorphia.
Perfect women are imperfect and every woman you perceive to be perfect hates themselves anyway
I hate myself. I’m not perfect. I am very, very imperfect and I hate myself. And seeing as I have been given the honour of this platform to share about mental health, I want to get right to the bones of something people are petrified of truly admitting is a problem.
I believe, as a musician who gets to do some of the coolest things ever, I should be helping people to see through the lies we are sold and to love themselves better. And I really do try to do that.
I teach young impressionable students at a music college, a huge proportion of whom have body image issues and other anxieties that I talk to them about. I share good practise and self-love resources with them and signpost them to other sites/forums/centres wherever I can, to help them be more positive and kind towards themselves.
The problem is that I feel guilty for it. I feel like a fraud. I have bought into those same lies for as long as I can remember and I punish myself every day. Continue reading “Perfect Women Are Imperfect”
Five women are standing against Jonny ‘Itch’ Fox in defamation case he’s raised for speaking up against his behaviour and actions. Guest writer Em Johnson explains the importance of our solidarity with those women.
Guest article written by Em Johnson.
Do you know what bores me? The left fighting the left.
Why do we burn our calories about Corbyn vs Blair and then sleepwalk into a Boris Johnson cavity of hell?
Why do punk kids bicker between themselves about sub-genres when the entire concept of ‘influencers’ has been allowed to become a thing?
Why do vegans turn on each other about honey and palm oil in Facebook wormholes when corporations are burning the planet?
This week The Guardian brought to public attention the defamation claim brought against five women by Jonny ‘Itch’ Fox of The King Blues, a band who were the darlings of the punk scene soon after their formation in 2004, but latterly shunned by many due to persistent rumours about Itch’s behaviour and character – often in relation to women. Five women now stand accused of a ‘persistent campaign of harassment’. Continue reading “Solidarity Not Silence: We Must Win”
Pre-Gig Anxiety: made worse by day jobs, traffic, hunger, other people or flaming Volkswagens. Lucias Malcolm gives us an amusing account of a problem every band will be all too familiar with.
Article by Lucias Malcolm, vocalist/guitarist in Call Me Malcolm. This is part of our #MentallySound series, exploring mental health in music.
It’s 12:17 and a car is on fire.
Chris, our drummer, and I are on route to pick up our bassist Travs from the deepest, darkest wilds of west London. We are currently at a standstill on the A-something-or-other and the (thankfully) empty car next to us is on fire. Firefighters look on with the helplessly professional nonchalance of people that are sure, “Yes, that is definitely a fire.”
We’re due on stage in Stafford at 7:30, with a requested arrival time of an hour before. When a promoter asks you to arrive at 6:30, you can extrapolate from that the options available to you:
- You need to arrive at 6:30
- 6:00 if you want to be in any danger of being invited back.
- 7:29 if you think you should actually be higher up the bill.
I am haunted by a teeny, tiny, soul crushing anxiety every waking minute, so I’ve plotted our arrival for 5pm. And even then, my anxiety thinks we’re cutting it fine. An atypical 3-way argument ensues whereby Chris insists everything will be fine, my anxiety scoffs, and I sit in the middle trying not to annoy either of them.
But it’s 12:17 and a car is on fire. Continue reading “Everything Is Probably Fine”
Lucias from Call Me Malcolm discusses the constant pressure of anxiety and panic that haunts him on stage.
Written by Lucias Malcolm, vocalist/guitarist in Call Me Malcolm. This is part of our #MentallySound series, exploring mental health in music.
We have a gig in less than an hour and there is a bear on stage.
I’ve been a musician for just shy of twenty years and an outwardly functioning human being for almost double that; functioning in the sense that in that time I’ve somewhat miraculously kept myself fed, watered and free from major scarring. I even tie my own shoe laces (though I do wonder if there’s a statute of limitation on this – I’ve been wearing the same Etnies for as long as I can remember and I’ve not re-tied the laces since day one). The point is, outwardly, as far as society is concerned, I function.
Inwardly it’s a different story. At current count there are thirty seven different warning lights flashing, smoke is billowing from several important looking dials and the rabbit that usually steers the ship lost the manual in 1996. The point is, I get anxious.
As I said, there is a very real, to me at least, bear on stage. Continue reading “There Is A Bear On Stage”
“DIY publishing is anyone who has ever taken an idea and made it a reality.” Martin Appleby shares a love of punk fanzines and independent publishing.
Guest article written by Martin Appleby. Martin is a Hastings-based poet and writer, and the founder of Paper & Ink Literary Zine: a high-quality collection of fiction and poetry. Catch Martin performing at Manchester Punk Festival at 13:00 in The Thirsty Scholar.
Fanzines are as old as punk itself, and have always been an integral part of the scene, especially in pre-Internet times: an open and unbiased resource for spreading the word about new bands, albums and gigs. A cheap and easy format to make and distribute.
You may think that the format is now obsolete and unnecessary, what with the world wide web at everybody’s fingertips, but zines and zine culture is thriving, and the internet has not hampered that.
If anything, it can act as a formidable marketing tool for zine makers, now able to reach a far wider audience than they arguably could have ‘back in the day’ when zines were only shared at shows and amongst friends in their own scenes.
Many punk zines have come and gone over the years, but a personal favourite of mine, Lights Go Out, has been consistently putting issues out since 2008. I recently caught up with the dude who runs it, Mr T, and asked him about his zine:
“For me it’s an important part of the scene; it’s an honest opinion. It’s a way to find new bands for people and also for me, with the amount of stuff that comes in for the team to check out, I always hope that every record is going to be my new favourite. Continue reading “The Thriving Culture of DIY Publishing & Fanzines”
Ben (ex-Paper Champ/The 4130s) shares a personal story of how fear and anxiety have hindered his enjoyment of punk rock.
Guest post written by Ben Wiles, previously of Paper Champ & The 4130s. This is part of our #MentallySound series, discussing mental health in music.
Hi. I’m Ben and I’m an emetophobe! There, I said it.
Emetophobia is a fear of vomiting. I’ve been emetophobic for as far back as I can remember. I have no idea of the origins of this phobia and, if you are reading this thinking, “Woah, that’s a strange one,” you’d be right. I think the exact same thing; everyone throws up right?
Fuck – some people actively go out of their way to drink enough booze to puke every Friday. Fair play to them. I don’t drink. It’s not my bag. Over the years not drinking has had a big impact on being in a band and, by extension, being in a gig setting. I never wanted to be ‘that guy’ who was down on a party and stop my band mates enjoying themselves and getting wasted. But it was getting harder and harder to be around drunk people. Continue reading “Punk Rock, Anxiety, Phobias and Friendship”
Sober punk Jon Turner shares the story of Petrol Bastard, and why you don’t need to be drunk to be punk.
Guest article by Jonathan Turner, chief of the excellent SoberPunks blog. This is part of our #MentallySound series, discussing mental health in music.
Somewhere back in August 2015 there was a standard weekend happening for me. Standard in that it had become the norm ever since the birth of Petrol Bastard in a Huddersfield pub in 2012; a crazy techno-punk band borne of a manifesto drunkenly written up between me and my bandmate Ben:
- Fast music only
- Live recordings only
- Repetitive lyrics so they’re easy to learn
- Tons of swearing
- Never write or record sober
- Never gig sober
- Never do anything sober
We both enjoyed some pretty hardcore drinking already, but this new set of rules made boozing the absolute centre of everything we did as a band. This was gunna be a crazy ride; a band BY the drinkers, FOR the drinkers. Songs about being drunk, written whilst drunk, and performed whilst drunk. WE ARE PROFESSIONAL ARTISTS AND WE REQUIRE BOOZE TO OPERATE. Continue reading “Booze, Music & Saving Your Sanity”