It’s been a very long time since metal health struggles changed from being a taboo topic to talk about, to something that is openly shared by almost each and every one of us as a way to get help from others in similar circumstances and musicians have become a gateway for us to listen to their openly shared struggles and find hope and clarity through the words and music.
Cold Words from Melbourne (aka Regan Hughes) has jumped head first into the topical discussion with his latest offering Outcasts and to celebrate the new release, he’ll be hitting the stage to play a bunch of songs from it and you’re invited to head along and join in.
We grabbed the man behind the band to find out more about the EP’s inspiration and why he finds it refreshing to share his experiences with the world through his music…
Hey Regan, huge congrats and thank you for releasing ‘Outcasts’, the subject matter is important, delving into topics like depression and anxiety. Why was it important for you personally to get this song out?
As well as entertaining, I’m hoping that music like ours can help people. This band was created when I was at my lowest point in my life. During this time I felt very isolated, so we’re wanting to connect with people who feel or have felt the same. Loneliness is a killer, so if we can help alleviate the burden with music in any way, that’s a real achievement and the most important thing.
The song was inspired by your mother’s cancer treatment which she was undergoing during the writing process. How do you feel that situation helped you grow as a person and what can people in similar situations take from the song to help them get through?
I found writing the lyrics for this song to be very cathartic. I learned that taking the thoughts that are caught up with the noise in my head and putting them on to paper can really help with processing the emotions behind them. But if I was to share some advice from that time, it would be that worrying only makes you suffer through the same event twice.
Yes it’s smart to prepare for the worst but you have to hope for the best, stay positive and enjoy the good moments. My mother’s body will never be the same, as she did have very invasive surgery but it was also very successful and I’m happy to announce that she recently got given the “all clear” on her follow up tests.
There’s no use in worrying about the things in life that we can’t control.
That’s great news to hear about your Mum mate. You’ve got a show coming up on November 22 at the Workers Club in Fitzroy, how hard is it to take a song like this from the recording studio, to the stage in front of a live audience?
‘Outcasts’ starts with 1 guitar riff but builds up significantly throughout the song. When we reach the chorus there are 5 different guitar parts, these immolate ‘strings’ or synths as well as traditional guitar parts. Live, we play to a click track with these layers pre-recorded. This means we can’t miss a beat but I feel it keeps the band tighter and gives the full album experience. Hiring several additional guitarists is just not feasible. Vocally, Outcasts’ is probably my favourite to sing. The vocals really drive the song and it just seems to sit nicely with my voice.
Your Outcasts release is out too, nine new songs, are they fairly similar in style to the title track?
I see the ‘Outcasts’ record more like one piece of music as opposed to 9 different songs. The 9 tracks include instrumentals and ambience that tie the 5 songs with vocals together. These 5 songs all distinctively sound like Cold Words but have a few different flavours on offer. As an example, ‘Cursed’ is a slow and venerable song where tracks like ‘Wake Me When I’m Dead’ and ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ have a lot more attitude. There’s actually a hidden 10th track that links the whole album in a perfect loop if you have it set on repeat.
On a lighter note, when you’re not playing music or writing hard-hitting, thought-provoking songs, what can we find you doing?
I really had to think about this, which outlined how much of a workaholic I am when it comes to music but in saying that, you might find me in a comic & collectables store picking up something for my The Simpsons Collection. I mainly have figurines and the likes, one of my favourite pieces being a green nuclear reactor lava lamp with Homer, Lenny and Carl standing around it. I actually have a The Simpsons tattoo taken from the episode “El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer (The Mysterious Voyage of Homer)” that covers my entire left leg from the knee down.
Simpson hey? Nice! And if we come along to a Cold Words show, what’s three things we should bring along with us to maximise the experience?
The first thing I’d suggest is that you bring is a friend who might be going through a hard time, could use some kind of emotional release or just needs to have some fun and forget about their woes for an evening.
Secondly, make sure you bring your loudest singing voices. Our songs are great to sing along to and singing also releases endorphins helping us feel good.
The last thing you should bring to a Cold Words show is some good weed. Let go.
hahaha sounds like a great night out.. Any final words?
I’d suggest everyone check out all 3 of our music videos: ‘Swimming Down’, ‘Wake Me When I’m Dead’ and ‘Outcasts’. All of them were made by Ben Wrigley from Third Eye Visuals (Parkway Drive, Thy Art is Murder, In Hearts Wake) and he is a total Wizard. These aren’t the standard performance clips, they offer a dark artistic depth that present a point of difference to most hyped up rock videos you see. He has an amazing ability to plot out a whole complicated shoot in his head that comes out exactly how he imagined and his work ethic is admirable. The imagery that goes with the music is very important to us and Ben managed to perfectly represent the Cold Words with his videos.
We’d also like to thank to Wall Of Sound for featuring the band.
You are not alone. We are the Outcasts.
Interview by Browny @brownypaul
If you or anyone you know needs help with their own mental well-being call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or find your closest Suicide Prevention/Crisis Support Organisation on Google…
Cold Words – Melbourne Show
November 22 at The Workers Club, Fitzroy