As tensions rise during this pandemic, so does the mental health struggles individuals face across the country. While there are plenty of avenues for you to turn to, to vent, offload and get issues off your chest, many of our favourite musicians are turning to music as a means to express their own struggles and the end result, as we’ve seen so far, are some fo the most relatable and hard-hitting songs that have emerged over the past decade. While we are all for turning to music as an escape, we can’t stress this next fact enough – If you are struggling with your mental wellbeing, please seek help from professionals who are there 24/7 to support you during these times.
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…
One band who have a knack for producing music based upon turbulent times is Without Belief; conceived by frontman Ralph Brown and guitarist Jake Kershaw as an avenue release their inner emotions, the band quickly evolved following the release of their debut EP The Parting Gift and recently recruited Dimitris Moraitis (guitar), Jimmy Shoemark (drums) and Dimitrios Sotirakis (bass) to the fold. Together they’ve just release two very important songs, penned during the darkest hours of 2020.
We offered the floor to Ralph to take us through the process behind the release of these two tracks, but there is a very important Trigger Warning that needs to be mentioned: there are several discussions surrounding mental health issues like anxiety and depression and subjects such as suicidal thoughts and loss of loved ones throughout. It is a hard-hitting piece, but a raw and honest look inside the mind of a struggling human, baring his soul for the world to see through his music.
“When one has found themselves hopelessly lost in an unfamiliar place.”
That is the meaning of the word and a quick summary of what the song is. This was one of the first written after The Parting Gift era for Without Belief and was conceived during 2020 when all hope seemed lost and I was alone with my thoughts too much too often, and was wondering what the reality of things were and what was fake in my head and vision on a daily basis.
I felt like I was in a vicious never ending cycle of the same brutal and torturous groundhog day cycle of events with covid and lockdown getting the absolute best of me. I quickly came back to not only reflecting on the last 2 years of my life, but as well as wishing I had my Dad around to help snap me out of my spiralling depression and anxiety building nightmare I was living everyday. ‘Everlost’ as a song channels the emotions and dark approach to what people were thinking, feeling and how the mentality of someone can very quickly dip and how it can truly impact the human mind.
This song also channeled into how we were not able to perform shows and how the music industry was very quickly crumbling around us.
For the most part, this song was essentially the ‘Anger Pt. 2‘ and a reflection of The Parting Gift in where not only did I lose my Dad, but I lost a sense of reality and home and felt very lost. When 2020 rolled around with the lockdowns and the reality of being without friends and family for months, the only voice and clarity I truly needed and wanted, was my Dad to tell me it is going to be okay.
I was incredibly lucky I had patient friends and an amazing support group around me to help me get through each day as it came throughout the year. I cannot thank them enough. Because of their guidance, I was able to channel my hurt and anger into what was happening around us into this song and I’m very proud to share it with you today.
This song was conceived during the point of rage, this song was the eyes of it all, what hate, self loathing and hurt would be channeled into.
This experience was incredibly emotional – without beating around it, this was my suicide note from 2020. After feeling and experiencing everything I went through and channeled that into what is now known as ‘Everlost’, the song ‘19/08‘ was written musically by Jake Kershaw on the 19/08/2020 where he felt incredibly upset, hurt and angry and his emotions spilled into the instrumentals.
Alongside this, this was the final moment of giving up and throwing in the towel (in so many ways) for our mental health, our sense of security and everything we had fought for in our lives. All of that had been completely stripped away from us, leaving us wondering if there would ever be an end to our struggles.
For myself (especially in this song), I was done. I was ready to throw it all away and call it a day and needed help. I was very very sick and not in the greatest of places. This moment had potentially been the worst I had ever experienced in my life on top of having dealth with depression and anxiety for most of my life. I was alone with my thoughts for far too long and was not in a place I wanted to be anymore. I wrote a note and planned out things that no one should have ever needed to read or think about.
I was in my head thinking everyone was resenting me and hating me because of my sprialling mentality and felt like I was pushing people away when I was losing myself. I was very deep into substance abuse, purely drinking bottle after bottle on not only weekends but very quickly during the day and straight after work every night.
I wanted this song to resonate with people to understand that even at their lowest of low, they are truly not alone. Suicide awareness needs to be more aparent and we all need to speak up and talk more, removing any and all stigma about negative thoughts and bad headspaces. No one should have to go down that dark path alone and there is always a bright shining light at the end of the darkness.
No one should ever need to wake up to a text or phone call saying someone is gone. There is so much love and support out there.
This song, while dark, is lyrically heavy as well because these are actual words and sentences (slightly altered), but very much taken from an actual note. I want people to understand that this is not something to dismiss or to think that this is where I am at now. I am personally in a better place, and it if it wasn’t for me writing this note, to then become this idea and then become this song, I don’t know what would have happened.
In a way, this experience saved me and pulled me out of that place – and my own song saved my life. Now I want it to resonate and connect with others and save them too. We are never truly alone and we are all getting through this together, we just need to connect, communicate and help one another. It ain’t weak to speak. Always remember that.
Words by Ralph Brown
Once again 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…
Stream ‘Everlost‘ and ‘19/08‘ here