Behind the Nut
We catch up with the band
Ernest speaks to the band.....
Darren, AJ, Doug and Chris have all been around playing in some form or other but with Behind the Nut, they face into the subject of Mental Health which people are sometimes afraid to talk about. IMS caught up with them to discuss this and the band.
Behind the Nut has only recently got together. What did you guys do before?
“Behind the Nut began four years ago as an acoustic duo. A year ago, we become a four-piece band so we can play two styles of gigs with the same songs.”
“Before that I (AJ) had played in the punk scene for 10 years traveling around the world playing gigs. And I still do. Darren, Chris and Doug have played in various bands and have played music for the majority of their lives.”
Where did the band name come from?
“The band name came from a guitar technique. We then decided our songs would be about mental health but through the eyes of us who have all had mental health problems in the past.”
You mentioned using your music to bring awareness of mental health. So, are the songs you put together mainly about the lyrics?
“Yes, the lyrics are what tells the story and the music accents the story. I (AJ) wrote the lyrics and they are all based on experiences I’ve either been through or witnessed myself.”
This is a subject dear to me as I suffer from severe depression. Are you guys fine or like millions of others, in the same boat?
“Most of the time I'm ok because I have music as an outlet. I know some people don’t have that so as a band we hope our music will inspire people to find an outlet of their own in whatever shape or form that may be.”
“Darren (the singer/rhythm guitarist) has a series of medication every day to help with his schizophrenia but is at his happiest when he is playing music. Doug (the bassist) is in the same boat as Darren, and Chris (the drummer) has issues with depression and anxiety and fully supports what we are trying to do.”
Although it’s very much in the public eye, some people are still ashamed and embarrassed to admit they have a problem. Why would you say that is and what would you say to them?
“I would say, never be ashamed of how you are feeling. It only gets worse if we keep it to ourselves. Find someone to talk to. Whether that’s family, a friend, a doctor, a stranger or online service all will help and the more you talk about it the easier it gets to talk about. If you feel one person doesn't understand or it doesn't help, then try another. For me, it’s creating music that helps.”
Back to the music. What can we look forward to in terms of future releases?
“We have so much planned for future releases. We have an acoustic album that is already recorded. That will be released this year. We also have a lot of material for two more albums which we are currently piecing together so both albums will be released next year.”
Where are you guys at in terms of gigging at the moment?
“We have two UK gigs coming up in July and august and are in talk with playing in America and Europe.”
There are so many band members on the independent scene who openly admit to having mental health issues. Ever had any thoughts on putting something together along the lines of Band Aid and do you think something like that would work?
“We would love to be a part of something like that. I think it could work very well if it was organised in the right way.”
You are slowly getting traction on social media. Anything you would like to say to your followers?
“Firstly, thank you for showing interest in us and everything that’s been shared. Even in the darkest of times something beautiful can be seen. Never give up hope.”
Is it difficult facing into Mental Health and writing songs about it? Do you feel that they need to be upbeat or chilled and convey raw emotion?
“It can be very difficult at times to write these songs. In fact, it can be draining but I like to turn a negative into a positive. If people relate, then I've done my job. The songs don’t have to have a specific vibe. We deliberately set out to make them different from each other as every day can bring another feeling. It really is down to the lyrics subject as to how the music will be.”
Where do you have to be within yourselves to start writing or does it matter?
“I can put my mindset into any place, but all our songs have been written naturally in their own time, so nothing is forced. It just happens.”
Any plans to expand the band or just keep it as a duo?
“We are evolving all the time so who knows what the future holds. We'll continue to play as an acoustic duo and also a four-piece band and will take both act as far as they can go.”
Any final words?
“Yeah, to you reading this, you are not alone. What you're feeling isn't you. We are proof that these feeling can be overcome and in time you will find your way of overcoming this. Just keep moving forward.”