Mallory Knox discuss youth depression in the age of social media

The band open up about the emotional honesty behind new album 'Wired'

Mallory Knox have spoken out about the problems and stigma that impact of the mental health of young people – and how they’re heightened in the age of social media. Read our full interview with the band below.

The  band deal with their own struggles with depression and anti-depressants on their recent single ‘Better Off Without You’.

“People have said that we’ve expressed their feelings amazingly well, or opened them up to thinking in a different way. They’ve thanked us for even just highlighting it,” singer Mikey Chapman told NME. “There’s just this undertow of ‘lets not talk about it because we don’t understand it’ in our society at the moment, and it still feels like the elephant in the room. A lot of people don’t understand because mental health is a very subjective thing and it’s a very difficult thing to understand if you haven’t been through it yourself. People find it very difficult to talk about.

“I know a lot of people like Stormzy and Professor Green have spoken out about it quite prevalently. It’s allowing mental health to become a comfortable conversation about because people they look up to are being open about it. Our music helping with the understanding and promotion of mental health awareness is an incredible thing, and a wonderful bi-product of something we wrote to help ourselves.”

Speaking of how to overcome the stigma attached with mental health issues, Mikey said: “You don’t sit down with someone with a broken leg and tell them to get over it. We all know what it feels like to feel physical pain, we can all level on that. With something like intense depression, some people haven’t skimmed off the surface they might have felt sad, but not for two years to the point you’re not sure what normal is.

“It’s such an intensely subjective experience and it requires a lot more conversation and people can understand that. It isn’t a case of immediate response, action and solution, it’s a much deeper issue than that. We’re not used to that in the immediacy of the modern age.”

Mallory Knox live

Getty

And the band believe that one of the pitfalls of the ‘modern age’ is coping with mental health issues in the realm of social media.

“Instagram is good for seeing what your family are up to,” bassist Sam Douglas told NME. “But if someone’s having a really bad day and someone’s posting pictures of their holiday, although social media is just a show-reel of the best moments of a person’s life, it’s not making that person stuck at home feel any better. “

He added: “Social media can be a fantastic tool but it works the other way too, you always feel like you’re missing out. We exist in a very early stage of the internet, we’re still in its infancy and we don’t really know the full scale of the impact it has on society. Social media creates a void for a lot of people. It needs to be looked at more in depth and improved by people a lot more intelligent than me.”

For help and more information on mental health, visit Mind, CALM, or The Samaritans.

Read our full interview with Mikey and Sam below

Your new album ‘Wired’ is finally here. How does it feel?
MC: “I was talking to my brother about it the other night saying how it doesn’t feel like we were in the studio last June, the year has absolutely flown by. I always forget it’s the case when it comes to recording.  You start thinking: ‘Have we done enough work before the album comes out?’  but I’m at the point where I just want to get the record out now.”

You said that it was a diagonal step away from you debut but what did you mean by that? Where would you say Wired takes your sound?

MC: “I think with our past albums we could have done more to push ourselves into a place that we haven’t been before both musically and lyrically. With ‘Wired’, we’ve done that, we haven’t held back. It’s tricky because with a second album, you want to keep everyone on side and we wrote our first two albums really close together. We had an extra year to write this one and a lot can happen in the space of a year. I think that influenced us a lot more than if we’d written it the year before, and naturally that really helped us progress a full forward step.”

SD: “There are moments that are similar to our older stuff that Mallory fans will appreciate, but there’s also stuff that we never would have written for ‘Asymmetry’ because we didn’t have the right influences to write a song a certain way and we wouldn’t have had certain topics to sing about. It’s natural that the album has panned out this way.”

Mallory Knox

Getty

How would you describe the spirit and the themes of the record?

SD: “We never sit and discuss what we want to state it just has to flow out that way so it’s surprising to us, I remember when I was writing the lyrics to ‘Better Off Without You’, I kind of wrote it subliminally and it took me five minutes to realise what the song was the song was about, that was obviously something I needed to get off my chest. That’s how we’ve always viewed music, for us five it’s always been that thing we go to in our times of need, whether I put on my favourite album or disappear into my room and write a song, music has always been my go to.  I think with this album we used it a lot more because of the time we had away because of touring. I’ve realised that we’re not kids any more. We’ve got a lot of things we felt the need to get off our chest. The themes as such weren’t set out to be about anything, it just so happens to be that these songs happen to be the most personal to date. When we were 19 we didn’t have anything to write about, other than break-ups and college. But when you’re 27, you have a lot more to write about but it’s also very challenging. When it came to writing the album we all just had a lot to get off our chests and it all came out.”

‘Better Off Without You’ speaks out about mental health, do you think it’s important to write about these things?

MC: “The music process for us has always been about venting for ourselves. We always try and leave the songs ambiguous. We’ve had a fantastic response to ‘Better Off Without You’. People have said that we’ve expressed their feelings amazingly or opened them up to thinking in a different way and they’ve thanked us for even just highlighting it.  There’s just this undertow of ‘lets not talk about it because we don’t understand it’ in our society at the moment and it still feels like the elephant in the room. A lot of people don’t understand because mental health is a very subjective thing and it’s a very difficult thing to understand if you haven’t been through it yourself. People find it very difficult to talk about.

“I know a lot of people like Stormzy and Professor Green have spoken out about it quite prevalently. It’s allowing mental health to become a comfortable conversation about because people they look up to are being open about it. Our music helping with the understanding and promotion of mental health awareness is an incredible thing and a wonderful bi-product of something we wrote to help ourselves.”

Indeed, the brain is essentially another body part and there shouldn’t be any stigma attached to it

MC: “You don’t sit down with someone with a broken leg and tell them to get over it. We all know what it feels like to feel physical pain, we can all level on that. With something like intense depression, some people haven’t skimmed off the surface they might have felt sad, but not for two years to the point you’re not sure what normal is. It’s such an intensely subjective experience and it requires a lot more conversation and people can understand that. It isn’t a case of immediate response, action and solution, it’s a much deeper issue than that. We’re not used to that in the immediacy of the modern age.”

Do you think it’s heightened by social media?

SD: “Instagram is good for seeing what your family are up to. But if someone’s having a really bad day and someone’s posting pictures of their holiday, although social media is just a show-reel of the best moments of a person’s life, it’s not making that person stuck at home feel any better. Social media can be a fantastic tool but it works the other way too, you always feel like you’re missing out. We exist in a very early stage of the internet, we’re still in its infancy and we don’t really know the full scale of the impact it has on society. Social media creates a void for a lot of people. It needs to be looked at more in depth and improved by people a lot more intelligent than me.”

It feels like you’re really wearing your heart on your sleeve with this album, do you ever feel exposed or vulnerable by giving so much away?

MC: “Yeah, I feel exposed on this album but I knew that it was going to be the case. I think it’s the first time I have done in this band. When I wrote ‘Better Off Without You’ it forced me into the position where I had to talk about it but that’s also why I did it.”

Does it ever play on your mind what your fans might think of you because of that?

MC: “We did a small acoustic showcase of the new songs for a 100 fans. At least of quarter of the people I met that day thanked me for songs like ‘Better Off Without You’ already. Even family and friends have said to me that they can relate to these songs. These are people that I speak to on a daily basis and I had no clue that they’d been through a similar situation. All I know is that we’ve not had a reaction to song like that before.

There seems to be a lot of momentum behind this record. The third album tends to be make or break for a lot of bands. Do you guys feel like you’re on a roll and could be headlining arenas and festivals with ‘Wired’?

MC: “That’s the dream where you can get to the point. All I know is that we’ve written the best album of our careers so far. We went in and wrote a rock album that we felt we needed to at the time. There’s so much more to give. We’re so focused on making this album the best we can even with all the momentum behind us that we do have, we know we can do a little more. I feel our work ethic has been the best it’s ever been.”

Mallory Knox

Press

Do you think people are a lot more accepting of rock at the moment?

MC: “People are lot more accepting of rock music. Music is so diverse at the moment people just like what they like.  10 years ago rock was the weird little cousin but now it’s different.”

SC: “We couldn’t even get on the radio a few years ago, but UK rock music is so good at the moment, bands like Bring Me The Horizon and Biffy Clyro have really opened up rock. The 1975 came out of the rock scene and they’re dominating the glove. There’s so much good rock music out there at the moment it’s hard to keep up.”

Mallory Knox’s new album ‘Wired’ is out now. Their upcoming UK tour dates are below. Tickets are on sale here.

Mon March 20 2017 – BRISTOL O2 Academy Bristol
Tue March 21 2017 – CARDIFF Tramshed
Wed March 22 2017 – NORWICH Norwich Nick Rayns LCR UEA
Fri March 24 2017 – BIRMINGHAM O2 Institute
Sat March 25 2017 – SHEFFIELD Leadmill
Sun March 26 2017 – CAMBRIDGE Corn Exchange
Tue March 28 2017 – ABERDEEN Garage and Campus, Aberdeen
Wed March 29 2017 – EDINBURGH Liquid Room
Fri March 31 2017 – NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE Newcastle University S.U
Sat April 01 2017 – LIVERPOOL O2 Academy Liverpool
Sun April 02 2017 – PORTSMOUTH Pyramids Centre
Tue April 04 2017 – OXFORD O2 Academy Oxford
Wed April 05 2017 – LONDON KOKO
Thu April 06 2017 – LONDON KOKO