Futureheads’ Barry Hyde on mental health: ‘I got into a dangerous state of confusion’

Hyde's solo album 'Malody' deals with his issues, and arrives on June 3

The Futureheads‘ Barry Hyde has opened up about his mental health difficulties throughout the life of the Sunderland band in a new interview.

Hyde’s first solo album – which he’s described as “bipolar” – is due on June 3, and is set to deal with his state of mind, with Hyde previously saying: “Like many bipolar people, creativity is central to my life, central even to my illness.”

In the interview with The Guardian, Hyde talks about dealing with The Futureheads’ success, including a period in which he became fixated by blindfolded yoga and transcendental meditation, as well as conspiracy theories, and travelled separately to his band whilst on tour, turning up only for shows.


The new album, Hyde says, has helped him find stability. “I had a false awakening,” he explains. “I was convinced that I had managed, in the space of seven days, to go on holiday and come back an enlightened being. Now my goal was to enlighten everyone in Sunderland. Starting with my parents. I’d either be the most fun person you would ever meet, or the most unbearable, bigoted, arrogant man ever.”


Elaborating on his thought process during the band’s later years, Hyde said: “I was just kind of being pushed along by this thing, and it wasn’t until I’d reached a point where we were having longer breaks in between albums and not doing as much touring that I started to see it and realise that I was completely messed up.”

“This ecstasy of creating something followed by disillusionment is something that any creative person will experience. But because I had gone unchecked for some time, the illness had developed into something quite dangerous.”

“We kept going and we had amazing fun, but there was always pressure on me to have ideas and sometimes I wasn’t a very good leader,” he added.

Hyde had previously said of the album title: “Malody is a word I have invented, derived from the words, ‘melody’ and ‘malady’. A ‘malody’ is a melody that expresses mental malaise, mental illness and deep sadness or its opposite, mania. I know about these things as I am bipolar.”

Hyde changed careers for a period in 2013, working as a chef in his home town of Sunderland.


See the tracklisting for ‘Malody’, due June 3, below:
Monster Again
Crazy Love
While We Were Sleeping
Sometimes It Snows In April
Thunder Song