Touring is often seen as the mecca of musicians. Girls, money, and playing shows in different cities. There are benefits, but long hours on the road can extend well beyond exhausting and become a burden to a person's existence. A reason study from the charity Help Musicians UK discovered the following statistics:
"60% of musicians have suffered from depression or other psychological issues, with touring an issue for 71% of respondents."
You can see more of these statistics below, but this gives you an idea of how burdensome and mentally strenuous touring can get. This is the goal of Help Musicians UK, working with both emerging and retired artists on keeping their mind sharp and extending a helping hand.
They offer practical and positive support to musicians in need and have already helped out countless artists with their struggles both mentally and physically. You can hear the story of one musician below, and read quotes from Mat Zo and others regarding their struggles. You can see the graphs from Help Musicians UK, which gives you an idea of how real this problem is.
Mat Zo: "Ninety-nine per cent of touring is the airports, the hotels, sitting in a metal tube for up to 16 hours at a time. It’s easy to let your mind and body slip into decay, even for a person with a healthy emotional state. For those with anxiety, hotel rooms are like prison cells.”
Mat Zo: “Relationships are compromised, partly because it becomes difficult to relate to people with a more stable lifestyle. Your problems and cares become radically different to the other people in your life.”
Willis Earl Beal (American Musician): “Touring can be destructive on a musician, it was destructive on me, that’s for sure. I’d come home from tour, and I’m back to feeding the cat. My wife at the time – I don’t have a wife now – worked 12-hour shifts, so I was cooking the dinner all that sort of shit.
There was a lot of tension, because I’m thinking to myself, ‘I don’t deserve this, I’m a big star’ and that was one of the contributing factors in ending my marriage. This fucking career, the striving towards something that never existed and doesn’t exist.”
Vaccines Singer Justin Young: “You end up with a lot of expectations from life that aren’t always fulfilled in everyday tasks like going down the shops for a pint of milk or even going for dinner with friends. It’s hard to replace all that adrenaline.”
Kate Nash (UK Singer): “When you’re on tour, you know exactly what you’re doing and what’s required of you. There’s a routine. It’s tangible what you stand for because it’s right in front of you. You come off tour and you’re like, ‘Fucking hell what is the point? What am I doing with my life?’”
Article Source: The Guardian