Alfie Jefferies, frontman of Kent trio Glass Peaks discusses mental health and how the band’s latest single ‘Traffic’ is their most personal track to date.
For Alfie, being in a band has lots of variants from money issues, to stardom which can have a huge impact on someone’s well-being. Alfie says the support for musicians and other creatives isn’t there.
He said: “The conversation surrounding it’s really important right now. Just be aware everyone has their own sh*t going on. It’s not as easy as writing a track and putting it out and going gigging – there’s all this other stuff that comes with it.
“Whether it’s financial worries or struggling to think how will you record your next single. Or whether it’s actually the genuine rush of playing shows, it’s mad endorphin energy and adrenaline and then it’s crushing the next minute because it’s like – well what am I doing now?
“It’s finding the balance and I think that’s true not just for people that perform but any aspect of the industry.”
On ‘Traffic’ it’s a song that lets itself go, opening up Aflie’s songwriting capabilities, as well as Jake Cox (guitar) and Grant Tugwell (drums) who have supported him through his own struggles.
Opening up about his feelings and experiences, Alfie said: “I’ve always said with this song it’s like me having a conversation with myself.
“Lyrically it touches on things that I’ve found really difficult surrounding my own mental health suffering with anxiety, obsessive thoughts and struggling to deal with situations and sort of trying to find the quickest way to ignore them or kind of bury my head in the sand a bit rather than just confront them head-on or at least try to talk to people about it.
“I feel like it’s largely based around that – its a bit of a commentary on that. This song for me was a way of going right I need to address it and get into it hence ‘jumping into the traffic.'”
There’s so much honesty in the new single it brings out a completely different side to Glass Peaks. The band have matured, and have experimented with a new sound that ties in with Alfie’s personal and heartwarming lyrics.
He explained: “Writing has been a massive source of therapy for me. Because I’ve never really viewed it like that before – last year, for example, we didn’t really release any music and we were trying to get the live stuff right.
“If I’m being totally honest, I felt like I had nothing to write about because I didn’t want to write about any of the personal stuff, any of my own sh*t going on – I never wanted to address it because I found it difficult to talk about it anyway. Then I just allowed myself to start putting it down and bringing it to the guys ‘look I’ve written this’ and they were like ‘sh*t you need to do more of this’.
“We started to allow our music to develop and once we started experimenting with lyrical content and then how we straight lined the melody we realised our songs were just growing. It just made me feel a lot better about everything.”
Listen up, here’s the most important bit as Alfie shares his words of wisdom for young bands/musicians wanting to make a start in the industry.
He said: “I think in terms of starting out – there’s already so much pressure so just try and enjoy what you are doing. Don’t forget that music is here, creating and writing music, is here to be enjoyed and used as a source of – whether that’s a catharsis for the individual or the group doing it – don’t forget you are allowed to enjoy doing it, it doesn’t have to be a chore.
“People are going to look like they’re smashing it and I’ve felt like flipping hell why are we not at that level? But actually, everyone’s running their own race and everyone’s doing their own thing and as long as you’re creating music you enjoy and that you want to listen to, then keep working hard because at some point somewhere someone is going to hear it and they’ll get behind it. Just focus on what you love doing, whatever that is, try not to make comparisons and feel the pressure of it.”
Listen to ‘Traffic’ below. To find support about mental health visit www.mentalhealth.org.uk