We have just released the second song from the live sessions we recorded back in September 2020 at Summerhouse Studios [Listen on Spotify here] The track is called ‘Beddable’. All the songs we did that day are from the same EP and they actually mean a lot to me personally. Allow me to explain…

Ollies EP – Saucy Naughty Rubbish

At the start of every year it’s human nature to think about how to make changes to better oneself. This has never been more important as we leave behind 2020 and look to 2021. It’s been a unique year for us humans; a global pandemic changed the way we did absolutely everything. It was hard to not feel dictated to by the virus. I personally have felt the impact on everything I’ve been involved with, simple things like going to the shop for some milk even requires precautions to keep each other safe.

If there’s one thing that 2020 has taught me about my life, it’s that there is one constant, MUSIC. Let me explain….

Music pulls you out of distractions, and for me 2020 has just felt like a massive distraction. In fact, ‘distraction’ is putting it mildly. Distractions hinder progress and isn’t life about working through them to reach an end goal?

Like many others, I’ve had my struggles with mental health. Four years ago I had depression and acute anxiety for the first time ever and it was rough to say the least. For almost a whole year I had weekly therapy sessions, was signed off work and spent almost all my free time at home thinking about how it was never going to end. I’m bringing this up because 2020 resonates with those experiences. We’ve all had to spend a year mostly isolated from each other without being able to freely do what we want. Our free will has been smothered by the overbearing but necessary precautions and attempts to stop the virus from overwhelming our health service.

I joined the pre-revolutionised version of TGL almost two years ago. During that time I was at the end of my first experience of a bad streak in my mental health. This was when I realised how much music helps you through everything.

To set the scene, I had been in a metal band playing techy drums for 3 years. That’s a difficult arena to breakthrough. I had focussed a lot of my energy into this project but ultimately it was unanimously decided between all the members that we should throw in the towel. So by the time I joined TGL I had been mostly band-less for a year. (If you haven’t put the dates together yet you will see that my band-less-ness ran parallel with my mental health issues).

Me in my metal band “Encoded”

I’ll save the interesting story of how I joined TGL for another blog, but in short, I joined the band (it was then just Ollie’s project) and had 7 days to learn all the songs for my first gig with him and the other musicians. I went to the West London studio they used every day for hours, we played the songs over and over. I also hired my own room so that I could practice alone when I wasn’t with them.

A flyer for my first show with Ollie

The show day came around and inevitably was a massive success. I played my heart out. That trend continued as the band grew and got stronger after that very first gig. All of a sudden I was “distracted” from my mental health, I had things to do and my mental health just seemed to slip back into “normal mode”.

So I relate to those first songs I learnt with Ollie as a turning point in my life. I spun the dice on a bad year and tried out for something different. I realised that I needed to keep playing music and play the music that felt right. For me that music was no longer metal, it was THIS. I became self-employed which freed up my timetable.

Although all the songs on Ollie’s ‘Saucy Naughty Rubbish’ EP are intrinsically linked to that change in my mental health, it’s Beddable which is my favourite and why on its release I’ve chosen to open up about myself.

Beddable Live – Our newest Live video!

Remember, even if you are struggling with mental health, you should do what works for you to get better, but GET HELP, I BEG YOU. It might take a while to realise what will help you get through it but persevere, find the right “distraction” and I promise you will find your feet again just like I did.

I wish all of you a Happy New Year and a healthy 2021. Do me a favour and check in on those people alone without distractions, or if you need to distract yourself, get on Zoom or WhatsApp a friend. I’ve attached some useful links below for mental health support.

Keep well and safe.

Ryan x