Jason Hawthorne of Swimming Tapes

Why are you supporting MHF Live?  

The boys at Swimming Tapes and I all feel that mental health issues are such a taboo subject, but definitely shouldn’t be. We want to raise awareness as much as we can. I have personally dealt with anxiety since I was about 18. And it was only recently that I got the courage to do something about it. My approach used to be the classic “Oh no, I’m fine. It'll pass.” But it didn’t until I actually confronted it. Dealing with your issues is by far the best thing you can do. 

What’s your earliest musical memory? 

Stealing my dad’s Roxette, Fleetwood Mac and Blue Oyster Cult albums. Listening to them while sitting in our bay window, headphones on. I was about 9. I have to admit I still have a real soft spot for those bands, Fleetwood Mac especially. Don’t we all? 

What does music do for your mental health? 

If I didn’t have music in my life I don’t know how I would be able to function. I listen to music about six hours a day – and I’m may be underestimating here. Music helps my anxiety so much that my troubles seem to slide away. I never leave the house without my headphones - If I’m not with someone they are my usual walking buddy. 

Who is the musician who has most inspired you? 

Here comes the cliché – Kurt Cobain. One of the first albums I ever bought was ‘Nevermind’. I played it to death. I’m still a huge Nirvana fan. I have to say that if I didn’t have this introduction to the music world, I might not have picked up the guitar at all.  

What makes you happy? 

Good laugh. Laughing is the key to forget about all troubles. That, some nostalgic ‘90s alt, a nice smelling candle and a good pale ale. 

What’s the best sound in the world? And the worst? 

“What’s your favourite humming noise?” to quote Father Ted. One of the noises I hate the most is the relentless fridge humming. On the other hand my favourite humming noise is “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” by the Crash test dummies.