Rou Reynolds of Enter Shikari
Tell us why you're supporting MHF Live
Though the past decade has seen progress in public awareness and in the general realisation of the importance of mental health issues, we’re only just beginning to repair the damage that ignorance and stigma has caused us. There's so much still to do to spread awareness about mental health and increase the wellbeing of our population, especially in our fast paced, divided and untrusting world.
What’s your earliest musical memory?
Being about five or six and watching black and white footage of Glenn Miller’s big band with my nan and absorbing every note and every rhythm. Her musical influence encouraged me to pick up the trumpet a few years later.
What does music do for your mental health?
Music can be many helpful things to me. Writing music gives me purpose and an outlet for my creative urge, an impulse that’s of course innate in all of us. It is also quite meditative and a wonderful escape, as often in the throws of passionate creation we enter the hallowed 'flow state’ where the outside world (and with it our worries) disappear.
As a listener, music provides a comfort blanket in times of stress or pain. Listening to emotive music can soothe no end, and it can also help me gather my thoughts and give me space to better understand and experience my emotions.
Who is the musician who has most inspired you?
That really is a tough question but perhaps I’ll go for Thom Yorke as he made me realise most musicians are not the squeaky clean, media trained, confident and bombastic pop stars we’re lead to believe they are. They are often reserved, thoughtful, diffident people, this helped me with my confidence. But also his music is so progressive and fearless too, and I have always been drawn to that.
What makes you happy?
- The intense rush as a new piece of music I’m making begins take shape.
- The smell of fresh mint leaves
- Connecting with a newly met human being
- My cat (when she’s being nice)
- The first gulp of a glass of chilled coconut water
- 15 minutes of gratitude meditation
- Kissing softly and slowly in the dark
- A long walk through some woods
- Reading Nietzsche
- Chocolate mousse.
These are all fleeting feelings of happiness of course, as happiness isn’t a stable state.
What’s the best sound in the world? And the worst?
A softly played creaky old upright piano. Yer da's views on Brexit.
What song is in your head just now?
I’ve just come back from a rehearsal so I’ve got the song we ended on in my head, rather annoyingly…
It’s a track called Live Outside. Earworm central.
Please tell us about (and share) a piece of music that has had an impact on your mental health.
Eet by Regina Spektor not only has one of the most beautiful chord sequences there is but the lyrics are meanderingly existential and beautiful too. It came out at a difficult time for me and became a staple piece of music that I’d listen to when I was feeling vulnerable, volatile or dejected.
Catch Enter Shikari on their UK tour now.
MHF Live is the Mental Health Foundation's new music fundraising initiative that aims to raise awareness, raise money and raise the roof for mental health.