Klas Bergling doesn’t think his son planned to commit suicide last year. Rather, Avicii‘s father describes the superstar DJ’s death as more like “a traffic accident.” In an interview with CNN, Bergling said that Avicii (born Tim Bergling) struggled throughout his career with depression, addiction and stage fright, issues they discussed during their frequent “long talks” about the “SOS” star’s mental health.
“Up and down… some people may expect that this goes over after a year or so, but it’s not the way it works,” Bergling said about his feelings about his son’s passing in the interview with CNN’s Robyn Curnow. Bergling said the idea to start the Tim Bergling Foundation came soon after the EDM legend was found dead in Muscat, Oman, in April 2019 at the age of 28. “We will focus on mental health and prevent suicide, that is the purpose of the foundation… My wish is that it will be a change here, where young people can get help very early, when the problems are small,” he said.
Bergling described how he “absolutely” had many hard conversations with his son over the years, including Avicii’s thoughts about “life, meditation, love… when he was younger we had many hard talks [about] getting him out of bed.” He described Avicii as an introvert who was forced to do a lot of things he didn’t want to because of the demands of being a world-class DJ. “In the end that takes a part of you,” he said. “Our theory is not that he planned this suicide — more that it was like a traffic accident. Many things happened and came into the same station, so to say, and brought him out of his control.”
The 12-track posthumous album, Tim, was released in June, featuring the tracks “Peace of Mind,” “SOS,” “Heaven,” “Heart Upon My Sleeve” and “Fades Away.”
Bergling implored politicians in Sweden and elsewhere to take on mental health issues earlier. “School should be the best place for the children, so let’s make it the best place for the children,” he said. “The problem is what are they doing in the society to handle problems like this?… The most important thing (is) trying to catch the problem earlier. It’s really a political question that has to be solved, not talked about for 10 more years.”
Watch the interview with Bergling below.
This article originally appeared on Billboard.