If anyone knows a thing or two about the ups and downs of touring, it’s Band of Horses leader Ben Bridwell. He’s the band’s frontman — and essentially its CEO, especially when on the road. That position includes making sure everyone on tour is doing alright.
“The thought of mental health being actually brought up and things like that — how to support one another — it just wasn’t a thing back then,” Bridwell says of the early days on the road. “So thank goodness we have evolved somewhat in this lifetime. I think people are more keen to recognize it in others. I think it’s important to look for triggering things in people, things that make people stressed out or anxious. A tight family unit like [the one] we have on the road — from top to bottom, the driver of the bus or even people at the venues — look out for people who may be needing a hello or just someone who cares.”
Bridwell adds that it’s important to help his friends and touring family when they’re feeling down. Road life can be grueling, and properly maintaining one’s mental health is crucial for everyone.
“We certainly can tell when someone needs some extra attention, needing a chat,” he says. “That goes a long way, compared to what it used to be like. It usually was like: go off in the corner, live in your sadness shame hole because you’re having depression issues or you feel like you’re taken away from the group in some way, like, ’This person’s mad at me.’ Those kinds of things on tour, you can feel like everyone’s against you sometimes. I think we’re evolving into just looking out for one another better.”
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