Jehnny Beth: mental health and the music business

"It can be a very unempathetic industry"

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Jehnny Beth has written about ongoing mental health issues in the music industry and her hopes for younger artists to resist “age-old patriarchal abuse”.

Beth, who last week released a collaborative album with Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie, posted on Instagram a video of herself holding a burning stick as a symbol of shining “a light” on the state of the industry.

“Today I want to shine a light on mental health issues in the music industry, because it doesn’t happen just in pop world but in the indie world too,” she began.

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“I know a lot of musicians who struggle to be heard and respected, even in 2021, one can still find oneself face to face with the inevitable attitude and language of the oppressor. It can be a very unempathetic industry, Rocknroll capitalism emphasises power abuses, turns artists against artists, pushes them to consider a number of streams or listeners before friendship & art, or themselves.”

“We’ve witnessed the casualties of those age-old patriarchal abuse many times, on everyone, and yet they are still widely spread in the fabric of our community.”

The singer went on to write that she hopes younger generations will be able to break free of such restraints.

“My hope goes to the young generation, for understanding there’s no need for those aggressive and dominant rapport, and wanting to work in a sain [sic] environment.”

Beth encouraged both those inside and outside of the music industry to share their experiences. Garbage were quick to do so, writing that they could talk about such issues “for hours”.

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“It drove me and my whole band round the bend. We had to just stop the bus and get off for a while for fear we would go mad,” wrote one Garbage band member.

Meanwhile, Bobby Gillespie has said Brexit has “destroyed any hopes of chances for young musicians that are trying to make it”.

Originally published on NME
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