As a musician, trying to keep hold of your mental health can be hard, especially when it comes to the relentless demands of writing, recording, touring and promoting your work, and battles with depression and addiction have claimed too many artists over the years.
As Dave Grohl reveals in a new interview with Kerrang, however, the sudden down-time following a tour can be just as hard in some cases, as all of that pressure and constant movement comes to an abrupt end, leaving you at a loss.
That’s exactly what happened to Grohl after the Foo Fighters’ ‘Broken Leg Tour’ of 2015, he explains, when he slipped into what he describes as a sort of unusual depression.
“When we came home from that last trip, everybody was really exhausted,” he explains. “I was still trying to walk. I was still on crutches, just trying to get my body back in shape, and I was so drained from touring.
“Usually, at the end of a couple of years of being on the road, you blame the music and the band for all of your problems, so you want to get away from it.
“And I didn’t want to pick up a guitar. I wasn’t feeling creative, or prolific, or inspired. So I just went back to normal, quiet domestic life.
“After we finished all of that touring, I went through a really weird depressive phase where I got the beard and I had the pyjamas and I didn’t leave the house for weeks.
Thankfully, in this case music pulled Grohl back in and he was able to get back on his feet – figuratively and literally.
“That was at the point that I realized the music wasn’t the thing that was making my life worse – it was actually the thing that always made my life better.”
“Once you wake that back up, it’s like the dam bursts and you start getting more and more ideas.
“I did it on my own for a little while, and got really excited that my heart was still in it, so then I started sending the guys these ideas, riffs, melodies.”
While not everyone is able to bounce back from mental lows as Dave Grohl did, it’s another example of how powerful a love for music can be in getting us through hard times – and why we’re so astonished at those other times when even that passion isn’t enough.
Foo Fighters’ new album Concrete and Gold dropped last week, and you’ll be able to catch them on tour with Weezer next year – check out all of the details here.
If you or somebody you care for needs help or information about depression, suicide, anxiety, or mental health issues, contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Dave Grohl & Co. give a look behind the scenes of their new record, Concrete and Gold