With a tour of the United States looming, Philadelphia outfit Modern Baseball have just announced a cancellation of the entire run, adding that the band will be going on a hiatus.

The announcement cites the band’s battles with mental health as the reason for the break, an issue that has reared its head occasionally throughout the band’s career. They cancelled an Australian tour in 2015 for similar reasons, as singer/guitarist Brendan Lurkens announced his battles with anxiety.

However, the band’s other guitarist Jake Ewald announced today via Facebook that it hasn’t only been Brendan facing struggles with mental health, but that it’s an issue that has impacted the entire band.

“Over the past few months, the band has become an immense source of anxiety for me,” he reveals, “and it wasn’t until I opened up to Sean, Ian and Brendan about it that we realized we were all feeling the same way.

“The project we started as a source of joy and positive expression had become something that was slowly eating away at our mental health and our friendships,” he continued. “We have been championing the importance of mental health for a while now, and we recently realized that it would be wrong for us to ignore our own health any longer.

“Please know that we don’t take a tour cancellation lightly, and under any other circumstances we would not even consider it an option, but in this instance we have to put our health and friendships first. You’ve supported us unconditionally throughout this crazy ride and we could never thank you enough.

“We never really learned how to do this whole ‘rock band’ thing the right way, but you kept coming to the shows and talking to us and assuring us that we’d figure it out sooner or later. We could not have done any of this without you. Be honest with those you love and don’t be afraid to lean on them when you need to. Odds are they’ll need to lean on you pretty soon too.”

Of course, mental health issues plague the music industry, with recent estimates placing the percentage of those who work in the industry who have considered suicide at upwards of 25%, and it’s a problem with no easy solution – we’re wishing Modern Baseball all the best.

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.

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