How Rock ‘n’ Roll Saved My Soul…
Has anyone ever heard the term ‘Suicide Music’ before?
According to my father in law, the music of my generation, the grunge/90’s rock era is nothing but noise that makes you suicidal.
Nirvana, The Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, Veruca Salt & Silverchair just to name a few…
I have a real issue with his statement, especially because he too was once a musician and I would hope, understand the power and strength that music can give a person. His ideas and opinions on my favourite sounds don’t sit well with me at all and I’m about to explain why.
I had a hard time as a teenager.
I don’t know many teenagers that sail through those years without dramas and ups and downs.
I had weight issues and was forever picked on and tormented. I was extremely shy and found it hard to make close friends. I really only had one close friend, whom I am still great friends with today. I was somewhat of a loner and immersed myself in music, listening to all sorts of sounds and styles to get me through each day.
It didn’t matter what you wore, as the most awesome clothing pieces either came right out of the op-shop or were handmade and teamed up beautifully with the latest concert t-shirt.
It didnt matter what you looked like because we were all there for the same reason. To live & love the music. I didnt have to try to fit in, to be anyone other than myself.
I could relate to the lyrics in the songs. I understood the emotions that the singers were belting out in words. For the first time in a long time I felt like there were other people out there that felt the same way as I did.
When the pressures of life as a teenager began to take its toll on me, I had something to turn to. I listened to these songs, gaining a greater love for them each and everyday.I was inspired to become like the artists themselves, helping people get through their own tough times.
I picked up a guitar, got some lessons and began to play along. Before too long I had a little band going and I was writing my own songs. I expressed all the hurt, anger and frustration that I was feeling in my own music. When I wanted to give up and end my own life, it was these musicians that inspired me to keep on going, to share my songs with the world. To have big dreams and to aim to achieve them.
This “depressive grunge suicide music” saved my life, on more than one occasion.
It gave me an outlet and I will be forever grateful for it.
Through my last year of secondary school I was invited to work with a group of younger teenagers in a Music Psychotherapy Program at Maroondah Hospital. I took my band with me and together with the help of the centre’s staff, we spent several weeks teaching these teenagers, whom were hospitalised due to their debilitating depression & anxiety, how to play a NIRVANA song.
It’s what they wanted to learn, and they loved it.
Over the weeks that we spent with these people, we saw drastic transformations in their behaviours and the way they coped with everyday issues.
We had young people that had refused to speak for longer than their parents could remember, singing along while playing an instrument. I’m talking massive jaw dropping changes. We had parents in tears at the concert we put on, as they too had finally witness that same glimmer of hope in their children, as I did only a few years earlier.
And it was just one song. Imagine what we could have done over an entire year and so on.
“Suicide Music” gave me something to live for, and without it, I wouldn’t be here with my hubby and 5 amazing kids. And do you want to know the best bit???
My kids LOVE rock music too.