Mental illness and substance use disorder in the music industry is not a new problem. In fact, it has been normalized and glamorized for almost a hundred years.
“The life of a professional touring musician is a recipe for mental illness.
Money is tight while they work long and weird hours, travel incessantly, are isolated from their friends and family at home, and have ample access to drinks and drugs. They write, record, release, and promote, and then repeat the cycle over and over again. And now, more than ever, the industry demands constant content, lest they be forgotten in the ocean of songs hitting Spotify every Friday. But then they get in the van and, especially in Canada, drive absurd distances between low-paying gigs for a tour they likely had to book themselves.
There are a million other tasks, big and small, that today’s independent and even label-signed artists need to take care of each week. It can feel like the hamster wheel never stops, and you have to keep it going just to survive. So yeah, little wonder musicians are reporting alarming levels of anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts.” ~ Michael Raine / Canadian Musician magazine ~
If we know better, we can do better. That’s what Over the Bridge is all about!