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Fans are sharing this clip of Terry Hall discussing mental health



Fans are sharing a clip of Terry Hall discussing mental health in the wake of The Specials frontman’s death.

The singer died on December 18 at the age of 63. In a statement announcing his death, his bandmates described him as “a beautiful friend, brother and one of the most brilliant singers, songwriters and lyricists this country has ever produced”.

As fans remember the ska icon, a clip from a 2019 interview with BBC 6 Music’s Mary-Anne Hobbs has begun to do the rounds online. In the two-minute snippet, Hall discusses his experiences with depression and finding joy in small things.

“I didn’t realise I was spending the first 50 years of my life in this bubble called depression and people told me about it, but I had no idea what I was doing,” he said. “And then 10 years ago, I had to get attention because of an incident and I found a doctor, and she’s been with me for 10 years and she’s got me out of this bubble and said, ‘You’ve got an illness, but we can deal with it’.”

Hall continued to explain how his life had changed since, saying that “at least the last five years” had been “unbelievably brilliant and appreciating things on a different level, which I never thought I would”. “Like really simple things – like on the way in here, I saw a folding bike and that has made my day that you can fold a bike to that size,” he said. “It’s like origami. But just that level and if I get one thing like that every day then I’m so happy. So happy.”

He added: “People always say to me, ‘You got a number one record, you were handed this, why don’t you smile?’ I don’t know why I didn’t smile but that folding bike made me smile and there you go. That’s me, I think really.” Listen to the clip in full here.

Hall had previously opened up about his struggles with depression and addiction, which began after he was abducted by a paedophile ring and sexually abused in the ‘70s. “I was sort of drugged up then on valium for about a year and I didn’t go to school,” he explained in 2019. “I mean, I suffer from manic depression and avoided all sorts of medication for a long time, then 10 years ago, I started taking Lithium and stuff and I’m still on these drugs. And it sort of helps, it sort of helps.”

Writing about the importance of Hall speaking out about his experiences in an obituary for the singer, NME’s Mark Beaumont wrote: “As harrowing a story as it was, it was one we needed to hear – that anything is survivable, no issue insurmountable, any burden possible to shed. Where so many sufferers campaign for better understanding from the midst of their struggles, Hall spoke out as a beacon of light at the end of the tunnel.”

Following Hall’s death being announced, his Specials bandmate Horace Panter shared more details on the star’s last days, explaining that the pair and Specials guitarist Lynval Golding had planned to record a reggae album in LA in early November.

“Terry had the framework for 8 tunes,” Panter wrote on Facebook. “Confidence was high. We were set to meet up with Nikolaj [Larsen, Specials keyboardist] and make magic. This was in September. Terry e-mails everyone and says he’s in bed with a stomach bug and can’t do the first week of pre-production sessions. No big deal, we can knock everything back a week. We’re not due to fly out until November 4th.”

He continued to say that Hall hadn’t recovered the week after and that, on October 2, Panter received a phone call from the band’s manager informing him that Hall had been diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas, which had spread to his liver.

Since Hall’s death, fans and artists have been paying tribute to the legend. Fans have shared footage from his last gig with The Specials, while Damon Albarn posted a musical tribute to the musician, who collaborated with Gorillaz on the 2001 track ‘911’. Coventry City football club, meanwhile, honoured the star with a digital banner at a recent match.

For help and advice on mental health:

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Sam Ryder discusses fronting Texas hardcore band Close Your Eyes



Sam Ryder has told NME of his past fronting a Texan hardcore band called Close Your Eyes.

The pop star and UK Eurovision entrant is NME‘s Big Read cover star for Christmas 2022, and talked about his Number One album ‘There’s Nothing But Space, Man!’ as well as his journey to get there.

Ryder began playing in the band The Morning After as a teenager – he described their music as “Iron Maiden wannabe… not as good” – saying: “It was really fun. I have such fond memories of, like, thinking I was writing these songs that were going to change the world but [which] really weren’t.

“But that’s an important part of being in a band. I think when you’re that young, you’ve got to have that belief that you’re doing something good.”

After that, the singer linked up with Texas hardcore band Close Your Eyes as their frontman. He explained: “I was a singer, songwriter [and] really part of those guys. And it was a hardcore punk band, which was something totally new for me.”

Of how he joined the band, Ryder went on: “I heard they needed a singer so I sent them a clip of me singing. In that scene, there are so many singers who are really great at screaming – you know, the hardcore punk vocals. I wasn’t necessarily great at that, but I was good at clean singing.”

He said he stood out as a candidate because “there weren’t as many strong clean singers on the scene. And I just thought, ‘I’ll deal with the screaming thing as and when it comes!’”

Discussing his stint on 2014’s Warped Tour with the band, Ryder told NME: “I was the only person on that tour who managed to shower every single day.

“The showers on that tour – they’re the grossest thing on earth, you don’t want to go near them,” he says. “So instead, I’d walk the perimeter of the stadium [we were playing at] and try to find a little faucet or a tap. I’d be rooting up the sprinkler system if I had to!”

This month (December 9), Ryder released his debut album, ‘There’s Nothing But Space, Man!’. Reviewing the album, NME wrote: “The odd well-intentioned platitude hardly spoils an album of killer choruses on which Ryder’s infectious likeability shines through at all times.

“Next time he might want to chuck in a few more curveballs, but for now, ‘There’s Nothing But Space, Man!’ sounds like the beginning of what could be a really stellar career.”

Ryder has also revealed the impact a surfing accident had on his life. The accident happened when the Eurovision runner-up was on holiday in Hawaii four years ago, and led him to re-evaluate his life, pushing him to put more effort into his music career.

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Little Mix’s Leigh-Anne Pinnock shares update on progress of solo music



Little Mix‘s Leigh-Anne Pinnock has shared an update on the progress of her first music as a solo artist.

The girl group went on indefinite hiatus earlier this year after their tour in support of their most recent album ‘Confetti’. Pinnock has since been preparing to embark on a solo career and has been working with the producer Hit-Boy, who has previously worked with Beyonce and Rihanna.

Now, Pinnock has said in a newsletter that she will give fans “as much music as I can” when it’s ready. “I’ve been working really hard on music that’s coming together slowly but surely. I’m so happy with what we’ve made so far but I know there’s much more to do,” she wrote.

“I’ve been so lucky to work with some incredible songwriters, producers and creatives so far and I can’t wait for you to hear what we’ve made.”

She added: “I’ve got some exciting projects I can’t wait to share with you all, and of course, I’ll be giving you as much music as I can as soon as it’s ready.”

Pinnock has also taken a step into the acting world. She appeared in the Christmas rom-com Boxing Day last year, which was the first UK Christmas film to feature an all-Black cast.

Speaking to NME about how Little Mix bandmates Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards reacted to the news, Pinnock said: “They were so happy for me. They’re going to be at the premiere. Honestly, they’re just so proud.

“We’re very supportive of what we all do individually and we all just want each other to win, because then we all win. It’s lovely and it’s going to be amazing having them there next to me supporting me. It’s going to be a very emotional night.”

Pinnock’s bandmate Jade Thirlwall is also going solo, having signed a global deal with RCA earlier this year.

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The Strokes discuss “magical” experience working with Rick Rubin on new album



The Strokes have discussed the “magical” experience of working with Rick Rubin on their upcoming new album.

  • READ MORE: The Strokes’ world-changing ‘Is This It’ at 20: “They had a ‘last gang in town’ mentality”

The band recently completed a recording session with the legendary producer in the mountains of Costa Rica. “We rented this house up on the top of a mountain and set the band up outside,” Rubin explained while appearing on The Joe Rogan Experience.

“So they’re playing… It’s like they’re doing a concert for the ocean, on the top of a mountain,” he added. “It was incredible. And we did that every day, playing out in the [open], and they didn’t want to leave. It was, like, the best experience.”

Discussing the experience further in a new chat with Maxim, guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. said: “I don’t think if I told you what it looked like and what it was, you’d fully understand the ‘magical-ness’ of where we were and how it was to record like that.

“It felt really touching that one of his favourite recording experiences was this one he just had right now.”

Of the band’s future, Hammond added: “I really think what excites me about wanting to play music and continue doing it is, I don’t think we’ve written our best songs yet. I really feel that in my gut.”

Rubin and The Strokes first joined forces in 2017, when they began working on ‘The New Abnormal’. The album was released in April of 2020 as their sixth full-length effort, supported by singles like ‘At The Door’, ‘Bad Decisions’, ‘Brooklyn Bridge To Chorus’ and ‘The Adults Are Talking’.

Elsewhere, the band recently announced plans to release a special vinyl box set featuring singles from their first three albums, B-sides and rarities.

‘The Singles – Volume 01’, which is released on February 24, 2023 via RCA Records/Legacy Recordings, features every 7 inch single from their 2001 debut ‘Is This It’, 2003 follow-up ‘Room On Fire’ and 2006’s ‘First Impressions of Earth’ as well as rare B-sides from the original single releases.

All ten singles will be pressed on black vinyl, with the artwork from each original release replicated in the package. It is available to pre-order here now.

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