"I want people to know that you can have this horrible black hole of emotion in your head, but you can still have fucking fun in your life"
Over the last year, Daisy Brain has been building up towards something special, and all of the pieces are starting to slot into place.
From tours with YUNGBLUD to his brand new EP 'Disconnect Happy', it's been a wild ride of experimentation, openness and outpourings that has allowed 2022 to be filled with endless possibilities. It's also a journey that has seen him question himself and his approach to his own wellbeing, and in turn that is helping those who support him to understand themselves that little bit better.
To find out a bit more about how we got here and what the future holds, we sat down for a little chat...
When you think back to the moment that Daisy Brain started when it was an idea that you wanted to make a reality, what was your mindset like back then compared to where you are now?
"It's been a pretty mad journey. We spent so long writing and developing what exactly Daisy Brain is, from the lyrics through to the band's name, and we had plans of how we wanted it to be perceived. Now, after a year of releasing that music and being able to play shows and find fans, the Daisy Brain world has shifted from a super-serious cool grunge thing into something a bit more self-aware, maybe even likeable. I feel like meeting fans has changed the band and me as a person. Hearing what these kids have gone through and hearing how the tunes that I have written have helped them has allowed me to be even more open about my own mental health and everything that comes with that. I've managed to find this sweet pocket of being relatable and funny and not just talking about depression. It's a much broader way of doing things and identifying different segments of things that are real and not always talked about.
"Musically as well, I know more now thanks to playing shows what I like to play, and that encourages me to write more tunes like that. We wrote both of the EPs we have, this new one included in that, without having played a show yet. Now we know more about what feels right."
It's interesting getting into the groove of what you think is the right thing for you at the very beginning compared to what is actually what you want to be doing when you've made a few steps, and just how different those things are…
"It's just all about experience, isn't it? And getting feedback, natural feedback. I have never been in a band before this that has actually had fans. With those bands, I stuck with how things looked and sounded and felt through to when they ended. I would never change, and it would never work out. But with this band, I was very open to morphing how we are perceived. We didn't want to be too cool for school because that limits you so much."
And when you're talking about very real things, especially when it concerns your own experiences of depression and anxiety, you don't want to have a certain attitude about it. You want to show how real-life around those things functions, how you're still able to have fun and be free within yourself…
"For sure, and it's the same for the fans. You want to make people who love you and your music feel included. You want to make them feel as comfortable as they see you are online and in real life because it's easy to have things be manipulated and that being cool and not caring is what is cool when it isn't. I wanted to be mysterious for a while, but that didn't help anybody. I want people to know that you can have this horrible black hole of emotion in your head, but you can still have fucking fun in your life. You can get out the other side as well. That's the most important thing."
Showing that you are still learning and growing in front of people shows that nothing is set in stone. Nothing is permanent, no matter how much it might feel like it is…
"You learn from other people as well. If kids are learning how to deal with their problems by shutting off, it's not going to work out. People need someone there to show them what is possible. That's why I think YUNGBLUD is such a great idol to have. He is making thousands, if not millions, of kids feel better and believe in themselves. He is reminding them that they are not alone. It doesn't matter how old you are or where you have come from. You deserve to be comfortable in your own skin."
So tell us a bit about 'Disconnected Happy' then. It feels like everything you have mentioned here crops up in those songs, despite them being written at a time when you were still figuring things out…
"This EP is very much about laughing in the face of those feelings. The whole EP is a big shrug as it is a big exhale. It's that feeling of, 'Here we go again, I feel like shit again'. For me, that happens so often that you just have to laugh at yourself. And I feel like a lot of other people have been through that same scenario, where you are like, 'This is so typical'. Laughing at tragedy is more potent than you think. Laughing when it starts raining as you're walking home. Laughing at yourself because nobody else is laughing at your jokes at parties. There's a lot of frustration in there as well, but you know that you aren't going to change who you are for anybody else. You're still going to dress however you want to dress. You're still going to be you in every way that you can. It's a very complicated blend of thoughts and feelings to have, but it's something that I feel you will get if you are going through the same things."
So as you look to the future, and more people find comfort in being themselves alongside you, what excites you the most about what Daisy Brain can and will be?
"I think it's developing the live side of things. We have spent two years in lockdown here and there, and we have luckily been able to play as soon as possible. And even in that short time, we have gone up and up and up in terms of energy. In terms of the whole room, not just us on stage. So now I wanted to know what that looks like in a year. I also can't wait to see more about what a Daisy Brain fan looks like. That feels really exciting, and I can't wait to see what the fashion around that entails. It's all going to be so cool, either way."