Motion City Soundtrack's Justin Pierre to talk mental health at McNally Smith
Motion City Soundtrack's Justin Pierre at Pizza Luce Block Party 2013
Photo by Joanna Fox
The turmoil inside our heads can be a powerful tool for creating great art, but it also can be a debilitating feature that pushes us over the edge. This is painfully true for Honeydogs frontman Adam Levy, who lost his gifted son Daniel to suicide in early 2012, and later spoke at length about it in a City Pages cover story.
On Friday, Levy's moderating a discussion titled "Dissonance: Mental Health and Music" at his day job at McNally Smith College of Music. It will also feature musicians from Motion City Soundtrack, Commmunist Daughter, and Zoo Animal.
As the pressures of work, school, and life in general again take hold after a summer of vacation and distraction, it's an ideal time to take some mental stock. This concert and conversation, hosted by McNally Smith's Sarah Souder Johnson, is timed in observance of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and is expected to tie in threads of regarding mental illness and substance abuse, as well.
Levy, along with Motion City Soundtrack's Justin Pierre, Communist Daughter's Johnny Solomon and Molly Moore, and Zoo Animal's Holly Hansen all pour plenty of themselves into their music -- arguably in ways that has made their art relatable and powerful. But one aspect that'll be discussed is whether or not creativity feeds depression -- or vice versa. Each musician will contribute to the discussion, and play songs that address the struggles and successes they've faced.
"A lot of [2012's What Comes After] was me dealing with issues of my son before things got really bad," Adam told Gimme Noise last year. "He was always at the front of my mind. Now it has even more resonance and makes sense to me in so many more ways. A lot of things I'm talking about are questions I'm asking in there. Things got progressively worse to the point where he lost faith. His mom and I were spending a lot of time trying to talk him off the ledge. He was pretty candid about where he was at."
Friday's discussion can't promise to offer easy solutions for mental illness, but it's a reminder that it's an issue touching all of us.
Dissonance: Mental Health and Music. Free. Noon, Friday, September 20 at McNally Smith Auditorium, 19 East Exchange St., St. Paul. More info here.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.