24 Apr 2017

Mental Health and Musicians: A Few Words On Crim3s

There’s something both reassuring and beautifully progressive about the recent wave of musicians, actors and those that stand on an industry-pedestal publicly speaking out about mental health.

More and more people with a social platform are sharing their experiences with depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (the list goes on) and this is a hugely important thing. It is not only minimising taboo’s about whether or not it is deemed acceptable to share these things openly, but it's also showing that those whose lifestyles appear perfectly desirable at first glance are in fact not always going as smoothly as you’d imagine.

In this article, I'd like to focus on one example of somebody with a following publicly experiencing the pain of living with mental health issues; Crim3s. Crim3s are a London-based electronic duo consisting of producers and songwriters Rou Rot and Sadie Pinn who have been self-producing their own synth-heavy music for many years now, with their debut self-titled EP dropping back in 2011.

Whilst the duo have experienced significant blogosphere coverage over the years, praising their unique and raw craft as well as landing them opening slots for Crystal Castles, being hired by British Pop-pioneer Charli XCX to work on her Nuclear Seasons music video and dominating the UK’s underground squat rave scene, the pair have had other weights on their shoulders; they have been homeless for a vast portion of their careers and lives. In a March 2016 article by Indie Magazine, Rot and Pinn stated that the ‘job centre waiting room’ and ‘community service’ were common practises in their average week, Rot adding that ‘we haven’t stayed anywhere that’s not illegal for 6 years’.

Whilst some may jump to the conclusion that these claims are simply an illusion to support their gritty craft (because it has been commonplace for many musicians in the past to play the ‘we’re broke’ card for credit), this would be both an insensitive and simply incorrect assumption towards Crim3s. The duo have publicly expressed their suffering living in this often harsh environment, which takes me to my next point of focus; on Monday 17th April, Rou Rot posted on Instagram with the caption ‘we came from poverty and dead end towns and made style and music that somehow caught on around the world while we were left to rot in squats and hells penniless’, with the caption closing as ‘I give up. There’s only so much pain you can take’ - an ultimately concerning closure which sparked panic in the comments from supporters all around the world.

Three days pass and other half of Crim3s Sadie Pinn breaks the silence and posts to her Instagram a shocking statement that reads ‘my past 6 years have been hell. the last thing I imagined myself having to do is tidy up the aftermath of Rou Rot’s attempted suicide on my own’.
Confirming every commenters fears and stating what nobody wishes to hear about a person, that Rot had attempted Suicide through overdose. Suicide is the most common cause of death for a male in England and Wales, a generally shocking statistic that through discussion of mental health in schools, in workplaces and to generations to come we can change if these essential tools are rightfully added to curriculums worldwide.

According to the UK’s Mental Health Foundation, 75% of mental health issues are established to some degree by the age of 24. This is a huge statistic, indicating that many of us have been suffering with something we have most definitely at some point felt uneasy discussing, or finding a person to express this with, particularly if like Rou Rot, you are living in an uneasy environment where tomorrow has no guarantee and you are being appreciated so dearly by a fanbase but first hand support is limited to your own band member and little else. This is why it is essential that we become more tuned-in as a society to our feelings and how we discuss them with our peers all the way to health care professionals, meaning that help becomes more accessible when we need it, whether you are a musician or not; everyone of every background has the potential to experience illnesses such as depression and by battling the stigma, we can treat it sooner.

I would like to personally wish Rou Rot all the best for his future, and to send my support to Sadie Pinn, the world is better with you in it.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, would like to receive some help or simply read up about mental health - please visit www.mentalhealth.org.uk

(Words: Billy Clayton)