Pop-Punk/Rock band As It Is recently released their third studio album, The Great Depression. Throughout the album, they deal with heavy themes of depression, suicide and the rise of sadness in our modern world. These themes are especially important following the recent deaths in the music industry. Avicii, Kyle Pavone and Chester Bennington’s deaths have rocked the world over the past two years.
Chester’s death hit especially close to home for rock band As It Is, leaving a hole in Linkin Park, a pillar of the rock community. As musicians do, the band wrote through the sadness and let Bennington inspire their latest record. In an attempt to fight stigma and the romanticisation of depression, they wrote and produced an album that tells a story that’s all too real.
The Great Depression’ is about the societal romanticisation of depression, the disrepair of present-day human connection, told through the story of a man who finds himself face-to-face with Death.
Is what lead singer Patty Walters had to say about the album. He also went on to say that the album is intended to ask more questions than it answers and is simply designed to start the conversation around mental health, breaking the unhealthy stigma that’s surrounded it for centuries.
Despite having plenty of nods towards depression and suicide, one reference stands out in closing track “The End.”
So with crimson arms and this broken neck, you fucking tell me who made this choice!
When Chester Bennington tragically took his own life, it was through hanging. ‘Broken neck’ is possibly a reference to this, an ode to the rock star’s life and legacy. As It Is are a band known for their in-depth lyrics and virtually confirmed the connection via Twitter.
That song was written about two days after Chester took his own life. It’s about how The Poet spilled all his problems out like he’s been encouraged to but no one listened or took it seriously so who’s actually to blame IF (because it’s open ended) something happened to him? https://t.co/h907OMYl6a
— As It Is (@ASITISofficial) September 4, 2018
Additionally, the band criticise modern media’s portrayal of suicide in the line, alluding to Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. Despite claiming to be raising awareness for depression and suicide, it only seemed to flaunt the stigmas that already surround the issue.
The series develops over 13 episodes, showing Hannah Baker’s thirteen reasons why she intends to kill herself. Her final act is to cut her wrists, bleeding to death. ‘Crimson arms’ directly links back to the events of the series, representing the blood from cutting, something that isn’t just related to suicide but also to depression as a whole.
KidsHealth reports that cutting is a way for some people to cope with the pain of strong emotions, intense pressure or relationship problems. It’s also often linked with depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, obsessive thinking or compulsive behaviour.
Raising awareness for depression, suicide and mental illness as a whole is exactly what As It Is are attempting to do. These issues need to be brought into the light and As It Is have started the conversation. Our job now is to listen and continue to fight the stigma that plagues our society.
If you need support for depression or any kind of mental health issue, make sure to talk to someone about it or visit one of the websites below for help.
You can listen to The Great Depression on Spotify and find the lyrics at Genius.