Today i had the pleasure of interviewing Giants lead singer Stuart Wood. Stu is an Australian music legend and is about to embark on a tour of the north of Australia with the Repeat Offenders.
– G’day Stu. Welcome to Metal Health and thanks for being here.
– What does good mental health mean to you?
I guess just being able to cope with everyday life and all it throws at you both good and bad .
– How is life for you off the road or when you’re not gigging? Espe-cially after a tour or big event, is it difficult to adjust back into life at home after time on the road? If so, how do you adjust/cope?
There is always a come down period after touring, especially re adjusting to home after touring overseas. Friends and family are the best asset we have in this case.
– What motivates you? What keeps you going?
My love of music has always kept me going, I knew from a very early age that I was different, growing up in a country town where everything revolved around sport, I tried to conform and played footy and basketball but I knew deep inside that my heart just wasn’t in it , music however could take me to that special place where only I and other like minded musicians could go, and still does to this day!
– Are you a positive thinker? How do you stay positive?
Most definitely a positive thinker lol , in my line of work you have to be! Mainly because my band has existed for 36 years, made 16 Albums, 4 DVDs , spent 5 years touring the USA, 15 years touring Europe and all of this was created by me personally, no agents, no publicists, no management at all, and its still that way to this day !
– That’s an incredible track record!
Have you experienced any tough times personally that you’d be okay talking about? If so, how are you/how did you get through this.
Ha ha I could write a book about tough times lol , born illegitimate the day after my mothers 18th birthday , mistreated by my stepfather , taken away from my mother for my own safety and raised by my grand parents ! And that’s just the tip of the iceberg lol .Music played a very big role in my early teenage years and looking back probably saved me from a life of crime lol, I joined an outlaw motor-cycle club for 9 years as a substitute for family, but music took me away from that cos of its stronger pull. Lucky for me! Lol. As I said I could write a book on tough times but in the end you have to just be tough and work through it.
– What does making music mean to you? Why do you do it?
Music is my life, I cant imagine living without it, the places it has taken me and the friends I have made because of it is just awesome.
– When did you start making music? Was it like finding some buried treasure that you didn’t know you had, and how did making music fit in with the rest of your life?
Started out playing covers like most people do , then Wayne Burt (ex Daddy Cool , Jo Jo Zep , Black Sorrows) joined my band and he already was a renowned songwriter , he showed me the way in my learning curve about expressing myself thru songwriting. When we became an original band writing our own songs the world opened its doors for us .
– How important is it for the bass guitar and drums to be tight, and where do you see guitar and voice fitting in the groove?
The hardest thing to find in Australia is a rhythm section that works together lol , in the USA especially in Nashville Tn , where incidently we had the main street Broadway shut down so we could perform there , the drums and bass are like one holding the groove of the song together . The secret of the Nashville sound was revealed to me from Bruce Bossert (Nashville PA and Stage) when he told me in a live mix situation the hi-hats and and Acoustic guitar sits dead centre in the the mix and everything works off them! For me a song is a story , guitar solos compliment the story for a short time , but its all about the story and how well the singer puts it across.
– Some great insight right there. How was the recording process for your last record? Did you bang it down live, or record an instrument at a time etc?
Lol we just finished one recorded in my garage put down basically live.
– Cool! Look forward to hearing it. So what are your plans? Some more touring or any dates you can mention? I know you’re about to tour with the Repeat Offenders. You and the fans must be looking forward to that!
We go north every year to the NT , to get outa Melbournes winter lol and yes we look forward to that
– Any other projects musical or otherwise happening?
Not really. Australia is just full on tribute band country now and I want to travel back to europe again to catch up with my musical mates there before I get too old lol, maybe next year!
– Ok, last question! What would you say to fans who are struggling with their mental health, or doing it tough at the moment?
My brother Bruce took his own life 12 years ago, I lived 5 mins from him, he didn’t call for help, destroyed my mother and his family, he was gone, only left pain, broken hearts and sadness and anger behind, so TALK TO SOMEONE !!
– Thanks for taking the time to talk with us Stu. Wishing you safe travels, and all the best with the upcoming shows. Greg \Mh/.
Look out for Stu’s latest album ‘Songs from Mataranka homestead 2.
Links to band http://www.thegiants.com.au
Tags: anxiety, depression, good mental health, mental health conversations, mental health interview, metalhealth, music interview, music interviews rock stars addictions, schizophrenia, stigma, stress, stuart wood interview, suicide, touring