Much like restoring a vintage car to its former glory, my journey as a blues and roots musician from Perth, Western Australia, involved bringing life back to the core of my being this year. I’ve grappled with PTSD, social anxiety, and clinical depression. I’ll walk you through the parallel process of crafting my latest rockabilly and country album, “Struck By Lightning Again,” and my spooky Cramps inspired Halloween psychobilly single, “Voodoo” and how it draws a fascinating comparison between rejuvenating a classic car and my quest to mend the pieces of my life.
The Neglected Ride
Much like an old car that has seen better days, my life has been clouded by the shadow of mental health challenges. PTSD, social anxiety, and clinical depression had me teetering on the edge, much like a classic car abandoned in a dusty garage.
Breathing New Life
Like the meticulous process of restoring a vintage car, I found an unwavering resilience within myself. Just as a mechanic patiently mends each component, I sought therapy and introspection to repair the broken parts of my life. Music, meditation and exercising, became my toolkit, with 5 a.m. walks and weekly PT sessions now part of my daily routine, working on the body helped me rebuild my mental engine. I slowly and surely built up a team of supportive and lovely people to help get me roadworthy again. Collaborating with my mentor and guitar teacher, Adrian Whyte, also helped keep me on track. I would email him after completing each song for feedback and a record of my progress throughout the year. Also, developing a new friendship and collaboration with Leon, a talented upright bass player from the Sinnermatics, helped grow my musicianship and joy for performing, resulting in us debuting our first gig at the legendary Perth Folk & Roots Club this year. This is another highlight of a great year so far.
“Struck By Lightning Again” – The Restoration Project
My creative resurgence mirrored the meticulous restoration of a vintage car. The album “Struck By Lightning Again” served as my canvas for rejuvenation. Each track symbolised my transformation from despair to hope, akin to returning a classic car to its former glory.
The Customised “Voodoo” Addition
Like a car enthusiast adding custom features to their vintage automobile, I ventured into uncharted musical territory with “Voodoo.” The song allowed me to give voice to the darker aspects of my journey, much like a custom paint job or unique accessories on a classic car. It also helped me return to my roots and influences more meaningfully, as Poison Ivy’s guitar playing has always inspired me.
Sharing the Journey
Restoring a vintage car isn’t just about the vehicle itself; it’s about sharing the passion for the process. I used my music as a bridge to connect with my audience and people around me by sharing a lot more about my challenges and process for songwriting (you can check out the video series here) in my socials, much like a car collector who shares their meticulously restored vehicle at a classic car show.
My pivotal moment came when I had the opportunity to perform again at “Blue Beats,” an event dedicated to raising awareness about mental health and fighting the stigma surrounding it. This was like showcasing a beautifully restored vintage car at a classic car convention sharing my story with a like-minded community. Salv, his family, and the musicians and volunteers who share their time and love in this event is a great environment to be in. I am grateful for the opportunity to play there again and share my struggles with the audience, encouraging others not to hide their struggles.
The Road to Redemption
Just as a vintage car can be lovingly restored to its former glory, my life experienced a revival through my music. “Struck By Lightning Again” and “Voodoo” are my refurbished classics, embodying my journey from despair to hope. Participating in “Blue Beats” was like showcasing a lovingly restored classic car at an expo, allowing me to inspire others through my story and music. My journey demonstrates that, like a vintage car, we all have the potential for restoration and transformation, finding beauty in the process of healing and renewal. See you on the road.
Here are some solid reviews of the album, Struck By Lightning Again and new single, Voodoo.