Grantham band out to help mental health
A Grantham band hopes to raise money in support of mental health organisations by releasing an album.
The Green is made up of four Grantham men, Matt Kent, David Taylor, Rich Booker and Steve Abram, some of whom have experience with mental health matters, either with friends, family, colleagues or themselves over the years.
The group was formed around 15 years ago and has played in places as diverse as Grantham Guildhall, Liverpool, Edinburgh, London, Los Angeles and New York.
Drummer Matt Kent, who attended what is now Priory Ruskin Academy, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2012.
Matt, who lives at Barrowby Gate with wife Alexandra and baby son Milo, explained: “The ups and downs of success and failure with the band have from time to time caused severe depression and some major difficulties over the years - which we continue to work to overcome.”
Matt, who is 35, previously worked for Network Rail in business improvement and transformation but he changed his career in adjustment to his problems. He now works as a mental health consultant for numerous rail, construction and professional service companies advising them on mental health management matters.
Such a lifechanging experience has driven Matt and other band members to raise £100,000 to release an album to help raise awareness of and funds for tackling mental health issues. This was done through playing shows, selling music and from personal savings.
Rather than be ‘signed up’ by a record company, the group have chosen to operate independently.
Matt said: “We have done extremely well by ourselves and with the personal support of others. This seems to work for us.”
He said: “We would like to generate what we can to support other work in mental health and we also have another opportunity to do another album in the US at a much higher profile than this one but for that we need to raise around £500,000.
“We feel that this is a bit like trying to get to the moon in a shopping trolley, but we haven’t failed this far, its just the next step. Hopefully, this will lead to generating even more funding to do some increasingly powerful stuff to help people with mental health difficulties and those who may be homeless.”
The group plans a performance in July in Grantham, which will also include fund-raising for MIND, the mental health charity. The group already has YouTube channels, social media pages and sales of their music is possible through iTunes, CD Baby and most digital outlets.
Matt added: “What we are trying to do here is, in a way, make the most of what has been at times an extremely difficult journey. We are who and what we are, and we intend to make the best of what we have. Making a difference in mental health matters while at the same time being able to do what we love is a dream come true. We very much hope to continue and help where we can. Thank you to all who have been there so far and will be there in future...”