It was supposed to be a light interview. Dorothy Martin, the front person of the band Dorothy showed up in the media area after her set was canceled due to weather at Welcome to Rockville. This statuesque woman is stunningly beautiful with a resonance to her voice that is incredible. Since I was not expecting to interview her, I went in cold. What followed could not have been a timelier message during mental health month.
On tour with her latest album, 28 Days in the Valley, produced by Linda Perry, she self-described it as “more psychedelic and groovier”. The single Freedom is so powerful in its message and vocals. I recalled back to her the Las Vegas show in July when they had to move the show inside. Unable to accommodate everyone inside, they performed a unique acoustic show. I was one of the people left outside on the sidewalk late into the night. She considers that her “best show ever”.
I’ve been working on stories relating to post tour depression, so I touched on this with her. She has so much to say about it. “I’m familiar with that. I’m still trying to figure that out. It’s brutal. It is a really serious thing. It impacts everyone I know as a touring musician. I’m in recovery as well and it’s a direct threat to my recovery. A lot of the time I was like coming off these tours and relapsing, going ‘what’s happening’?. You know, because I’m coming off this high and just crashing really bad and didn’t have any tool to help me cope with that. So yeah, it’s a real thing and it effects everyone out thereon the road. Um I wish I knew more about it and I personally wouldn’t want to treat it with (mentions name brand anti-depressant) or anything like that, but it’s tough and you either realize this is what’s happening, and it is an adjustment period. Maybe you can tell me more about how to deal with it. I don’t know. “ This is still resonating in my mind. A total stranger asking me if I know how she can deal with these feelings. Honestly, I do not have a clue. I can only relate to how I feel after the festivals are over. I am not qualified to discuss what being on the stage day after day feels like. For me, the circus leaves town, but artists ARE the circus and they leave it.
She was rushed for time to catch a flight. We did not have much time to discuss much more. I was thinking quite often about her since. I decided to try to find some way to cope with post tour depression, The first thing is to realize that this is incredibly common. There are so many people who thrive on the energy from the crowd and once they are home, it goes away, leaving a massive hole where the feeling used to be. Many artists have a need to fill that space with something else that mimics the feeling. A stable home life can help tremendously. Much like other people who spend extended periods away from home, a stable home life can do wonders to keep focused and fill the hours when the tour ends. A strong self-examination to realize if they have an addictive personality and make a plan on how to replace the time on tour with a healthy alternative to drugs and alcohol. The biggest step is to discuss with family, friends, strangers, anyone who will listen what they are feeling and going through. Lifting the stigma of depression is key to dealing with it. Admitting weakness is the strongest thing anyone can do. If you know someone going through depression please reach out to them and encourage them to call for help.
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