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Steve Angello: 'Touring is tough, taxing and unhealthy for artists'

The producer was asked in an interview about how the news of Avicii's death in April had affected him…

Steve Angello mental health avicii DJ Mag
Steve Angello mental health avicii DJ Mag

Steve Angello has spoken about the pressures of touring and the effects it can have on even the most successful artist’s mental health.

In a recent interview with Swedish publication Aftonbladet’s digital radio segment, the Swedish House Mafia member was asked about how the recent death of his friend and contemporary Avicii aged just 28 had affected him.

“For us, Tim wasn't an artist, he was a friend,” he responded [translated from Swedish]. “so it's a bit different when you look at this ‘just the artist' situation. For me it's more about thinking about the siblings, the parents losing their child. I can't even imagine how that can feel.”

“We artists, don't feel well, we are a bit unstable and crazy,” he added, discussing the wider pressures and expectations that come with intense touring and press schedules. “I know how tough and taxing it can be when you are coming from 60 gigs, meeting your family, barely had anything to eat in 2 months. It gets a bit unhealthy in general.”

Angello also discussed how the pressure of needing to use social media and be constantly connected to your fanbase can be dangerous, unhealthy territory. Being open to constant barrages of messages, positive or negative, can take its toll, he admitted.

“I also think that social media can be a bit scary because suddenly you have direct contact with your fans, which can be a beautiful thing,” he said. “The problem is when it’s something negative they can reach you directly. You have to build a kind of alter-ego, and make a distance between that.”

He went on to discuss how artists often use the veil of social media to pretend everything is okay, even when they are struggling with their mental health.

“It’s easy to pretend that everything is okay when you are posting nice photos on social media, while in reality it might not be that way,” he said. “People that aren’t close to you might not notice it all the time. However it’s a hard thing, even if you know that someone isn’t feeling well, it can be hard to take that step and walk up to someone and ask how they are feeling.”

Superstar EDM producer/DJ Avicii - real name Tim Bergling – was found dead in his hotel room in Oman in April this year. While the cause of his death was never confirmed, a statement made by his family at the time implied that he had died by suicide. Recently, Carl Cox said in an interview that upon hearing the news of Bergling’s death he was “very, very sad because I could see he was not in control of himself” and that the demands of the music industry “was too much, even for a young guy”.

Following the news of his death, DJ Mag’s digital editor Charlotte Lucy Cijffers reflected on the young DJs enormous influence on the global EDM community and on how his openness surrounding his struggles with fame, touring and alcoholism gave a troubling, if necessary, insight into a side of dance music the world often does not see.

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