I have to say, as much as mental illness is a terrible thing, I’m very glad that speaking about it has become so accepted, because it allows for beautiful pieces of music like PURGE’s new song “Never Let This Go” to be released.
That isn’t to say that speaking about mental illness is a new phenomenon. Artists have been expressing feelings of depression, loss, anxiety, and more for decades. But it’s now becoming more common to be even more open, with more (potentially disturbing) real imagery of depression and loss.
In the music video for “Never Let This Go,” various scenes of self harm, anger, loss, and depression are laid bare. It can be tough to watch for those struggling with the same issues, but for those who can’t quite wrap their head around what it’s like, it’s a stark insight into the lives of those afflicted.
I caught up with PURGE ahead of the release to ask him questions about mental health, the video, and his inspirations for the music. Watch the video below, and keep scrolling to learn more.
More than ever before, mental health is beginning to reverse its position as a “taboo” topic, and people are speaking openly about their experiences. Is this video your way of expressing yourself and your struggles?
You know, as we’ve been planning this release. I have noticed the topic appearing more from artists and celebrities. I’ve been hearing speeches from DJs during live sets talking about mental health and I think it’s great. I personally believe that if you come forward as a victim or a sufferer, it will help other victims see that people survive cause that’s the big question when you’re imprisoned in your own mind. How do I survive this? In a way it absolutely is an expression of myself but truthfully, the video is loosely based on actual events in someone’s life. We approached it this way to create a reality in the video that you don’t see in a lot of music videos. The first few times I watched this video, my stomach got so tight because of how much I felt and how it just made me flash back to moments in my life that I was personally struggling with. It’s very empowering to have overcome those things in my life.
The imagery in the video for “Never Let This Go” is frighteningly vivid and specific. Is any part of it based on real life events?
It’s extremely intense for me. My eyes watered up so much watching the first few cuts. I definitely relate it to my experiences in life but it’s actually about that main male actor in the film who happens to be Deiv’s brother. Deiv actually wrote his lyrical content based on feelings he had gone through with his brother so we put his brother in the video and loosely based it on events in his life. And to be frank, it really just scratches the surface of what this man has gone through. Because of this, you get the reality that is felt through the video.
How did you get acquainted with Deiv? What did he bring to the track that no one else could?
So Deiv and I actually go back many years. He was in a metal band from Puerto Rico and I was in a band from Orlando and it was pretty common for bands to come from Puerto Rico to play in our area since it was so close. We reconnected cause I had just randomly seen him working on electronic music but the way he sung on the tracks absolutely moved me. He has this raw emotion in his voice that is just so unique to him. He truly sings from the heart while at the same time understanding what sounds great and what makes a great hook.
If you could give your 15 year old self advice, what would it be?
Forgive and don’t lose hope. I think my demon was anger. I was angry at so much. I went through an incredible amount of heartache and trauma in my family around those years and it’s hard to understand forgiveness when you’re at that age because you don’t understand the value of patience or vulnerability. The scary thing about my anger issues is that I acted out pretty violently but inward. Towards myself. It just made me so cold, socially. Middle school and high school was tough. I did not understand how to make friends, I didn’t see the importance of education and I developed a pretty terrible drug and alcohol problem in high school. So I would say, learn to forgive and don’t lose hope.
If you had to give advice to someone else going through a hard time, what would you tell them?
I don’t want to over simplify things but it’s important to consciously be aware of what you’re going through. Sometimes you have to sit and think about how you are feeling and understand why you’re feeling that way. I think that’s the first step. Just being open to understanding you have a problem. Second step, being open to receiving help for that problem. Whether it’s professional help, a friend or even just a co-worker. Help is always so much closer than we think it is. You just don’t know who is going through similar things and your new best friend might be sitting right next to you, waiting to empathize with you and get help with you. What sucks about it is that those steps aren’t in any order. Sometimes you have to do step two to even get to step one. Hope, love, happiness and compassion are all real things and it’s possible to find those things in people but it’s substantially more important to find that in yourself.
Why release “Never Let This Go” now?
This song has actually been done for over a year now. I looked at the timestamp on my pro tools session and it was March 3rd, 2018 that this song was created and finished. I cannot stress enough how important it was that we did not rush the release on this one. I kept telling myself over and over that this one isn’t being released until it’s ready and the stars just aligned a year later. It found it’s home at Play Me records and the conversation that was had with Play Me, made us really want to work with them on it. They were particularly excited about the whole idea and we needed that. We needed them to be just as excited and passionate about the whole idea as we were and they took it and absolutely ran with it and we’re so blessed to be working with them on it. When we had the release date set, Deiv had the music video wrapped in like 3 days. By no means did that just fall together, that man didn’t sleep to get the project done. We’re all very proud of the project now and just being able to do more with the platform we’re given is something that we’re always going to set out to do.