I interviewed John Hassall, Libertines bassist, for The Mind Map
In January, I wrote about my battles with mental ill health, describing how The Libertines, an iconic British band, saved me during the darkest depths of depression.
Like frontmen Pete Doherty and Carl Barât, I have Libertine tattooed on my left bicep, a permanent tribute to their resounding impact on my life. Without the Libs and their monumental music, I may not be here today. That's how much credit I bestow on their inspirational work.
Recently, I met Phil Bridges and Ste Turton, driving forces behind The Mind Map, a Liverpool-based start-up navigating people to better mental health through personable content and specialist training courses. After making necessary changes in my life and recovering to a point of relative stability, I'm keen to help other people benefit from my lived experiences. We discussed possible collaborations, and the guys agreed to provide a tailored platform for my mental health writing.
Somewhat remarkably, my first assignment for The Mind Map involved interviewing John Hassall, bass guitarist for The Libertines. You don't get to chat with your heroes every day, and I'm still pinching myself it actually happened. John was very accommodating, and we spoke freely about his mental health journey; the nexus of drugs and psychological fitness; the virtues of Buddhism; and designing a compassionate creative process.
John also gave The Mind Map an exclusive update on The Libertines' new album, which is apparently closer than many fans ever believed. I can't thank John enough for giving me some of his time.