On their forthcoming album GLUE, set for release 01 May via Pure Noise Records, Boston Manor vocalist Henry Cox has a lot to say on issues of mental health, “man up” culture, the prevalence of male suicide in today’s society and a lot more besides.
Released recently, in a double-drop with another album track Ratking, On A High Ledge is a song that’s very important to Henry: “When I was seven years old I saw a man commit suicide by jumping off the bus station in Blackpool a few feet in front of me. Growing up, I always rejected the idea of what a “boy” should do; I never liked football, I thought fighting was stupid & at age six I spray painted my bike pink. I’ve always hated the term “man up”. I think it is such a damaging thing to say to little boys. A big problem that we have to tackle is men’s inability to seek help; it’s this ‘man up culture’ that is baked into young men from a young age that makes them think – it’s wrong to cry, it’s wrong to share your feelings & being vulnerable is weak. The biggest killer of young men today is suicide. Obviously, mental health support in the UK & most of the world is not what it should be, and mental health issues affect everyone not just men. But I wanted to write a song dedicated to that man who died when I was young. I hope, as a society, we can teach little boys being born now that being sad is okay. Strangely, the day after we wrote this song, one of the guys in the band was driving home and saw a man on a bridge over the motorway about to jump. He quickly pulled off the road and managed to talk to the guy until an ambulance came. A strange coincidence, but I really hope that man is doing better now.”
If you or someone you know is feeling vulnerable & needs someone to talk to please contact Samaritans on 116 123.
Ratking refers to a phenomenon that occurs when several rats’ tails become intertwined and they get stuck. This causes them to struggle harder which only makes the knot tighter; eventually they’re unable to move and they die. Boston Manor relate that phenomenon to humankind with this track. As Henry explains: “‘Ratking’ is about our inability to empathise with each other and work together as a collective. Even those who consider themselves tolerant should look at their inbuilt biases. I think our inability to show compassion to people who think differently to us is what is holding us back. We’ve seen this so much over the last few years. Just because someone voted differently to you, it does not automatically make them a bad person or invalidate their feelings. Even if someone is a hateful person, don’t deny that person the opportunity to change. We need to help each other to grow rather than trying to cancel, shout down, ridicule or attack each other.”
Boston Manor will celebrate the release of GLUE with a headline tour of the UK around its release, with support from Trophy Eyes, including a date at London’s Electric in Brixton on 07 May.
The band will also perform at the Stylus in Leeds on May 9th.