In an attempt to mitigate an oncoming mental health breakdown that I feel creeping up on me once again, and because we are pretty close to mid-June (close enough anyway), I figured I’d do a mid-year check up on how things are going in all facets of Heavy Debriefings and my state of being. Good, bad, and maybe some stuff in between.
Back at the beginning of January, I reformatted myself from That Drummer Guy to Heavy Debriefings. I loved my run as That Drummer Guy, but it was time for a change. It was all too much of having to repeat myself over and over again that I was That Drummer Guy, not whomever I was interviewing. I loved talking shop when it came to drums, but that was not my endgame when it came to what I do. That’s to talk music and have a real conversation that comes completely from a stream of consciousness and full spontaneity. I never write questions down unless I am sending an email interview, I have zero agenda going into any interview other than talk about the new music on display and anything else that comes from the natural conversation. It’s who I am and what I want to be. You can see a HUGE change from when I first started in 2011 to where I am now in 2022 and I’m proud of it. 822 interviews since that first point and by the end of this week, 825 (if everything goes right?).
I tried uploading the podcast up on YouTube and it went over like a wet fart so I stopped that back in May. I was also doing 6 album reviews a week in audio form, which also went over like a brown stain on a white pair of underpants. When it comes to YouTube, I learned that people just want the Interviews, it’s my bread and butter anyway so I’ll just keep up with that content. Over the past several years I tried many different spin-off shows, video game streams, etc and all they did was bring my channel down. So unless something drastically changes. Going forward, I’ll just be keeping the channel to interviews and if I ever have a reason to bring it back, Something Gives as that seemed to do ok, but that show hurts to make so I wouldn’t place any bets on that happening.
So the Heavy Debriefings Podcast is now just up everywhere you check out podcasts. Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Audible, Stitcher, Castbox, Pocket Casts, Radio Public, and as of writing this up iHeartRadio (SURPRISE ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THOSE ACTUALLY READING THIS!). Maybe more will happen in the future. It’s quite a bit of a change from 2013 when I was on actual FM radio stations, but here we are in the future.
I’ve also recently decided to shorten the show a bit to make it a bit more...realistic(?) for those that want to check it out. I mean an up to 40-minute interview (thanks to Zoom limitations) then the rest of the time is just me talking alone, without a sidekick, it’s not that much fun to listen to me blabbering on. So the plan going forward is to do an interview a week (unless there’s no way to make it schedule outright, where I’ll have 2 or more), then I’ll do a brief talk of stuff I’m digging lately, a mental health check, then talk about the Soundtrack for the week’s episode. The last couple of shows has been under 40 minutes, which seems reasonable. Hell, if it was a TV show, add 4 minutes and I have an hour-long show every week. It also takes a lot of pressure off me and there’s almost a guaranteed show every week, rather than waiting for the week of release to show off an interview. So it’s win/win.
Monthly Album Reviews
Since January, I have been talking about my 10 favorite albums of each month and it’s been a rousing bucket full of win when I see website clicks and retention. I can’t complain at all. So that will be here to stay, no questions asked. The Top 100 Albums of the Year isn’t going anywhere. I made that format famous; I’m keeping it mine!
So if you somehow never seen me talk about it; my dad died 6 months ago now back on December 6th, 2021 from Covid and Heart Failure. It’s been haunting me ever since, mainly because for 33 years of my life, I just wanted to have a good, loving, caring family; and I never got it. All I got was closet after closet of skeletons pouring out of all of my family member’s closets that all piled on me at once and for the last 3 years and change, I’ve been trying to pick up the pieces and move on, but after 3 decades of damage and almost 22 years since my first of 9 suicide attempts in that time; progress is so small I can’t even recognize if I am any better or not.
Mental Health Struggles
I wanna die, plain and simple. No sugar coating it (I’m diabetic, bad idea). I do not want to be here anymore…but I am trying with every fiber of my being to fight. It’s been coming up on 4 years since my 9th and so far, my final attempt at taking my life and while I feel as bad as I did then, I have not made another attempt, so I guess you can count that as progress.
I will say that since the beginning of the year, I did a med change, and overall, I do feel somewhat better. No strong mood swings, which is the biggest thing, everything is kind of just the same level of numbness, which can be good or bad depending on how you look at it.
I miss having local friends, I miss playing drums, and I miss having a reason to leave my apartment other than to do errands. I miss life and I’m only 33. Fuck...
No plans other than the immediate and of course the Top 100 Albums of the Year during the holidays. Long-term plans always seem to blow up in my face, so I just try to take things week by week. Some weeks I’ll have 5-7 interviews to conduct, sometimes it’ll be a month before I have one. It’s how it rolls.
Anyways, I just want to end this by saying thank you for reading this, even if you skipped everything and are just reading this last paragraph. Thank you for supporting me whether it’s being a fan of my work, rooting for me, being in my corner, or just having a long-distance interest in me and my life and being curious to see how it all plays out. All I can do is be me and this is as authentic as I could ever hope to be. My life’s an open book. Be it a precautionary tale of what not to do, a tale of overcoming adversity and achieving something like an almost 11-year career so far of some form in music, or just a land of anecdotes that have no rhyme or reason to it.
Thanks for sticking around and I hope you dig what will happen for the rest of 22 till I do my year-end wrap up.
Till next time!
- Josh Rundquist (Heavy Debriefings)