Beloved indie rock band Modern Baseball have announced that they’re cancelling the rest of their U.S. and festival tour dates.
On February 21st, vocalist and guitarist Jake Ewald posted to Facebook a heartfelt and honest message explaining that the group’s mental health was simply degraded. Anyone who already purchased tickets will be refunded their money at point of purchase.
Modern Baseball (MOBO for short) has been advocating for mental health for some time now. The group has supported mental well-being among fans and band members alike. Vocalist and guitarist Brendan Lukens has opened up publicly about his struggle with anxiety and depression a number of times, explaining that though it’s an arduous journey, the support from friends, family, and fans is appreciated. Earlier this year, Lukens announced that he wouldn’t be joining the rest of his band mates in the U.K. in order to care for his mental and physical health.
Now, after discussing their thoughts and feelings with each other, the rest of MOBO have decided to take a break from touring in order to care for themselves.
In his post on the Modern Baseball Facebook page, Ewald stated with a heavy heart, “Over the past few months, the band has become an immense source of anxiety for me, and it wasn’t until I opened up to Sean, Ian, and Brendan about it that we realized we were all feeling the same way…We have been championing the importance of mental health for a while now, and we recently realized it would be wrong for us to ignore our own health any longer.”
Included in the post is a picture of handwritten contact information for various hotlines, as well as a link to the Buddy Project website.
Thankfully, MOBO has had the support of their fans during low times such as this. On the other hand, not every group is met with the same positive reaction.
Typically, when cancellations come last minute, fans become irate before trying to understand what’s going on behind the scenes. Though it’s frustrating when we can’t get what we want, we have to take into consideration that our heroes are humans, too. Like us, they have limitations, and with the demanding life of a musician, those limits are met and surpassed multiple times throughout a career. Sometimes, this leads to artists taking alternative routes to coping with their degraded health, including drugs and alcohol.
The music industry has been incredibly lacking in addressing and offering help to artists that need it since its earliest stages. According to a survey conducted by Help Musicians UK, an overwhelming 6o% of the music industry (artists and business people alike) is affected by mental illness. That’s more than half of the industry that isn’t getting the support it deserves.
However, mental health has become a growing topic of discussion as more artists step forward to advocate for mental wellness and self care. Like MOBO, artists across the board have been putting their mental health first, including Dan Lambton of Real Friends, Van McCann of Catfish and the Bottlemen, Selena Gomez, and Kid Cudi. All your of these artists have at one point cancelled tour dates to care for themselves, even if they were met with disappointment and anger.
Yes, it can be “annoying” when groups cancel tour dates, but if they didn’t put their health first they would risk serious consequences, like addiction or potential death. Just because you can’t always see their illness doesn’t mean it isn’t there. They deserve support as much as anyone.
Good luck to MOBO as they begin their road to recovery, and good luck to anyone struggling with a mental illness. This author sincerely hopes that you will be able to find the help you need.
To read Jake Ewald’s full Facebook post, click here.