In a series of tweets posted earlier this week, Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos explained that he will be taking time away from making music to focus on raising awareness of mental health, especially in the industry. Angelakos has previously been open about his own bipolar disorder.
As Brooklyn Vegan reports, the several tweets lay out Angelakos’ struggle in justifying playing and making music while also trying to focus on raising mental health awareness. “Until it is safer and healthier for us to be advocates, to be a writers, producers, and performers, I simply cannot continue making music,” he writes. “You’re either committed to it or not. To raise awareness one moment and announce a show the next doesn’t help me. It hurts me. And others.” Angelakos also notes the recent fifth anniversary of his album Gossamer, which chronicled a manic episode during which, he says, “I nearly lost everything, including my life.”
Angelakos later released a statement via Pitchfork clarifying his statement, saying he is “not really on hiatus” and that he is actually focusing on his work with The Wishart Group, a musician support service he launched earlier this year.
“It requires my full attention, which means taking time away from being a commercialized artist,” Angelakos tells Pitchfork. “It requires me to explain this because the idea that we can do several things at once and really create change, especially in the realm of mental health, is clearly not working. It’s just not enough, though I wish it were.”
Another excerpt from the statement discusses Angelakos’ struggles with the pressures of the music industry and the lack of help musicians receive, something he hopes to change with Wishart:
“I cannot continue to operate in this space, this industry, due to the way that it functions and treats people that work for it or create within it. It does nothing to promote the health required in order to produce the work it sells. The risks associated with being a commercialized artist and embarking on a typical album release, like endless promotion and touring, have nearly killed me. People often throw these words around casually as well, but when I say that these requirements have nearly killed me, have killed many people, and continue to kill people; I am not stating a fact. I am speaking from a very real and personal place. I live this, and I watch other artists struggle with the friction between their health and their art.”
Passion Pit’s new album, Tremedous Sea of Love, is set for release this Friday, along with, Angelakos says, “the official foundation of several first steps in achieving the goals of The Wishart Group—goals that should speak to many people, not just artists.”