"I've been through a lot of nonsense in my life, a variety of stuff that has been well documented: jails, hospitals, hurricanes, drug abuse, homelessness, alcoholism, loss of family/friends, etc.," says Mike IX Williams, vocalist of sludgecore pioneers Eyehategod, who are currently (and perpetually) out on the road. "And the No. 1 reason to cry into your empty mug of vodka — a smashed and broken heart from a beautiful relationship gone to literal Sid and Nancy hell." Indeed, the NOLA underground icon has been through a lot, and so we reached out to him to participate in our continuing "Songs for Black Days" series, presented in partnership with Hope for the Day, in which artists shares some of the music that has helped them through dark times. "These go-to 'Songs for Black Days,' for me, are as varied as my criminal charges, ranging the spectrum of upbeat and toe-tapping to musical storm clouds and razor blades, please listen with an open mind," he says. "I firmly believe that listening to sad, negative songs when you're feeling sad and negative brings about an equalization, a relation to the emotions coming out of the speakers ..."
And he adds, "I am also very proud and happy these playlists are bringing attention to the educational suicide prevention website Hope for the Day, please visit them at HFTD.org for more information." Check out his playlist below.
Nick Cave and his former band the Birthday Party could've filled up all the spots on my playlist with various tales of love gone bad and bad decisions gone worse. This song, in particular, brings me to a place of agreeable despair with a misplaced promise of better days in the future. "I would kill to be good" ... No truer words have been spoken in the realm of working towards a better tomorrow.
This song symbolizes so much in my mind ... The celebration of an end, the celebration of a new unsure beginning, the celebration of sitting in a one bedroom apartment with no furniture. Things are gonna be allllllrrrright.
The name of the song here says it all ... Another girl, another planet. She's left you and traveled out there into the stratosphere. Don't worry about her, listen to this song and forget ...
As I said before, being able to relate to someone else's misery is, for sure, the best way to relate to feelings of "down in the dumps-ness" and insane depressive thoughts. Black Flag are one of those bands that have always brought out the true, raw emotion that the entirety of the human population has felt once or twice or 5 million times.
Start the day off with a little Codeine, one of the Nineties "slowcore" bands, as the genre was called then. I'd rather just call it exactly the way I feel like most of the days ... Listening to this band washes the sadness right out of my life. Music of all kinds has always gave me a glimmer of hope when I was looking down the double barrel of what bullshit society has thrown at me, and as the day is the darkest there's always a midnight sun to wake up to and live your best life.
If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for a list of resources.