Adam Ficek - Psychotherapist & former Babyshambles drummer on Mental Health support for musicians in industry

May 11, 2018, 07:13 AM

On this special episode of The StageLeft Podcast ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week, we welcome Psychotherapist & former Babyshambles writer and drummer, Adam Ficek. 

As well as an impressive solo output as ‘Roses Kings Castles’, touring the world as a celebrated DJ, Adam now works to support those in the music industry through Music and Mind, which is established to provide support, therapy, consultancy, and wellbeing in the music industry. 

Adam talks candidly of how his own experiences led to the creation of Music and Mind, and the importance of duty of care within the industry:

‘…one minute you are at the top of the game and the next minute you’re not, you’re struggling for support with all these different things which can really be quite overwhelming… the pressures are innately growing, for young bands especially…’ 

We hear the most common root cause behaviours of those that are coming to him and what specific actions musicians can take right now, the effect on creative and artistic output, how social media is a potent force for disabling people’s mental health, and the conundrum of being commoditised with-in the industry: 

‘…if you are going to step into the arena of commoditisation, then you’re going to be a commodity, that’s how it is…I did have a choice, no-one had a gun to my head saying ‘you must stay in this industry…’ 

Adam also talks about what differentiates the Babyshambles from the Libertines, the unique approach young songwriters could learn from Pete Doherty, and the time the chief Babyshamble was babysat by two ex-military: 

‘…Every other week he’d be nicked for drugs and it was part of a court order… so rather than sending him down, he would have these two ex-military guys babysit him for the recording of ‘Down in Albion’. It was a very messy time for everyone I think…’ 

Adam talks with affection about legendary drummer and teacher Bob Armstrong, why he no longer thinks of playing Wembley and Glastonbury as momentous occasions, and being in The La’s for two whole days: 

‘…I think I was in The La’s twice, once was for about a day…’ 

This episode is in keeping with our ethos to lift the lid of the music industry. Thanks to Adam, we hear a side of it that is not often spoken about yet has an ever-increasing impact from the lowest to the highest echelons of the industry. To find out more about Music and Mind please visit: