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Courtney LaPlante reveals “mental breakdown” while recording Spiritbox’s debut album

Spiritbox group shot
(Image credit: Spiritbox)

Spiritbox have emerged as one of the break-through acts of 2021, with the post-metalcore band’s acclaimed debut album, Eternal Blue, debuting on America’s Billboard 200 chart at number 13 last month. But as vocalist Courtney LaPlante admits in the current issue of Metal Hammer (opens in new tab), making the album was “physically and mentally exhausting”, an intense and emotionally raw experience which took a toll upon her mental health.

“Every day I would wake up and be more and more tired,” the singer recalls. “It’s like acting. Someone has to hear your emotion in their ears, so you have to get into the mentality of whoever the narrator is singing the song. The narrator is usually myself, but at different points in my life. It was a safe environment though; I was with Dan [Braunstein, producer], Bill [Crook, Spiritbox bassist] and Michael [Stringer, Spiritbox guitarist and LaPlante’s husband], and they are people who love me, and were there to protect me if things got too weird.”

The singer tells Hammer that the recording of Circle With Me, the album’s powerful penultimate track, proved especially challenging.

“I went to record it and I had no confidence,” she remembers. “I sounded so bad, and the guys had to pause my recording session. I had a frickin’ mental breakdown. They guys were like, ‘It’s OK Courtney, we can do this again tomorrow’, and I went into a closet in my room and cried and cried. The next day, magic happened. If I hadn’t had that breakdown the night before I wouldn’t have been able to perform the song like I did the next day.”

LaPlante admits that her band’s rapid ascent will bring additional pressure, but insists she’s ready for the challenges ahead.

“I feel like people are going to have expectations of perfection from us, and I want to live up to those expectations,” she tells Hammer. “I’m not scared of them. They just make me even more inspired.”

For more on the making of Eternal Blue, plus features on Jinjer, Rolo Tomassi, Mayhem, Svalbard and a huge tribute to former Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison pick up the current issue of Metal Hammer now

Metal Hammer Newstand Cover

(Image credit: Future)
Metal Hammer
Metal Hammer

Founded in 1983, Metal Hammer is the global home of all things heavy. We have breaking news, exclusive interviews with the biggest bands and names in metal, rock, hardcore, grunge and beyond, expert reviews of the lastest releases and unrivalled insider access to metal's most exciting new scenes and movements. No matter what you're into – be it heavy metal, punk, hardcore, grunge, alternative, goth, industrial, djent or the stuff so bizarre it defies classification – you'll find it all here, backed by the best writers in our game.