Joel Birch writes back to every The Amity Affliction fan who writes to him. And he vows he'll continue to take the responsibility of his position seriously – even though it takes its toll on him.
The singer has spoken about in his lyrics about mental health, death and suicide, and believes he can’t turn his back on fans who open up to him in response.
Birch tells TeamRock Radio: “When you’re given this amazing platform where you can actually change people’s lives for the better, I think that’s part and parcel of being in a band. If you’re going to write honestly about problems then you should speak honestly too. Mental health is such an important topic.”
But sometimes he finds it’s all too much for him, and that’s when he seeks solace at the sea – which inspire the title of fourth album Let The Ocean Take Me, released this week.
He says: “I don’t want anyone to feel like I’m cut off or different to them, but I just needed people to understand that it’s quite a load to bear. I take it to heart, you know.”
Birch finds himself dealing with as many as 400 messages in one sitting, and he’s sorry to report that some of them take advantage of his sense of honour.
“I like that there’s a dialogue between me and the people who listen to our music,” he says. “But I also feel that there’s an unwritten boundary that people need to adhere to and sometimes they don’t.”