Trivium vocalist and guitarist Matt Heafy has opened up on his battle with social anxiety disorder.
Heafy experienced the phobia in the band’s early days due to having severe acne, and recalls that meeting fans and doing magazine shoots caused him to “freak out.”
Speaking to the You Rock Foundation, a music charity which seeks to raise awareness about mental health issues, Heafy says: “When we first started touring I used to have social anxiety disorder. It’s not clinically diagnosed but I knew that any time I would go out and meet fans I would freak out.
“At that time as well, I had really terrible acne, so when our band was first blowing up in the UK, we would always have fans who wanted to meet us and magazines who wanted to take pictures – and I didn’t want to do it. Not because I was trying to be egotistical, it’s that I didn’t want to be seen. I was afraid to talk to people and afraid to be in groups.
Heafy says he managed to overcome the disorder thanks to support from his wife, family and friends. And he offers advice to those who face similar problems on a daily basis.
He adds: “The same way a lot of people are concerned with taking care of their bodies, the biggest thing we neglect is you also need to take care of your mind – whether that’s finding outlets physically that help you mentally feel better, or even just having someone to talk to.
“The big break we had before Silence In The Snow, not only was I taking guitar and vocal lessons, I was also seeing a therapist because I feel that’s important. I think when people hear that, they think, ‘If I do that there’s something wrong with me.’ But that’s not the case.
“When you recognise patterns or things you may do that point blame at yourself, you need to recognise that’s a habit you’ve learned and it’s important to find what outlets help you feel balanced. A big thing is knowing you’re not the only one who feels that way.”
Trivium will tour the US next month, with an appearance scheduled at Ozzfest Meets Knotfest event in California on September 25.
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Trivium tour dates 2016
Sep 15: Columbus Newport Music Hall, OH
Sep 16: Baltimore Soundstage, OH
Sep 17: Chester Rock Allegiance, GA
Sep 19: Atlanta Masquerade, GA
Sep 20: Little Rock Metroplex Teen Summit, AR
Sep 22: Denver Summit Music Hall, CO
Sep 23: Albuquerque Sunshine Theater, NM
Sep 24: Tempe Marquee Theatre, AZ
Sep 25: San Bernardino Ozzfest Meets Knotfest at San Manuel Amphitheater, CA
Sep 27: Salt Lake City Complex, UT
Sep 29: Omaha Sokol Auditorium, NE
Oct 01: Janesville Sonic Boom, WI
Oct 02: Louisville Louder Than Life, KY
Oct 04: Peoria Limelight Eventplex, IL
Oct 06: Dallas Gas Monkey Bar N’ Grill, TX
Oct 07: Houston Scout Bar, TX
Oct 08: Tulsa Cain’s Ballroom, OK
Oct 10: Pittsburgh Stage AE, PA
Oct 11: New York Irving Plaza, NY
Oct 13: Poughkeepsie Chance Theater, NY
Oct 14: Worcester Palladium, MA
Oct 15: Binghamton Magic City Music Hall, NY
Oct 18: Saint Petersburg State Theatre Concerts, FL
Oct 19: Fort Lauderdale Revolution Live, FL
Oct 21: Lake Buena Vista House Of Blues Orlando, FL