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November 2019

Go behind the scenes for Nothing But Thieves' #IAmWhole Mental Health Day video

Go behind the scenes with Nothing But Thieves to find out all about their work with new mental health project, #IAmWhole.
Published: 9:41 am, October 10, 2017
Go behind the scenes for Nothing But Thieves' #IAmWhole Mental Health Day video
The NHS and youth charity YMCA have joined forces for a new mental health campaign. #IAmWhole was launched in 2016 by Rizzle Kicks’ Jordan Stephens as a direct response to the mental health difficulties being experienced by young people throughout the UK. 

The efforts will focus on the effects of harmful language and negative stereotypes on mental health - and this year Nothing But Thieves are joining Jordan to front the campaign, recording a special version of their single (and album title-track) ‘Broken Machine’.

Hey Conor, first off - congrats on your new album doing so well in the charts. Were you expecting it to get such a high ranking?
Cheers! Not at all. We were all chasing the third or fourth position in the charts. Really shocked to find out it came in at second place. Just weird to have a Number 2 album.

What did you do to celebrate?
We had a party at Dom's house and also went out with the label. Just ruined ourselves in celebration goodness.

Are you pleased with how the album's going so far? It must be nice to finally have it out.
Very pleased. I think it's going down extremely well. Personally, I think it's ten times better than the first; I'm confident with it. Feels great to have it out, we've been sitting on it for about eight months after recording, so it's been so hard. Not very good at keeping secrets.

So how did you get involved in World Mental Health Day?
#IAmWhole contacted us out of the blue. I was taken aback by it and flattered to be a part of it. We just want to be able to help, if we can, in any way towards the campaign.

Is it an issue close to you guys?
Yeah, the last few years of touring and the lifestyle shift just flipped me over. I struggled with mental health issues, and it got to a terrible point where I nearly quit the band. We have friends and loved ones who struggle with it too. It's a big part of our lives, and the album has a lot of songs written about it.

"pull" text="It’s important to talk.

How do you cope with the pressures of band life?
Well, I didn't at all very well the last couple of years. It's weird; if I didn't have an awful time, I wouldn't have learnt the skills I needed to get through it. So in a way, I'm glad - it taught me a lot. For me personally, I try to normalise tour life. I try and take the way I live life off the road and apply it on the road. Simple things like some exercise, read a lot, good meals at similar times a day. A little goes a long way for me.

Quite a few of your songs are about life's difficulties, do you get fans opening up to you about their troubles as a result?
Absolutely. I think that's the main thing people should do, talk about it and be open. We definitely encourage it.

What are you all doing for your part of the campaign?
We're taking part in a music video for #IAmWhole. We're shooting our song 'Broken Machine' with a string section, and it sounds so so good. They smash it. I've been talking to #IAmWhole about my story too, what I went through and trying to get the message across about how important it is to talk.

How did you go about putting together the new version of ‘Broken Machine'?
We knew we really wanted to play one of our songs for the campaign with an orchestra/string section. 'Broken Machine' just seemed to fit for an odd orchestral section. Dom and I did string arrangement in A-level Music so he quickly pieced together an idea of what we wanted which sounded great and sent it to this incredible arranger Chris Elliot who just turned it into this beautiful beast, sounds like a bond theme now.

And what's the best thing about taking part in #IAmWhole?
Being a part of encouraging people to talk about their mental health issues. Spreading the message that it is real and very serious and shunning the negative comments towards it.

Find out more about #IAmWhole at

Photos: Poppy Marriott / Dork

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