You Rock Foundation

you-rock-logoYou Rock Foundation “something amazing will happen too.”
Written by PawL Bazile
Photos by Laura Desantis-Olsson
And Morgan Hodgen

Where would we be without our depression?  “We” as in punks, goths, metalheads, homeboys, burnouts, scientists, hippies, painters, actors, freaks, beatniks, writers, playas, storytellers, explorers, mothers, fathers, down to the lowest hipster scum, we all start the same way… We YRF Zingwant something we’re missing, don’t we?  Who we become seems to be how we look for what we’re missing.

Driven by one form of depression or another, some of us find music at some point.  A bunch of noise born in someone’s head, ends up helping you decide what your pants will look like, which is weird, but it’s true.  There’s something you hate and you can’t do anything about it, you’re in pain and want to make it stop, someone you love won’t love you back, all become a huge part of you, me, and everyone you’ve ever met.  Is it here to help you stay hungry for something better to come?  What would you be if no one broke your heart?  A life being showered in compliments and smiles and understanding lilting voices may not be worth living.  The music I love usually begins with something to scream at and goes on from there.  Darker the better.

Steve Zing has been the black heartbeat of Glenn Danzig’s rhythm section for much of his life.  He was the original drummer for “Samhain” and now plays bass for “Danzig”.  In a way, he’s made darkness his life’s work and it is a masterpiece. Steve candidly opened up about his depression in an interview with “The You Rock Foundation”.  “The You Rock Foundation” is a non-profit organization telling musicians stories to create awareness of anxiety & depression with a channel on youtube.   A young person might think that past a certain point, life gets figured out, but it’s not that simple.  Steve’s a creative guy who’s held down many bands your mother probably doesn’t want you to hear.  As a family man in his early 40s, the guy who kept time for the blackest of the black has a nervous breakdown when his mother died and his wife left him.  It shook his confidence and made him question where his life was going.

“I had to play the part of being a normal person”

“Everything was torn apart.  My heart.  My Mind… Everything that went along with panic attacks I had every one of those symptoms…”

Steve talks about fear in this piece.  It’s a subject he had been playing music about his whole life, but listening to this I got the sense when it came crashing down on him, he saw real fear, in and outside himself, for the 1st time.  The reputationsSteve Zing most musicians have when they substance abuse, but Steve Zing didn’t put a band-aid on his bigger problem.  Here’s a guy that faced it.  He saw his children, and his friends who stood by him and recognized what was important.  The chink in the armor of depression is seeing past yourself and looking at the part you play in your life’s bigger picture.  Turning inward to drugs and alcohol, would not have been just selfish, but easy and it would have been just as easy to wear that depression like a warm blanket.  It takes a real man, a real adult, and a bad motherfucker to plow through the selfishness.  Whenever you see him on the right side of the stage with the big DANZIG banner behind him, recognize that Steve Zing is that man.

And on a personal side there’s this.

Here’s Picture of Steve Playing with Danzig…

…and below that is the photographer who took that picture, Morgan Hodgen.

Morgan took his own life after battling depression. He was my photographer and a good guy.

I can’t help but think if it would have been different if Morgan had a conversation with a guy like Steve Zing or sent me an email about what he was feeling.

The truth is if you wait long enough, something terrible WILL happen.  It’s the unlucky lottery.  But something amazing will happenMorgan Hodgen too.  And most of that amazing stuff happens when you get out of bed and look for it.

So where would we be without our depression?  We all answer the same question differently and there’s no real answer.  A sure thing is a lot of great music, films, art, moments, and people (like Steve Zing) wouldn’t exist the way we know them if there wasn’t a tragedy for them to cut through.  If someone uses their depression, studies it, understands it, controls it, adds it to themselves as an asset and builds past it, amazing things tend to happen.  Depression might be the best muse humanity ever had.

For more information on the You Rock Foundation or to get involved go to yourockfoundation.org

Pawl BAzile is a filmmaker and journalist from New Jersey.

Be sure to “Like” and “Comment” and Follow him on Twitter @PawLBazile