We’re all aware of running marathons for charity, but have you even heard of a marathon radio broadcast? On 27th July, DJ Dellamorte of Barricade Radio will be on-air non-stop for 24 hours in support of CALM. From 9am Saturday 27th right through until 9am Sunday 28th, the intrepid (some might say ‘foolhardy’) DJ Dellamorte (aka Tristan Bishop) will be mixing records from his enviable collection for an entire day, aided by a line-up of special guests who will be dropping in throughout the day and night to spin short guest slots. Expect music from across the board, a house party vibe, and plenty of giggles when the sleep deprivation kicks in!
But why would a guy put himself through this? Sophia Taha spoke to the man himself…
DJ Dellamorte aka Tristan Bishop is, unfortunately, all too aware of the effects of suicide. In January he lost someone close to him; his best friend’s little brother, whose family and friends set about fundraising in his memory. This tragedy really brought home to Bishop the stigma mental health and suicide carry. I spoke to him about his own mental health demons and how music has helped him control them.
So, why CALM?
As a mental health sufferer I understand the stigma – it’s important to raise awareness and CALM do some good work. I have always been a bit of an over sharer by nature, however in the past I have clammed up.
He puts this down to the nature of the illness and the associated negative attitudes people have towards mental health…
I was reticent to [publicly] admit to having problems, but that in itself was enough of a reason to do it. Mental health and its perceptions interest me. When you mention in passing that you have suffered from illnesses like depression, you can see on people’s faces that they don’t know how to react. Despite the progress made with some excellent ad campaigns, and Stephen Fry’s openness, there is still a lot of work to be done. The most important thing is to not keep quiet about it.
Tristan’s father left when he was three. His memories of him are of an empty man who lacked empathy and was not ‘into’ emotions. It wasn’t until Tristan was 26 and a friend told him that he needed help, that he finally realized what the problem was. He couldn’t cope with things. He had massive breakdowns where he would scream until he couldn’t anymore. He felt like he wasn’t in control of any part of his life. An increase in work load, 17-18 hours a day in the office then Dj-ing at night led him to snapping point. His music career dwindled and he was left feeling empty. He stopped going out, stopped seeing friends and experienced suicidal thoughts and attempts.
Tristan started to improve a few months after being put on medication. He decided to re-invent himself, broadening his musical repertoire and doing internet radio shows. Subsequent frustration with unorganized clubs and radio stations, however, led to the creation of Barricade. Here he plays music on his own terms in a supportive and creative environment. The chat room is friendly and the music always leaves you in an excellent mood.
Tristan has been off medication for 2 years. He has had ups and downs, mostly reactive to situations, like many of us. The first three months of this year, however, were very hard for him.
My dream is to be full time DJ. I don’t care if I end up doing pub gigs, weddings and playing ‘STEPS.’ I was born to do this shit. Hunting for music, playing, watching people’s faces, sound tracking people’s life. The best thing about dj-ing is you get to be the weird guy in the corner and people respect you for it.
If you could change anything, go back in time, when would you go back to and why?
I’d go back and capitalise on the music opportunities I had. The doors were open. We had features on radio 1 and interviews, but I didn’t take the bull by the horns. Maybe I was scared by it. Doing music full time would have been fantastic.
For more information about his DJ Marathon click HERE
If you would like to donate please click HERE