Mental illness is apparent in most peoples’ lives at one point or another, and Ded leader Joe Cotela has explained how his own experiences with these ailments have inspired his songwriting.

“You have good days and better days and bad days. It always happens. It’s definitely something that changed my life when I was kind of diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and things like that,” Cotela told Loudwire Nights host Toni Gonzalez. “It was kind of a scary thing like, I’m gonna deal with this for the rest of my life now. But there’s so many things you can do to live a nice, full life.”

“On the last album [Mis•an•thrope], I had a song called ‘Remember the Enemy,’ that was all about that. And on this one [School of Thought], ‘Half Alive,’ for sure,” the singer continued. “For me, I don’t look at it like a weakness, I don’t look at it like anything like that. It’s just my thing. There are a lot of other things that could’ve happened to me, so I honestly look at myself as lucky that that’s the only thing I have to deal with. I’m healthy otherwise.”

The frontman cited “Half Alive” as a song about being in the midst of a rough mental health patch, whereas “Parasite” was written from the perspective of the actual mental illness itself.

“That was something kind of different for me to take on a different take of it, being that illness inside of somebody… So yeah, I definitely like to touch on those things and I get a lot of responses from people. So I know it’s important.”

Though mental health is an important topic for Cotela and Ded, the vocalist noted that he tried to expand his lyrical subject matter more when writing School of Thought, which resulted in songs about other topics such as family and love. He and In This Moment’s Maria Brink — who are in a relationship together — also collaborated on a cover of The Cure’s “Love Song.”

To hear more about School of Thought and what else is going on in Ded’s world, tune into Loudwire Nights tonight at 7PM ET.

Loudwire Nights with Toni Gonzalez airs nightly starting at 7PM ET. You can tune in anytime, from anywhere right here or by downloading the Loudwire app.

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