So are Recovery, Primrose Path and the next album all going to flow into one singular narrative?
“I think so, yeah! I’m always honest in my lyrics, and when you listen to artists you can see the growth in them and their stories. It ends up being linked anyway, because it’s just my story. You hear the growth in me, and my boys, through the music.”
You described the EP as the awakening and self-realisation of your issues, so how would you describe this album?
“Just being aware and being that little bit stronger, but still remembering there’s that human aspect to yourself, and to not beat myself up about it, because I beat myself up a lot. I thought, ‘Oh, I’ve realised everything now, I got well again,’ then next thing I know I’m back to square one, and I’m like, ‘Okay, so I haven’t got it all figured out yet.’ But I’m more enlightened now, I’m stronger, and this time it’s a lot easier to get back up. It’s like, ‘I’ve been there before, I can do it again.’”
Where did that enlightenment come from?
“Just self-realisation. It’s been very spiritual. I have a lot of epiphanies in my own dreams – hence Dream State – and I dream deep, and I’m quite aware in my dreams. I’ve had big dreams where I’ve woken up the next day and I swear I’m a different person. I’m just more enlightened and more aware. I think it’s self-growth. The only way to change is for me to learn all my negative traits and the worst parts of myself. I know them now (laughs)! And I’m still getting to know a few more.”
Making an album can be stressful in itself – did that make you worse?
“When we went to the studio, I realised what my issues were because I felt really strong there – I love being in the studio and I love making art. I feel whole when I do it, and it’s the only thing that keeps me sane. But even during some of those nights, I attempted to get a bottle of red [wine] in. I’m lucky I had a really great producer in Dan Weller, and he’d be like, ‘Is that a good idea, Char?’ And I was like, ‘Probably not, no.’ It’s good to have people like that to keep the balance. There were times where I did find it hard, but it taught me I can deal with my emotions sober. So it was a big awakening, like, ‘Wait a minute, I can actually do this!’ And I was getting up in the morning, going to a gym nearby, and learning there are better ways to deal with things.
Was getting over the need to self-medicate a gradual process throughout the recording of the album?
“After we recorded the album we did our headline tour and I had some nerve issues. I was on [anxiety medication] Pregabalin and I felt incredible on them, then when I ran out I was having ferocious withdrawals. And because I felt so relaxed on that whole tour, I was like, ‘I wanna be able to feel like that without the need to self-medicate.’ So it put this idea in my head of, ‘How can I achieve that?’ And I was like, ‘I’m gonna have to change!’ So I started to do more things that felt right. The first time I sat down to meditate, I did it in my garden at night, and I did it for a whole hour. I was able to drift away, and I was like, ‘Damn, I’m good at this!’ And now I’m in a routine of doing it and it feels really good. I’ve gotten into essential oils, too, like bergamot, tea tree and lavender, which are supposed to relax you. I’m not using drugs anymore, I just use oils (laughs). I rub it into my hands and inhale it really deeply. It makes me feel a bit more clear and relaxed in the mind.”