Oli Sykes: You Must Process Your Grief

Oli Sykes discusses how learning to grieve is a positive force and its influence on the latest Bring Me The Horizon album

Oli Sykes: You Must Process Your Grief
Oli Sykes, as told to Jennyfer J. Walker

Be it the death of a loved one or a relationship, Bring Me The Horizon's Oli Sykes has learned the importance of sorting through the wreckage in your head after trauma…

“Making our new record [amo], I learned that it’s really important to process things, even if you think you’re in a better place than you’ve ever been in your life, and you’re happy for everything that’s happened. If you don’t process grief, you’ll forever be scarred by it; you’ll forever have that baggage if you don’t figure out why it happened and what it did.

“There was a massive resistance for me at first to process what I’d been through, because I was like, ‘I’m fine! I’m so glad it happened, because I’m in a better place now.’ But, at the same time, if you lose a family member, even if they die from a long battle with cancer, or old age… a situation where you were at peace with it even when it ended, because you were like, ‘It needed to happen, they’re in a better place…’ you can’t just go, ‘That’s that.’ You have to grieve, you have to miss that person, you have to deal with whatever issues [it brings up].

“It’s the same with if you’ve been in a relationship and it ended really badly, and you’ve been through traumatic stuff, you can’t just go, ‘It’s better that it [ended] because I shouldn’t have been there…’ you’ve still gotta deal with the things that it did to you."

“[Making the album] really solidified that however you do it, whether it’s therapy, writing down your feelings, singing, dancing, whatever… you’ve gotta address it. And that was a huge realisation and turning point of the album for me. I realised that if I didn’t, I would have very little to talk about because my life had been consumed by it. I didn’t have any other topics to talk about (laughs). I tricked myself into writing about it with MANTRA, and from there it was like, ‘Yep, this is how it’s gonna have to be.’

“[After I processed it all] I felt amazing. Sometimes when you talk something out, it starts to make more sense, or you start to come to realisations as you’re saying it. But when it’s stuck in your brain it’s hard to have that. When you’re writing stuff down, it’s flowing out, and you’re like, ‘Oh shit, that did happen!’ Because even though you were there while it was happening, you weren’t conscious of how everything was actually working. When you’re in a relationship sometimes, you can’t see the forest for the trees – you don’t realise where you are until you’re out and you’re looking at it.

“Relationships reflect on you the healing that you need to have – it’s never a waste of time. Even a really bad relationship. Even if it lasts two years, or three years, relationships are never a waste of time, because they teach you who you are, the real you. What you need. That last relationship really showed me what was important in having a significant other.”

Bring Me The Horizon headline All Points East festival in London on May 31. Get your tickets now.

Now read these

The best of Kerrang! delivered straight to your inbox three times a week. What are you waiting for?