Seattle band The Salt Riot will be playing the NAMI Walks Washington this year. It is Washington State’s largest annual stigma-busting mental health awareness event. Last year, $236,000 was raised to support NAMI Washington and its 23 affiliates around the state. The 2016 NAMI Walks will take place on Saturday, June 4 at Marina Park in Kirkland, Washington.
The Salt Riot is: Julia Vidal [vocals, guitar]; Jack Machin [bass]; Nick La Pointe [percussion]
The Salt Riot released the album Dead Star last year. I expect that the alternative rock trio puts on an impressive show. Julia Vidal’s vocals contrast beautifully with the edgy, potent, churning rhythms. That makes it a unique sound–at turns mysterious, emotional, raw, unique and inherently creative. “Get There” and “Angel” are a bit more accessible and a little lighter. The Salt Riot reminds me of a rock version of Trent Reznor’s synth band How to Destroy Angels.
I asked the band what interested it in performing for the NAMI benefit. As one of the many people living with mental illness, I appreciate the band’s willingness and commitment to help.
Here is what Julia Vidal said:
“First and foremost we found out about this opportunity through a colleague of mine at services for the blind. She lost a brother to suicide. She came out to one of our shows at the central Saloon in Pioneer Square on the anniversary of his death, I believe this was last November, when we were releasing the album “dead star”. She expressed that the music was very powerful and she was very emotional that evening, thinking about her brother. there were many hugs and tears. We, the band, were moved that she felt this connection and was able to voice this to us after our show. Soon after, she called us to ask if we would like to play the NAMI fundraiser as she has been heavily involved in the organization for many years, including organizing and co-chairing the NAMI walk fundraiser. of course we agreed.
Being involved in social work is one aspect of why I am personally aware this is such a crucial cause, but more importantly we are talking about a city, namely Seattle, who has been in the public eye and somewhat notorious in regards to mental illness, depression, suicide, etc. ESPECIALLY in its music scene and our community at large. As we know Washington has some of the highest national rates of suicide.
Furthermore we still place a social stigma on mental illness, further exacerbating the problem and alienating those who are suffering as well as their loved ones. ( I talk about this in the track “Smoke Logs” Lyrics are: “when stigma ties, it ties so tight, when stigma binds, it lies”).
Just the other day I was reading the article of how to schizophrenic man who climbed the tree downtown is now facing felony charges and 50,000 in bond. We see our criminal justice system taking over in the place of rehabilitation. Jails have now become institutions that house the mentally ill. Our streets house the mentally ill. as our city gains more and more wealth from the tech industry and more, the homeless situation in our community is growing, and many are looking the other way.
I could literally continue ranting about this topic more. It is personal, it is political, it is social, hell it’s economical. As long as we degrade and nullify mental health/illness and its place in our community we will continue to suffer.
We are so excited about the work NAMI is doing and cant wait to be a part of this fantastic fundraiser to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars, with other community members who agree and can see there can be solutions!”