Ruel and Parkway Drive on the importance of Support Act

Not long ago Ruel, Tkay Maidza, Parkway Drive, Ocean Alley, Angus & Julia Stone, and INXS revealed an exclusive line of tees to raise money for Support Act, in partnership with Levi’s.

Support Act is an Australian charity focused on arming musicians and people in the music industry with the correct tools and knowledge to battle mental health issues – one of the field’s most prominent ongoing struggles.

ruel support act levi's
Photo: Ruel / Levi’s

We speak to Ruel and Parkway Drive – two artists collaborating with Levi’s on one-off charity tees – about the importance of Support Act in the Aussie music industry.

You’d be hard pressed to find a musician in Australia who hasn’t been touched by mental health problems – either personally or through close acquaintances or family – which is why so many have become de facto role models on the issue.

When revealing his Support Act tee, Ruel shared:

“I usually hate my support act Billy Davis but this is one I can definitely get behind. In all truth though, Support Act is such a great organisation that I truly believe in and feel it’s so important for us all to get behind.”

Parkway Drive are a band who have always worn their relationship to mental health on sleeve; through their lyrics, communications, even some of their artwork. When they were announced to be part of this year’s Support Act and Levi’s cohort, we reached out to vocalist Winston McCall. He was happy to share the band’s reasoning for hopping on board.

“Our entire band has dealt with [mental health] in some way, shape or form… It’s really important to recognise and show support and really acknowledge the fact that this does exist. It’s very easy I think for people to see people who are literally put on a pedestal, on a stage in front of them, as something above human and as someone who is bulletproof.”

“When you don’t see behind that curtain of what’s on the other side and the work and the uncertainty that goes with creating the entertainment and the artwork that you see on the stage, it’s very easy to see the tip of the iceberg – and it’s something very shiny. Behind the scenes it can be quite the opposite.” 

“For an organisation like Support Act to be able to acknowledge that and really draw attention to the fact that there’s so much more that goes into this and there’s so much put on the line by people to be able to create this entertainment. And when it does, it’s such a precarious position for people in so many ways.” 

There are a number of ways you can help out Support Act – via donations, fundraising, membership and more – but in the lead-up to Aus Music T-Shirt Day on Friday November 15th, a tee from your favourite artist sure goes a long way.

Check out the Levi’s & Support Act tees here.