Books

Watch Matt Haig and Andy Burrows looking on the bright side in a toxic world

The author and Razorlight drummer have teamed up to talk social media and mental health in new album Reasons to Stay Alive

Andy Burrows Matt Haig

Social media may have been implicated in fixing elections, stoking up hate mobs and encouraging anxiety ,but it can be credited with bringing together Matt Haig and Andy Burrows.

The celebrated author and ex-Razorlight drummer may not be the most obvious partnership, but the pair have struck up a relationship on Twitter that has culminated with new album Reasons to Stay Alive.

Taking its title from Haig’s 2015 memoir, the album will hit the streets in February before Burrows takes it on tour later that month, taking the conversation on mental health forward.

Haig has been outspoken on that very subject on Twitter for a number of years, attracting fans like Andy and other less positive responses too – with one acerbic and infuriated tweeter describing him as “the very worst person on Twitter”.

So how would he rate his 2018 in the Twittersphere?

“I had a really good year on not having any falling outs on Twitter, but they I lapsed and started having opinions again,” Haig told The Big Issue in a London bar.

“I love it when you go down that road, because you can tell he’s getting all fired up. And then I double down, which is the ultimate crime, ‘oh look, he’s doubling down’ – well, I’m just standing by my opinion.

“Anything even vaguely political, if you’re looking vaguely centrist, that’s the most extreme position to be on the internet, to be right in the centre, because you’ve got your tribe on either side. I don’t think of myself as a centrist, I think I’m quite left wing. You’re never enough unless you’re full-blown Marxist.”

See more from Andy and Matt in our Augmented Reality Tech for Good Special magazine

It’s simple. Buy the magazine, available from vendors now, and download the GenARate App, available in both the Apple and Android App Stores. Look for ‘Scan this page’ signs in the magazine and hold your mobile phone camera over the page to see exclusive content. See a video interview and musical performances from Matt and Andy as well as an exclusive Cressida Cowell bedtime story, read by David Tennant as well as the incredible story of Exeter Big Issue vendor Ann Warke.

To download the GenARate app on the Apple App Store, go here

If you’re using Android, you can get the app here

Image: Robin Ince (left), Andy Burrows and Matt Haig by Ben Smith at The Social in central London

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