Huge thanks to Ryan Mulholland from the band ‘Nana White Pepper’, for supporting Plug’em and helping to raise awareness during Tinnitus Week 2019.
Here Ryan talks about his experience of tinnitus.
“When we started out, being as loud as we could seemed to be our aim; I think we equated being loud to being heavy and the sheer volume made us get into the music even more.
Ear plugs were always something we knew that we should wear, but wearing them felt like we were missing out on some of the experience of playing live together, so we never really bothered.
“Even though my ears would ring after every practice and gig, but I just thought this was normal; I had no idea I was doing permanent damage every time I plugged in”.
“It wasn’t until the ringing continued weeks after a show that I knew something was wrong.
“I now live with tinnitus 24/7. It can feel a bit claustrophobic at times, as you can feel like you’re trapped in your own head with no way to turn off the noise, and sleeping can be a pain. I wear hearing aids to help reduce the ringing, but it’s always there.
“I wish I was more aware of the long-lasting damage I was doing at the time, and hopefully campaigns like Plug’em will help people realise that you can enjoy music while protecting your ears.
“Now, me and my bandmates in Nana White Pepper wouldn’t dare play without plugs. They feel weird to start with, but you soon get used to them, and having everything turned down actually makes it much easier to hear every part of a performance, not just the loudest guitar or cymbal.
“Swallow your pride and protect your ears — it’s the best thing you’ll ever do”.