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Davis Journal

ArkType aims to break the stigma of mental illness through music

Dec 11, 2020 04:04PM ● By By Peri Kinder

By Peri Kinder | [email protected]

BOUNTIFUL–The best music inspires, lifts and encourages, and that’s the goal of the two-man, genre-busting band ArkType. Bountiful residents Jason Bischoff and Isaac Steven take their message to the masses with original songs that address anxiety, addiction, and depression.

“Both of us have gone through some really intense stuff so we can understand and relate to people who are struggling with depression and addiction,” Bischoff said. “I started writing music as a coping mechanism.”

Suicide continues to be a leading cause of death for youth ages 15 to 24, and COVID restrictions have increased the problem of mental illness through isolation and fear. Bischoff (24) and Steven (20) hope people who are struggling will hear ArkType’s music and realize there are alternate ways to deal with pain, and caring people to help get them through.

ArkType is a mixed-genre band, using rap, metal, punk, EDM, acoustic, reggae and more to attract a variety of fans. Since 2018, the duo has built a loyal fan base attracted to the band’s message of inclusion and acceptance.

“We want to motivate people to stay healthy, to create good coping mechanisms and to reach out for help,” Steven said. “People struggling with depression often feel like they’re a burden and they don’t want to stress out their families, but we’re encouraging them to talk about it.”

ArkType’s newest release, “Sweater Weather,” tackles seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that affects more than 6 percent of Americans each year.  Bischoff and Steven talk with fans through social media, giving them tips for how to survive – and remind them that winter doesn’t last forever.

They both feel meditation, talking to other people and having honest discussions about mental illness and addiction are some of the best ways to balance mental energy. Although they’ve been influenced by many music artists, Bischoff said the way Twenty One Pilots addresses the stigma of mental illness prompted them to talk about mental health. 

“No matter how hard life gets, there’s always a reason to stay alive. We want to motivate (fans) to stay healthy,” Bischoff said. 

ArkType performs at Kilby Court on Thursday, Jan. 28 at 6 p.m. The band’s music is available on Spotify, Apple Music and other streaming platforms.

“Our concerts are a safe place for anyone,” Bischoff said. “We tell people to let it out and leave it here, and to think about this moment. They really relate to our music when it comes to how they’re feeling.”