Hosting the triple j Breakfast show is something of a dream gig for any music head, but it is not without its hardships; something that the new hosts, Ben Harvey and Liam Stapleton have been experiencing since getting the job.
The pair have been faced with constant scrutiny from triple j listeners since the departure of the much loved Matt Okine and Alex Dyson, and have today opened up on this to raise awareness for R U OK Day.
Liam spoke openly during their segment, going into detail on how he has been effected by the constant scrutiny, and as you could imagine, it has taken its toll.
“Taking after a colossal show like ‘Matt & Alex’, it’s tough. You don’t expect everyone to like it — we still don’t. We understand that… But it does get hard, there is sometimes a fresh can of hate that you’ve gotta open up every day, and it definitely wears you down.”
“I think there’s almost like a magic filter, but we see it. We see when people text into our workplace, we see things. We see all the posts, we see all the comments. And I can honestly say I’ve had nights where I’ve cried myself to sleep because of stuff like that.”
He went on to explain how he has flown home on occasion when it all became too much to handle and that he was feeling like a “failure”.
Stapleton then described certain instances with listeners, detailing how “relentless” some have been.
“I’ve had times throughout the last eight months where I’ve opened messages to my personal account, even people quite explicitly telling me to take my own life” he said.
“I had an experience a few months back. I was 20 at the time, and I was walking around late at night after a gig and some guys kinda cornered me and were telling me how hopeless they thought I was and they thought we were, and that I’d never be Matt & Alex.”
“I can honestly say, I’ve never felt lower than that point. I just felt absolutely pathetic, properly pathetic. I didn’t retaliate, you know? There was nothing really I could say. These people were people that love what I love — they listened to triple j — and it knocked me around for a long time.”
But amidst all the hate they have had dished out towards them, they also credited the loving comments they have received since taking the role, as well as going into detail on the importance of R U OK Day.
If you suspect someone may be feeling down, please ask them if they are ok. It’s a simple question that can mean a lot. Furthermore, if you are not feeling OK and don’t have anyone to talk to, you can always chat to someone from Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.
Listen to the Liam’s speech in full below.