Bastille is a chart-topping, Grammy-nominated band, but if you ask Dan Smith he'll say he's "always been expecting it to fall apart at any moment."
During a vulnerable interview with The Guardian, the singer opened up about anxiety and body dysmorphia, confessing that he has a “very low opinion” of himself.
“I can’t really explain it,” Smith admitted. “I think there’s dissonance in my head between what we’ve achieved and how I’m perceived, and the reality in my head.”
That juxtaposition is nothing new for the singer-songwriter. While he's always been fascinated with writing and recording music, “the idea of standing up in front of people and doing anything, let alone playing music, was so far from anything I could imagine wanting to do,” he explained. Part of that stemmed from being heavier set in his youth before a virus he contracted in Thailand resulted in a loss of appetite, and therefore, a loss of weight.
“It’s a bizarre line of work in which you are constantly confronted by your own image,” he said. “It’s not fun – and it doesn’t feel particularly healthy.
"I think a lot of people suffer from different versions of body dysmorphia,” Smith added. “We all have the version of ourselves that we see in our own heads and often that’s so different from the version of who we are through other people’s eyes.”
He's learned to cope with playing live shows, but that doesn't mean it's easy. Smith still suffers from stage fright, which he calls “essentially a form of a panic attack."
“For someone who has body image issues, it’s complicated getting up on stage every night in front of lots of people, when your instinct is to hide away,” he said. “Sometimes it’s not a problem, sometimes it is.”