Even though he doesn’t play an instrument in the band, former Coldplay manager Phil Harvey is credited on the band’s albums and on their Myspace as the 5th member and “creative director.” Harvey has effectively kept the limelight on Coldplay over the years and off himself, but he spoke out recently on his charity work with mental illness and his own struggle with depression.
In a very rare interview with Psychminded.co.uk, Harvey said that after years of intense work managing Coldplay, his mental health took a turn for the worse in 2001. “I remember this all as being an isolating experience,” Harvey said. “I normally think of myself as, literally, an upbeat kind of person – it was all quite a shock. Regardless of how the world might perceive it [a mental health problem] can strike any person.”
In fact, in 2002 Harvey did mention his depression in a Coldplay newsletter, saying, “I was feeling like death when I should have been on top of the world, “I certainly thought about giving up then. It crossed my mind that I simply wasn’t tough enough.”
Harvey is doing much better these days and now both he and Coldplay are patrons of Upbeat, a charity that supplies musicians that have mental health issues with “production equipment, rehearsal space, music workshops and lessons, and assists bands with promotion, recording and performing live.” In fact, Harvey not only donates his time and fame to the project, he even donated £40,000 to the charity.