By Noah Sollinger | July 30, 2022

Backline is a company everyone in the music industry should know about. Founded in 2019, Backline is a non-profit that facilitates free or discounted mental health services to all members of the music business, including artists, managers, venue workers, and anyone else who works within the industry–along with their families. With a variety of services including support groups, case management, and educational resources, Backline is one of the leading groups combating the mental health crisis in music today.

We sat down with Stephen Grybowski, one of the founders of the organization, to learn more about their amazing mission:

How did Backline come about?

Within the summer of 2019, we had Jeff Austin and Neal Kasal both sadly take their lives. So myself and Hillary Gleason, who is the executive director of Backline, were like like: “What the fuck? Why are people in our scene killing themselves?” With Kasal, nobody had a clue that he was struggling or having any issues. So we reached out to as many people as possible to see what we could do or what was lacking in the industry to support talent, people working in measure, and their families. And that just evolved into Backline. It definitely takes a village, but I co-founded it with her, and in October 2019, we found the board. Ever since, we are just doing everything we can to take care of people in our industry and the artists we all know and love.

Can you give us some examples of some of the most used services that you guys offer?

So first and foremost, we have a case management program for artists, other people in the industry, and their families. There, you will be put in touch with a licensed therapist with a specialty in the music industry for a free consultation. And then they’ll help you create a path to finding help specific to your needs. They also work with licensed therapists all around the country in almost every state that offer either heavily discounted or free services to people who go through the Backline program. Then we also have a lot of partner organizations who assist in taking people in and offering them help. We also offer a ton of different heavily discounted or free wellness resources–whether it’s free yoga, free breathwork, or more–there’s a huge list of different wellness programs and apps that we provide for people. And we’re also doing free workshops, constantly, all the time, for different groups of people in the music industry to come together and talk in a safe space.

We saw on your website that you offer services not only for artists, but also for anybody that’s involved in the process behind the music industry. Why was it important for you to include industry workers as well as the artists themselves in your program?

Well, because if you look at the live music industry as a whole, the talent and the people who put on the shows are all working together to create the live music experience. There’s techs, sound guys, there’s a whole group of people that put on a live concert, it’s not just the band on stage. So it’s important that you’re taking care of every single person that is putting together the live music experience.

That’s awesome! Final question: what would be the best way for somebody to access your services?Just go to and all the information is there. Check out the forums, poke around, we’ve got a ton of stuff to help people from all aspects of the music industry.

Connect with Backline on Instagram and their website.

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