The 1975’s Matty Healy condemns music industry as ‘cruel and shallow money pit’ in awards speech

The 1975 frontman Matty Healy called the music industry a “cruel and shallow money pit where thieves and pimps run free” as he accepted the award for Best Group at the O2 Silver Clef Awards.

The annual ceremony, which took place on Friday (July 5) at London’s Grosvenor Hotel, is put together by music charity Nordoff and Robbins.

In his acceptance speech, the 35-year-old singer said: “I’m just going to be earnest by saying we don’t come to that many things.

“These things tend to be about the industry, and as you know the industry is a cruel and shallow money pit, where thieves and pimps run free, good men come to die like dogs.

“There is also a negative side,” he quipped.

This colorful depiction of the music industry was originally written by American journalist Hunter S Thompson as a description of the television industry, and was published in his 1988 book Generation of Swine.

Matt Healy performing with the 1975 in Anaheim in January 2024 (Getty Images for iHeartRadio)
Matt Healy performing with the 1975 in Anaheim in January 2024 (Getty Images for iHeartRadio)

Later in his speech, Healy spoke about “the majesty we get with the honour of experiencing music” as his father, the Auf Wiedersehen, Pet actor Tim Healy, watched from the audience.

He continued: “We’re here because of music and none of us can really relate to the transformative experience that a lot of people who are lucky enough to work with Nordoff and Robbins.

“We have spent a lot of time being asked about, why music?

“My dad is an actor, and you know a lot of people who are into music are also into film, into paintings, into literature, and the question is always why?

“I think that literature, paintings, movies, they’re very suggestive, they suggest how you should feel, and music kind of commands you how to feel.

“If a film comes on at the time you’re having a bad relationship, you might be able to turn it off before it affects you, but with music, you’re f*****.

“It’s kind of the intangible and the in-between, and I think that’s wonderful.”

Nordoff and Robbins is the United Kingdom’s largest music therapy charity. It uses trained music therapists to help people living with autism, dementia, learning difficulties, brain injuries, life-limiting illnesses, mental health challenges, and grief and trauma.

Healy said he had chosen to attend the awards in order to praise the work of music charity Nordoff and Robbins, and to get “a modicum of good press.”

In the last year Healy has been at the center of a long string of controversies, including a podcast in which he engaged with a number of derogatory remarks about rapper Ice Spice, as well as women and Japanese people.

Healy apologised to Ice Spice in April 2023, saying he didn’t want to be “perceived as, like, kind of mean-hearted.”

Additional reporting by agencies