Remember your teenage years, when angst, puberty and rubbish relationships reigned? I remember mine as if they were yesterday, and sometimes it feels as if they come back to haunt me. Especially recently.
Music was a fundamental part of growing up for me, I turned to angry lyrics and punchy revenge music to help me understand what was going on, and in most cases it stopped me doing something very stupid on a whim. I worshipped a certain band because they resonated with me as a stubborn, heartbroken teenager, because they let me know that I was far from alone. I always regretted never going to see them live to thank them in person for the ways they changed my life and supported me when I needed friends the most. Most importantly, I worshipped their singer because vocals are my kryptonite and I often found myself moved to tears by the emotion behind each syllable he sang through my headphones, as if he was sat there with me.
That band was Lostprophets.
Until that verdict was read, I was fully convinced Ian Watkins was innocent, as I was in the throws of a blind delusion that didn't allow me to even see signs of something very, very wrong going on with my idol.
When you see someone you've looked up to as a teenager change so drastically right before your eyes, when they're all over every ticker tape on the news, when they're on the front cover of newspapers alongside sickening words like 'paedophile' and 'baby rapist', you spend a lengthy amount of time in disbelief. To some extent, I'm still in shock and disbelief, despite the damning evidence, I can't quite imagine that this person who saved lives like mine in his band would destroy lives behind closed doors. I'm not entirely sure I'll ever be able to recover from these revelations, purely because I held Ian Watkins on a pedestal for so many years, it's going to take some time to distance the lyrics that mean so much to me away from the person who sang them.
This is as good a time as any to reflect on the celebrity idols we create for ourselves in life. The men and women we look up to, we only see them on television, movies, in the papers - we haven't the foggiest what's going on behind the scenes, whether they're just the complete opposite to who they appear from a distance, or whether there's something far darker lurking beneath the façade. When you hold someone so close to your heart without knowing who they really are, you're setting yourself up for an inexplicable fall when they show their true colours. Ian Watkins has shown his, and it's broken a piece of my heart that believed in all the words Lostprophets sang to me as a teenager.
Events like this have made fans such as myself feel so dirty, and there's nothing we can do about it. Even owning their CDs makes me feel sick, to think I've funded this lifestyle for a man who lied to everyone who believed in him. I can't even imagine the trauma the other members of Lostprophets must be going through in the aftermath, but I hope they can all work together and make the best of a terrible, horrific situation.