Matt has recorded a cover of Elvis Presley’s Are You Lonesome Tonight? as part of Good Morning Britain’s 1 Million Minutes campaign, which encourages people to give up an hour of their time to help someone who might be especially lonely.
In an interview to support the campaign, the singer suggests that people are now “terrified” of physical contact in what he sees as a result of political correctness, which he suggests could be making people feel more isolated.
“I think everyone is terrified of each other at the moment,” he explained. “Should we hug each other? Should we not hug each other?
“But sometimes human beings do need a hug or an arm around the shoulder or someone to notice you are close to tears. We need interaction. But we are terrified of it in this politically correct world. We wonder why so many people are lonely but we are becoming detached from each other.”
Matt also spoke about his and his brother Luke’s own experiences of his loneliness, revealing that after the loss of his mother he “couldn’t see hope on the horizon” as he was “trapped in his own grief”.
“Some of the things we experienced in the band, it was nothing short of a void,” Matt recalled. “Sometimes you have to dust yourself off. I don’t regret those times but I’m happy I got through the other side.
“But the most impactful thing was, obviously, my sister passing, killed by a drunk driver, and the loss of my mother. Those two things. With my mother, I didn’t know a way out.
“When you come off stage, that phone call that you need to make is absolutely not there. It’s not only you want to tell someone, it’s that somebody wants to listen to those small details. The difference between someone who unconditionally loves you and wants to hear. My mum would ask those questions. Again, you didn’t feel like you were burdening somebody with that.”
Brothers Matt and Luke garnered a whole new generation of fans around this time last year, with the release of the documentary After The Screaming Stops, which charted their reunion tour.
Luke recently suggested that one positive outcome of the documentary’s success was allowing people to see men being emotional.
He said: “Men are encouraged to hide their pain, and I think the movie gave permission for many men, from my experience on this whole adventure, to let out a tear or 20.”
Good Morning Britain airs every weekday from 6am. For more information on the 1 Million Minutes campaign visit the show’s website.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.