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"If you can break out of Dublin, you can break out of anywhere." — Bono

Music helped save me and U2 bandmates from depression, says Clayton

Irish Independent

Adam Clayton told the Irish Independent that he has experienced the 'black dog' creeping in at stages throughout his life, but coped by concentrating on his work and seeking help.

"There's a lot of it in our industry and it's covered up with drugs and alcohol. There's such a high incidence of young musicians who commit suicide or inadvertently die through accidents of some kind," said the 52-year-old.

"I was aware of it as a teenager. When I was 16 or 17 I found it quite difficult to fit in, but then music was the thing that really worked for me.

"Then later on in my career I had issues with alcohol, which again I went to rehab for and it was a breath of fresh air to have people identify with what was going on for me. Thankfully, by putting down the alcohol, I haven't had any issues."

And he admitted: "I think for me, and for the rest of the band, it was music that saved us. Otherwise we'd have gone a bit mad ... or certainly suffer from depression."

The rock legend was speaking at the launch of the Walk in My Shoes campaign at St Patrick's University Hospital in Dublin.

He was joined by rugby pundit Brent Pope, broadcasters Sybil Mulcahy and Lorraine Keane, model Rosanna Davison and snooker star Ken Doherty.

Clayton encouraged those suffering from mental health issues to reach out and stressed the importance of promoting open conversation to tackle Ireland's suicide problem.

"In all the creative fields, I think there's a very slim line between good mental health and bad mental health and somehow the two feed each other and create the work," he said.

"But if you do suffer from a mental health issue, once you start talking to people and realising there's a place you can go where people understand what it is, you can find (solutions)."


Clayton said that, as an international star, he and his band- mates Bono, The Edge and Larry Mullen Jr, hope to reach out to people through their music.

"I'm not sure one can come at it straight on, but I think within the music and lyrics there are hooks people can identify with."

U2 are back in the studio and are currently working on their next album. "We're in the middle of it at the moment. It should be finished by the end of the year," Clayton added.

(c) Irish Independent, 2013.