Sufferer Band

Shane Gann
May, 2019

Sufferer was formed from a desperate need to hear the anxious and depressive voices in my head, separately from within. 

The thought spurred me to action, the first song fully written as soon as I picked up my guitar. After came an onslaught of ideas, and within a span of a few hours, I had a full song, parts for others, and the two basic concepts:

  • A cyclical story spanning from the instant one wakes to the moment they drift to sleep
  • Three conflicting voices (representing The Subject, his Anxiety, and his Depression [my chosen role])

I knew the album would be appropriately dark, but not inaccessible. I could hear the instruments, see the themes; I even thought to write a love song from Depression's perspective. I had this whole skeletal concept mapped out in my head. I knew I couldn’t do it alone, though, so I recruited three multi-talented friends to not only perform the roles of the additional vocalists (Cory/Forrest) and the drummer (Blake), but also to help shape the songs (B), lead the lyrical direction (C), and create all the artwork (F).

Two and a half years after a successful crowdfunding campaign, we released our self-titled record, of which we couldn't be more proud. Since then, we've been amazed at the reception and continued growth of our little baby-band. We've already had the opportunity to tour the nation performing the album in its entirety, where we've seen how affected our fans have been by our message, many of them almost too anxious to attend.

That simple fact sums up why we’re doing it, and why we’re passionate about mental health: If we can help individuals recognize their fears, then they can decide for themselves whether or not to let those fears dictate their lives. We know firsthand that one small tweak, one new piece of information or perspective shift, can change a person’s entire world.

We are blessed that, in wanting to releases our own emotions, we’ve created music that has allowed our fans to do the same. We are grateful for the opportunity to connect with more and more new people, thanks to our fanbase’s continued word of mouth.

As an independent release with no label backing, it might seem odd to share 35% of our annual profits with ADAA, but showing our support for their organization was a no-brainer (which we anxious folks often appreciate). By opening a channel between our "support groups," we hoped to provide a well-established outlet for any of our fans requiring further information/help, while simultaneously inviting ADAA's pre-existing community of The Anxious and The Depressed to experience our story. We've found that relating to the stories of other sufferers is one of the most effective ways to become familiar with one's own anxiety/depression.

For example, Cory Lockwood (Voice of Anxiety) wrote this line in “Chapter III (Sword)”:

"Never drowning; never really drowning,
but never really out of the water"

I think we just hope to let people know - we're in the water, too. A lot of us are.

Rock on.

Sufferer "In The News":

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