Gary Lightbody: Snow Patrol, my self-loathing and depression

Snow Patrol’s frontman Gary Lightbody has described himself as “an emotional cripple”, occasionally plagued by self-loathing and prone to the odd bout of depression. The 30-year-old Bangor man, leader of one of Northern Ireland’s finest musical exports, admitted that when the fledgling band was battling for recognition, he had problems with alcohol. “I started drinking, I was being an ar**hole. Little did I know you have to have good songs and be good live. I didn’t realize that we didn’t have the songs. I had an ego about it.”

Lightbody’s five man band is considered one of Britan’s biggest acts, struggled for 10 years before hitting the international big time with the single Run in 2004, an autobiographical song based on a “bender” he went on when he was in Glasgow. “I fell down a full flight of stairs,” he said. “A fall like that could easily finish you off … I wrote Run soon after on this little guitar I’d tried to smash up in my sh**ty little room near Hillhead. The words ‘light up, light up’ gave me this sense of a beacon. There had to be light at the end of the tunnel.”

When asked if he thought he was a “proper” rock star, the modest musician said that people probably found him boring but that he was working on it. “Those shoes … are filled by U2 and Radiohead. We aspire to be. Every day is a school day as my dad used to say,” he said. “I’m not depressed anymore. I’m enjoying it all and not being destructive.”