Beartooth's Caleb Shomo is no stranger to anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. He's struggled through dark times and channeled those experiences into his music, which has resonated with fans around the world, many of whom have faced similar mental health issues. Those issues are at the heart of Beartooth's forthcoming new album Disease. "Depression is something that's just 'in your head,' there's no reason for it, so it 'should' be easy enough to just get over, but I can never do it. It's something unshakeable. I can't make it work," Shomo has said. "I wanted to write an album about that. Disease really encompasses everything emotionally that I wanted to convey."
As his music has positively impacted many Beartooth fans, so Shomo himself turns to certain songs when experiencing dark times. To kick off our ongoing "Songs for Black Days" series, presented in partnership with Hope for the Day, we asked him to share a few of those, along with his thoughts on how they've helped him.
"The lyrics are very grounding. It always makes me think of what I'm chasing in life, what's worth it, and what's not. The music of this song is also very calming and helps keep my mood balanced when I'm feeling low."
"This song is absolutely beautiful. The contrast of uplifting instrumentation with the brutally honest lyrics are in perfect harmony. This song makes me think, slow down and tap into my emotions."
"This is the first song I ever heard by this band — who went on to be one of my all time favorites — and it always reminds me of a good time. The song rips, the melody is catchy, everything needed to get out of a mental slump."
"The music of this song is so intense and captivating yet calm and pretty. The lyrics are also genius and performed on another level. Honestly, this one just totally zones me out and gives me a bit of an escape from whatever I'm feeling. Pure rock & roll escape."
"Nothing emotional here at all, and that's the point of this one. Eventually, I get to a mental state where all I want to do is block out the noise in my head and feel positive. To me, this song has nothing but pure rocking and good times in store. Sometimes when it gets dire, you gotta rock it the fuck out of your system."
September is Suicide Prevention Month. Every day in America, 121 people complete suicide. It only takes one to break the silence — take action in your community and sign Hope for the Day's mental health pledge.
If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for a list of resources.