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Sheepdogs drummer talks about anxiety as part of mental health fundraiser

Drummer Sam Corbett (left) performs with The Sheepdogs at the Junos in Regina on April 21, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Derek Mortensen

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Drummer Sam Corbett (left) performs with The Sheepdogs at the Junos in Regina on April 21, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Derek Mortensen

SASKATOON - The drummer for the Saskatoon band The Sheepdogs has gone public with his own battle with mental health problems as part of a fundraiser for the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Sam Corbett hosted an open forum Thursday that cut through all the fame and glory the band has experienced in recent years.

That's included going from playing local gigs in Saskatoon to making the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

The Sheepdogs have also made appearances on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," performed at the Bonnaroo Music Festival and have signed with Atlantic Records, with a new album being produced by the Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney.

But Corbett says through it all, he has dealt with issues of anxiety related to performance.

He says he came to realize it was something much more than just simple stage fright.

“It's not just about being nervous 15 minutes before a show," he says. "What people don't realize is that there was a more difficult side to it for all of us. “I just found that (the stress) would disrupt the way I was able to perform in the workplace and it would affect my relationship with my band-members in a negative way.”

Corbett says the night before a big show, he would toss and turn and lay wide awake until the next morning.

“Of course that would affect the performance and your mood and I couldn't stop thinking about the show … because I was on edge all day I would feel much more reserved, I just felt withdrawn and that's not who I wanted to be.”

While many think a depressed musician leads to better songwriting, Corbett says that’s just ridiculous.

“That's what the event is about," he says of the fundraiser. "It's going to be talking about how so many Canadians deal with mental health issues and how much it affects people in the workplace.

"It's a problem that doesn't get talked about, but it should be."

(CKOM)

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