Zac Brown Band's New Video Tackles Depression, Using Alcohol To Cope

By David Konow 12/27/18

The video chronicles the various stages of a man's life as he struggles to cope with trauma and depression.

Zac Brown discussing depression at the end of the video
Photo via YouTube

The holidays can be a hard time for many people struggling with depression, and now the Zac Brown Band has released a new video, “Someone I Used to Know,” to help people deal with the “Christmas blues.”

Alexander Ludwig, who played Cato in The Hunger Games, stars in the video which first shows his character in his college football glory days. The character then goes on to join the army where he suffers the traumas of the battlefield. After coming home, he works as a coal miner, drinking to cope with his troubles. While the main character often appears isolated from others during the various stages of his life, toward's the video's end, he comes to the realization that there are people all around him who can offer him support. 

While Brown told People he doesn’t suffer from holiday depression, he’s well aware that “the holidays are a time when people feel a lot of pressure, and I think it’s good to remind everybody that it’s okay to be human.”

Brown has seen depression take down people close to him.

“I’ve lost dear friends to suicide,” he explained. “Whatever was gnawing at them, whatever was eating at them that we didn’t know and couldn’t see, it obviously felt bigger to them than asking for help and having someone else go through it with them. It made me realize, too, that I don’t want to be that person that can’t face themselves and get to the other side so that I can be well for myself and for everybody else around me.”

Brown also touched on the dissolution of his 12-year marriage.

“I’m definitely in a spot in my life where I’m trying to face things that are hard so that I can be as well and healthy as possible," he said."It’s not the struggles that define you; it’s the fact that you can overcome those struggles that define you. It’s what makes you who you are.”

At the end of the video, Brown tells the audience, “’Someone I Used to Know’ is a touchpoint to remind people that they don’t have to be alone in what they feel. . . . Pain and depression doesn’t discriminate. This song is me facing that part of myself of where I want to go and not where I’ve been. I would encourage people that when they feel like they have a need or they have a voice that’s telling them to face something, it’s a sign of strength to ask for help and to face the things that are really hard.”

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In addition to contributing for The Fix, David Konow has also written for Esquire, Deadline, LA Weekly, Village Voice, The Wrap, and many other publications and websites. He is also the author of the three decade history of heavy metal, Bang Your Head (Three Rivers Press), and the horror film history Reel Terror (St Martins Press). Find David on LinkedIn and Facebook.