Electro-pop pioneer Gary Numan has opened up about his depression battle, which left him unable to work on new music and often led to emotional breakdowns in public.

The Cars singer admits he could not control his terrible mood swings and would occasionally burst into tears in the street.

Numan, real name Gary Webb, tells Record Collector magazine he and his wife Gemma were both prescribed medication for their illness and he now reveals they suffered a "nightmare" two and half years as a result of their battle with the blues.

He explains, "We were both on tablets, in a state. When we needed each other the most, we were useless for each other. We had all kinds of problems... I was having panic attacks and crying like a baby in the street. Really embarrassing."

After overcoming his mental health issues and controlling his moodswings, Numan returned to the studio and started work on new album Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind), which is released next week (beg14Oct13).

He adds, "I started (recording it) seven years ago, but, for the first four, I didn't do anything. I had a period where I just ran away from it. We had three children close together, and it took me a while to adapt.

"When I did start thinking about it, life was much more difficult, stressful and s**t than before. I wasn't able. Every other album before, I'd gone in the studio all day, for six months; that was my life. I had nothing else to do. Easy to plough in, ideas would flow. Now, after an hour, the kids are knocking: 'We've got to go to school'.

"You had to be creative in tiny segments and it was dreadful. I did nothing useful. I even built a fence around the studio to stop them, but they'd knock it down. But all these deep emotional problems were good for creativity, as even when I wasn't writing, it made its mark. So I'd write for a few days, it'd fall apart, then I'd do more."