Scott Stapp Talks About Scott Weiland's Role In His Sobriety

By Victoria Kim 03/14/17

“His life was a reminder to me of where my life was headed if I continued to use alcohol and drugs.” 

Scott Stapp

When former Creed frontman Scott Stapp took over as lead singer of Art of Anarchy, he considered how it would affect his sobriety. But knowing that he was filling the shoes of the late Scott Weiland, who sang for the band before his fatal drug overdose in 2015, only fueled Stapp’s motivation to stay sober.

“His life was a reminder to me of where my life was headed if I continued to use alcohol and drugs,” Stapp said in a recent interview with Music Radar. “Having that reminder that he used to sing in this band was almost like him speaking to me from the grave, saying, ‘Brother, you need to stay on the straight and narrow or this is what could happen to you.’ That’s really impacted me in my desire and drive to stay sober one day at a time.”

Weiland, who was best known as the lead singer for the Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver, died at age 48 of an accidental overdose of cocaine, ethanol and MDA (methylenedioxyamphetamine). 

Art of Anarchy’s first, self-titled album was released in 2015, months before Weiland’s passing. In 2016, Scott Stapp was asked to take over as lead singer, but at first he was unsure if being in the band would be good for his sobriety. “[I] live a sober life and my sobriety is very important to me, so I wanted to know what I was getting into,” Stapp told Music Radar. “I did not, and would not, get involved in a band that was partying, drinking and doing drugs all the time.”

But he said the band was supportive, and agreed to join them for their second album, The Madness (out March 24). Art of Anarchy is formed by guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (formerly of Guns N’ Roses), Disturbed bassist John Moyer, and brothers Jon and Vince Votta.

Stapp—who began using drugs and alcohol to “change the way I felt” after his first onset of major depression in the late ‘90s—had his share of struggles with his mental health and drug use. He spoke with The Fix last year about overcoming his battles in the public eye and how he found recovery.

“My bottom was losing my family, sitting in a psych ward thinking I was undergoing experiments at the hands of the CIA,” Stapp told The Fix. Since then, he’s given up alcohol and drugs and learned to manage his diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

“I keep my past in my rearview mirror to remind me of the places I never want to go,” Stapp told The Fix. “I’ve got a lot to be grateful for.”

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr