Years Before His Death, Scott Weiland Reflected on Late Brother's Drug Use

By Victoria Kim 12/05/17

Addiction drove a wedge between the late rocker and his brother Michael, according to recently released Rolling Stone interviews from 2007.

Slash and Scott Weiland of Velvet Revolver
Slash and Scott Weiland of Velvet Revolver Photo via Wikimedia/Kreepin Deth

Two lost interviews with the late rocker Scott Weiland have been released eight years after his fatal overdose. In his intimate conversations with Rolling Stone Music Now host Brian Hiatt, Weiland, then 39 years old, reflected on his brother’s drug use and death. 

The singer and songwriter, who fronted the bands Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver, died of a fatal drug overdose on December 3, 2015 at the age of 48 while on tour in Bloomington, Minnesota with The Wildabouts. 

In the 2007 interviews with Rolling Stone, Weiland talked about his brother, Michael, who died that year of cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle that can develop from drug use. Weiland says his brother death made him realize the unseen impact that his drug use had on the people around him.

“I don’t regret anything really I did except for the emotional injury that I caused other people. That really came crashing through when my brother died, seeing the reality and the finality of it all. And how crushed I was, and how crushed my mother and my father were,” said Weiland.

He regretted putting his family through the pain of wondering if or when he would hurt himself through his addictions. “They had to deal with that on a daily basis, the fear of that happening to either one of us, for years,” he said. “And my wife as well, thinking that at any time that could happen to the father of her children.”

His brother's death, getting the call and having to identify his body, was a wake-up call. “When that happened to my brother, it all seemed horrifically real,” he continued. “I always kind of felt that I was unbreakable, like I was a cockroach or something, I could outlive an atomic bomb.”

Even though Weiland and his brother had gone through many of the same experiences, including with drug use, the rocker recalled that as he “started getting clean,” his brother was left behind in a way, struggling and unable to get himself together.

At the time, Weiland couldn’t understand it. “I distanced myself. He tried to hang with me but I had a hard time understanding why he couldn’t get it together. It put a wedge between us,” he said.

The brothers, who were always close, would grow apart at this point in their lives, but sadly Weiland wasn’t able to save himself from meeting a similar fate. The brothers were able to mend their relationship before Michael’s death.

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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