Your experiences with Scott Stapp over the course of the past, say, 10 years have probably been exclusively via his long, public meltdown. Thanks to a potent cocktail of alcohol, drugs, fame, and intensely unlikeable messianic butt-rock, he has become an emblem for the ugly after-effects of the Clear Channel corporate groan-rock era. Most recently, and depressingly, was his 2014 flameout involving long, rambling Facebook videos and a Secret Service investigation due to some impressively deranged threats against the life of President Obama. There was also that theme song he wrote for the Florida Marlins, which was less a node in the tale of his personal downfall than it was of the American cultural one, but still.
However, things are looking up: Now over two years sober, Stapp is launching a rehabilitation tour, complete with a probing and very funny GQ profile by Drew Magary. Creed has not released an album since 2009, but Stapp is now serving as lead singer for hard-rock super group Art Of Anarchy, which also features: a guy from Disturbed, a guy who was briefly with Guns N’ Roses, and two other guys presumably from bands less famous than Disturbed and Guns N’ Roses. All of which leads to one of the article’s most interesting anecdotes: Art Of Anarchy’s previous lead singer was Scott Weiland, who died of an overdose in 2015 in a tour bus that Stapp inadvertently rented. This is right around the time he started releasing all of those Facebook videos which lead to public shaming, humiliation, and eventual sobriety, and at some point, Stapp says, the deceased Weiland visited him in a vision that helped spur the singer toward sobriety.
As Stapp tells Magary:
All of a sudden, it was almost like Weiland speaking to me from the grave, man. It was a very weird feeling that I felt. I remember being in the bathroom, looking in the mirror, on the bus, and really feeling like I could hear or feel him saying, “Dude, this could have been you. And this could be you if you continue that path. Don’t do what I did. Don’t go down that road.” And, literally, I’m having this moment.
Magary asks Stapp if he could see Weiland, to which he responds:
No. God rest his soul, and my family has prayed for his family and his children, but really it was a crazy, mystical experience. It was just in my face, man. I had my moment of, like, Dude, he’s speaking to me, man. Almost as if, from my standpoint, in my life and in my recovery, his death was not in vain. Not only could that have been me, that should have been me. It was just one of those weird things that kinda, like, the stars aligned, the universe arranged itself at the right time to further impact me and further solidify my commitment to my recovery. It was definitely one of those God moments. I get goosebumps right now just talking about it. It was a God moment.
The whole profile is worth reading—it’s both sympathetic and unflinching about the singer’s career arc, and also includes a bunch of vaping jokes (Stapp vapes now, apparently). It also raises awareness of Stapp’s Instagram, which is an equally unflinching portrait of how the man is doing these days.
That is: just fine.