Ever since the band Creed first dissolved in 2004, frontman Scott Stapp has endured a hellish series of personal crises.
Stapp’s downward spiral reached its lowest point in 2014, when he suffered a complete mental breakdown brought on by drug and alcohol use. Stapp made Facebook videos in which he made delusional and outlandish claims; at one point, he even called his son’s school and claimed he’d found ISIS members within his family.
Thankfully, Stapp has since gotten himself together since then, and is now continuing his solo music career. He will be stopping by the Morongo Casino Resort and Spa on Saturday, Aug. 20.
During a recent phone interview, Stapp discussed his most recent solo album, Proof of Life, which was released in 2013—before Stapp’s mental breakdown. The album was based on Stapp’s personal struggles.
“It was a very cathartic experience to systematically address some very deep struggles in my life and kind of chronicle it in music, from the beginning to what I had thought at the time was the end,” Stapp said.
He added that getting back into touring has been a positive experience.
“It’s been awesome. It’s been a pretty busy couple of years,” he said. “Prior to going back out on the road, I sort of stepped back into the public eye in doing a TV show. … I’ve been going nonstop ever since. I’ve enjoyed connecting with my fans through music and sharing experiences. I find while out on tour during my meet-and-greets that there are a lot of people who have gone through the same things, or have a family member that has gone through something. It’s been quite an interesting journey, to say the least.”
Stapp was recently named the new lead singer of the supergroup Art of Anarchy, following the death of former vocalist Scott Weiland, of the Stone Temple Pilots. Art of Anarchy also includes guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal formerly, of Guns N’ Roses, bassist John Moyer of Disturbed, guitarist Jon Votta and drummer Vince Votta.
“Those guys approached me and asked me if I wanted to be involved. We had a few meetings; we got together and jammed a little bit, and after those meetings and jamming, I decided to do it,” Stapp said. “I thought it would be a good project to get involved with. I love collaborating with new musicians and artists, and it’s something different.”
There’s a third solo album from Stapp in the works as well.
“I’m still a young man, in my opinion,” said Stapp, who will turn 43 on Aug. 8. “I feel there’s a lot of music ahead for me. I’ve already begun writing ideas and getting things together with a third solo album in mind. So there will definitely be another one.”
Many of Stapp’s problems may be in part due to bipolar disorder, with which he was recently diagnosed.
“I think the entire onset completely surprised me. It caught me off guard and turned my world upside down,” Stapp said. “I think the entire condition is surprising to say the least. I’m just thankful with the proper treatment and lifestyle changes that it can be managed, and I can move on and continue to have a happy, healthy and productive life.”
Many musicians and songwriters have said that medications prescribed for bipolar disorder have stunted their creativity. However, Stapp said that’s not the case.
“I feel the most creative that I’ve ever felt. I guess it just depends on the person and how severe their case is,” he said. “It’s really been a great way for me to take my recovery and put it into action. One of the philosophies of my recovery is to get out of myself and do things for other people. My wife and I really have a heart for children, and through both of our charitable foundations, With Arms Wide Open Foundation and the CHARM foundation, have been helping kids for over a decade. This is kind of an opportunity to continue that mission and partner with an organization called ChildFund and make a difference in some needy children’s lives all around the world. We’ve already met our goal in sponsoring a village in the Philippines, providing food and water, education, clothing and all the necessities kids need to live a healthy life, along with a village in West Africa … which has also been a huge success.”
As for Creed, Stapp said he expects the band to eventually play together again. The band reformed for a short period between 2009-2012, but the other members of Creed have been performing with vocalist Myles Kennedy as AlterBridge, a band which has proven to be quite popular.
“I’m sure we will (play again together),” Stapp said. “When the time is right, I would think something will happen. We’ll just have to wait and see. We communicate via text message, and it’s been positive.”
Stapp recently poked fun at himself in a Funny or Die video in which he reviewed the movie Creed, making it sound as if the movie was a biopic on the band.
“I get a kick out of it. You can’t take yourself too seriously, and it was a lot of fun to do that,” he said. “It’d be fun to do more things like that.”
While Stapp’s future is finally looking bright again, he said his current motto is “one day at a time.”
“I think there’s a lot in store down the road,” he said. “I’m playing a sold-out show almost every night while I’m out on tour. I’m having a blast, and I look forward to continuing to do what I do, and enjoy what I do.”
Scott Stapp will perform at 10 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 20, at Morongo Casino Resort Spa, 49500 Seminole Drive, in Cabazon. Tickets are $20 to $40. For tickets or more information, call 800-252-4499, or visit www.morongocasinoresort.com.