Grammy Award winning rock artist Scott Stapp continues to bring his characteristic, introspective honesty and heart for outreach to his musical career. He looks forward to getting back out on the road soon to resume his Proof of Life tour, performing the new album, and playing older songs that his fans know and love. “Connecting with fans, that sharing of energy – the vibe that’s created through music – that’s really what it’s all about to me.”
During this tour, he hopes to continue raising awareness about mental health issues and the National Association of Mental Illness, through his campaign called “Up from the Ashes.” He approaches this from a deeply personal perspective, because he’s been battling some of these issues throughout his life. “The biggest thing I’m trying to do is to break down stigma and get people talking, because when people are talking, and people aren’t afraid anymore, they’re more apt to reach out and ask for help.” He’s concerned for those suffering from untreated depression, untreated anxiety, untreated PTSD, untreated bipolar, and a multitude of other mental health issues.
Scott specifically addresses bipolar for those who have someone in their lives that they see in dark depression or in manic episodes, having mood swings, and for families dealing with troubled teenagers, when they can’t pinpoint what’s wrong, but they know something is definitely wrong. “I really want to educate and give the proper materials out, so people know what to do and families know how to intervene and help those that they love. And the same with friends, too. I always say it takes a village, to give individuals the love they need, and sometimes that love means intervening in their life when they can’t help themselves. It’s really a group effort.” Scott recommends checking out the NAMI website to find resources and information about what this organization is doing to educate people about mental health. “There’s support, and there are numbers you can call if you’re seeking help or looking to help somebody else. It’s really pointing people in the direction where they can get the most respected help and information out there. So we’re just spreading the word, and allowing the organization to continue providing the help and information they provide.”
The person whom Scott credits with the most profound impact on his life is his wife, Jaclyn. “She’s been not only a source of inspiration, but also at times a reason to keep fighting. She’s shown me tremendous love and compassion at my darkest times. She’s held our family together.” He referenced Jaclyn’s work through the family’s nonprofit CHARM (Children Are Magical) which helps children, underprivileged youth, and families in need, and has recently added a mental health component, also. “She’s a hero to me. There have been times when she really had to put on the ‘big boy pants’ and carry the family when I was sick. I’m forever indebted to her and have such tremendous love, admiration, and respect for her. I’m grateful to God every day that she’s my wife.”
Scott’s faith has molded every aspect of his life. “In terms of shaping my career, my personal journey in trying to ‘find God,’ so to speak, definitely influenced my music, came out in multiple songs throughout my career, and connected with others. Faith was a huge component in why Creed had the success that it had. In terms of my personal life, faith has been the glue that has held my wife and me together. You know, that shared faith, that mutual faith has held us together through very difficult times. It’s also been there for me during times before I met my wife, when I was at my darkest moments and felt so alone – the only thing that I had to turn to was my faith, and it was there to comfort me, to show me love when I wasn’t lovable.” Scott says that faith has given him something to reach for and has been there to help guide him whenever he lost his way. “Many times we lose our way in life; every time, I look up and rediscover my faith. Faith has influenced my career and my life in more ways than I can even articulate.”
Regarding being part of Creed, one of Scott’s favorite things was the authenticity of the music. “How real it was: four guys fighting for a dream, putting their heart and soul into creating music that they believed in and that came from their heart. That’s something we did in all four of our records and something I think was very unique and special, created between the four of us.”
Scott’s biggest challenge has been learning how to handle success, and how that can impact relationships with friends and family. “With success comes ‘Yes people.’ In the entertainment business, when you’re having success, you can be surrounded by a bunch of people who tell you what you want to hear, not what you need to hear. And that can lead to a lot of pitfalls. Of course, in the entertainment business, especially in Rock ‘n’ Roll, there’s the pitfalls of the classic ‘Sex, Drugs, and Rock N’ Roll’ – that can definitely be a path leading to a lot of problems. All of those in that list, I’ve had to deal with and fight to overcome. Unfortunately, I learned many lessons the hard way.” He describes that lifestyle as a narcissistic, self-absorbed existence. “While it’s happening, you’re not thinking about consequences, and you don’t think it’s ever going to end. It’s not until you get to the other side that you realize that’s what it was. It can get confusing, because interwoven with success and accolades, everything that you do, right or wrong, is validated – it’s right. At the end of the line, in hindsight, you realize how hollow it can be, if you’re not using what you’ve been given for good.”
People of significance in his life, friends he respected, pointed out some pitfalls to avoid along the way and offered guidance. “Hopefully, I’ll be given opportunities, and when those opportunities are presented, I can be that voice for up-and-coming artists and entertainers, sharing with them my experiences.
Scott readily admits he’s still figuring out how to achieve balance in life. ”I’ve recently gotten to the place where I understand the importance of balance. It’s something that I think we all have to navigate and keep in the back of our heads. Proper balance is the key to longevity. It keeps us from either ruining the good things in our lives, or dwelling on the bad. It’s definitely a work in progress for me.”
His newest album Proof of Life, Scott describes as being full energy, mood, and real life experience that he’s excited to share. “I felt like I had gotten to the end of a long and difficult road in my personal life. I had another bump in the road, facing manic depression and bipolar disorder. The album really means more to me now, then a year ago. I’m eager to share this album and everything that it means in terms of coming out of the darkness and into the light.”
Scott Stapp will be performing at the Palladium Theater (St. Pete) on January 15th and at the Moonstone Music Festival (Orlando) on April 30th.