Behind the Scenes with Scott Stapp
“WITH THE PUBLICATION IN 2012 OF SCOTT STAPP’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY SINNER’S CREED, THE FORMER LEAD SINGER, SONGWRITER AND LYRICIST FOR OF MULTI-PLATINUM RECORDING BAND CREED DETAILED HIS STRUGGLES WITH DRUGS, ALCOHOL, AND DEPRESSION.“
It became the catalyst for his album Proof of Life, which released last year. Editor Amber Weigand-Buckley had the opportunity to sit down with Scott to talk about the road that brought him to surrender his life finally totally to Christ, the support of his family and what he has learned along the way.
YOUR LIVE ALBUM RELEASED LAST YEAR.PROOF OF LIFE TALKS VERY MUCH ABOUT WHO YOU ARE. TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE PROCESS OF PUTTING THAT ALBUM TOGETHER.
SCOTT: I look at Proof of Life as the musical accompaniment to the transformation in my life. Coming out of a period in my life where I became self-destructive in decision-making and suffered from the consequences. I finally got to the place of how did I get here, what makes me tick, what’s unresolved? So in writing my book, Sinner’s Creed, I began the process of going back and honestly reflecting on my life.
What I thought was a negative and dark period, repurposed psychologically in that, I now see it as something that I went through, learned from and now, I can pass that story along because it’s a common story for all of us as human beings. It demonstrates the power of what God can do in your life and how everything matters.
We don’t have to regret those times when we’ve become a hostage to our decision-making and situations we’ve put ourselves in. Every day, make a decision that today is a new day to change and allow God to free us from those self-imposed prisons
IT’S EASY WHEN WE RECEIVE SALVATION TO WANT TO BRUSH EVERYTHING UNDER THE RUG AND NOT DEAL WITH THE PAST. A LOT OF TIMES, THOSE THINGS COME BACK TO BITE US.
SCOTT: Absolutely. We cut the trees down, but there are roots, emotions, and feelings. For me, that needed to be dealt with because at the core they were impacting my life all these years later. It all came from fear. God is the opposite of fear. God is love. So in shining that light on the areas in my life, and looking at it from that lens, I can see how and where it started in my life, and how fear impacted me. Then, it disguises itself through other things, and I wanted to change. I didn’t want to live like that anymore.
YOU DEALT WITH DEPRESSION, AND THAT LED YOU INTO A PATTERN OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE WITH ALCOHOL AND DRUGS. HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT PROCESSING DEPRESSION?
SCOTT: I was self-medicating. I had first to get rid of the way I was doing things to make myself feel better. Alcohol and other drugs initially made me feel better. I felt all the symptoms of depression. When I drank or did some drugs, it took that away but then it became destructive and began to kill me. So removing that was the first thing.
Then, depression, from what I’ve learned, is a chemical sickness. Just like we get the flu, just like you get a bacterial infection, it’s a treatable chemical virus of the mind. Once I accepted that that was the reality of my situation, I sought help. Because of my decisions and where I was spiritually, it just made that worse. But I think it definitely took a combination of modern medicine and absolute focus on just my spiritual self to come out of that.
YOU TALK A LOT ABOUT TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS AND HOW THEY IMPACT OUR LIVES. I KNOW YOUR WIFE AND FAMILY MUST BE PART OF THE SUPPORT GROUP THAT KEEP YOU ON TRACK.
SCOTT: Yes, I think it’s important for us to surround ourselves with people that don’t contribute to whatever our issues are. For me, battling with alcohol, some drugs, and the lifestyle of rock and roll—my wife doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke. That’s not even her elective blow-off steam. That’s just not how she was raised. So definitely the way she lives her life, in the terms of health and what she puts into it, raised and shined a light on mine. The love and the looks in your children’s eyes and family support, it’s amazing what that can do to you—what you can endure and the limits that can be pushed within you when you have that direct manifestation of God as love in your life at all times.
PEOPLE WERE ASKING ALL ALONG THE WAY IS CREED A CHRISTIAN BAND? WAS THAT SOMETHING YOU WERE SEARCHING FOR PERSONALLY?
SCOTT: Well, I was a Christian at that time, struggling and rebelling, choosing the things of this world over my spiritual well-being and what I knew was right. But Creed wasn’t a Christian band. Some of the guys don’t even believe in God. So, that label caught everyone off guard. I knew, being the primary songwriter and lyricist, that was a part of me and came out in the songs I wrote. I was wrestling with it but could
not escape the resolution that it was true— but that’s a part of the human story, the spirit, and spiritual things.
Now, I’m more solid in my Christian walk. I’ve been through a lot and have a lot to share. I’m still just an artist. I’m sharing my story through song.
YOU’VE DONE THE ROCK STAR THING. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN YOUR CAREER RIGHT NOW?
SCOTT: The most important thing in my career is to be authentic and make sure that I’m staying true always to what’s guiding my life, who I am as a human being. I never want to feel I need to conform, hide or not be the person that I am—either in mind or spirit. In fact, the spirit itself is more important. I just need to embrace that aspect of my being—that’s what I am. If people don’t get it, they don’t get it. That’s my niche.
Rock and roll brings that to light for me even more so and connects me with those thoughts and feelings. There was a time I felt criticized, labeled, judged and thrown over the way because of something that is connected with being human—a part of our psyche that we often dismiss.
Externally that is the reason why so much crazy stuff is going on in this world—we are not feeding our spirits. There’s a vacuum of soullessness and disconnection from God. We have taken God out of everything. Therefore, we don’t have God as the moral standard, as the moral baseline.
WHAT IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS YOU’VE LEARNED IN YOUR 8-YEAR JOURNEY WITH JACLYN—BEING HUSBAND AND WIFE?
SCOTT: Her motivation and relentless ability to press forward inspires me. I’ve learned the power of family, how that can transform your life. I see clearly what the power, strength and love of what a real family is.
WHAT IS ONE THING THAT JACLYN DOES THAT BRINGS YOU STRENGTH IN YOUR DAY TO DAY?
SCOTT: I always know the truth—she says it like it is. In my position, it’s important to have that in my life. Someone who speaks their truth into your life when it can be so clouded with other things. Think that passion and honesty and commitment to staying real has been something that has helped me and my life.
Find out more about Scott’s album Proof of Life and his book Sinner’s Creed at www.scottstapp.com