Scott Stapp Offers Proof of Life
- Monday, November 18, 2013
Scott Stapp and his band Creed exploded on the music scene in 1997 when Stapp was in his early 20s. Creed’s first album, My Own Prison, sold more than 6 million copies and established Stapp as one of the great voices in hard rock history.
Creed’s lyrics, thanks mostly to Stapp’s Christian upbringing, always dealt with spiritual themes. But Stapp succumbed to rock star temptations, including drug and alcohol abuse and an infamous sex tape. His first solo album, The Great Divide, came out in 2005 and was increasingly explicit in its Christian themes, but Stapp was still wrestling with his demons. It wasn’t until 2007 that he finally got clean and sober and returned to Christ, after a series of events he recounts in his 2012 memoir, Sinner’s Creed. His second solo album, Proof of Life, was released last week.
I’m going to work backward and ask you first about your new album. Why so long a delay between this one and your last album? I began initially working on my second solo album in 2007, but Creed decided to get back together and make a new album [Full Circle, released in 2009], and then we toured off and on for the next four years after that album came out. After getting off that tour and doing some soul searching after writing Sinners Creed, I had a lot of reconciliation in my mind and in my spirit and music just kind of started coming out of me at that point in time.
Talk a little about the book and about that reconciliation. Clearly you have a relationship with the other guys in Creed. You’re still able to play music with them. We go through different seasons in our life. Sometimes it’s time to move on from one and on to another. With my heart wanting to serve God and be around others who do, that kind of put us on different roads. I really feel like when one door closes, God opened a floodgate. And Proof of Life was born.
Was the book an impetus for Proof of Life? Most definitely. It was really critical for me at that point in my life to sit down and just reevaluate myself and really deal openly and honestly with my past in an attempt to resolve it and rectify it. I didn’t plan on that turning into a book that I shared with the world. It started out as something that I was just solely writing for myself with the intentions of symbolically burning it when I was done and letting it go. And through that process I grew so much within myself and within my faith that my life began to take on a new shape and new purpose. Sharing that story was critical for where I am now in my life and on my journey.
You just turned 40, so Creed’s first album, My Own Prison, came out when you were very young, in your early 20s. What does it do to your head when you have that kind of money and success at such an early age? It validated the control that I was exerting over my life and over the choices you’re making. Where you are is right and you’re doing all right. And so keeping things your way is the right way because it’s getting validated and in some way you can classify it as getting blessed. But I found out the hard way that continuing down that road led to some serious consequences and some low, low places and that’s when the humbling process began.
Some of those low places included alcohol abuse, drug abuse. Run-ins with the law. Troubles with relationships. Even during all of that time, I think a lot of people were listening to your music and thinking you had something figured out. I had a lot of Christian friends who said to me, “Creed is a Christian band. Listen to their lyrics.” Yet while all of that was going on, you were on a bit of a different path. What was that moment when you finally realized you were, as the first single off the new album says, committing a slow suicide? I think it’s a common story that someone who knows God can drift away and even turn his back on God and get caught up in the world and in sin, and mine just became very public. So I always had a commitment to God. If I ever had a platform that I would do nothing but honor Him and seek Him in what I did. And so although I was drifting and succumbing to many temptations and getting caught up in myself and getting far away from God, my music became a way for me to get back to God. That was how I repented and reconnected.
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