'Grown Temple Pilot'

by Steven Mirkin

Typed by Sean.(Courtesy of http://www.placidminds.com)

Scott Weiland has seen the dark side. He's lived it. His collapse under the weights of drugs and general decadence landed him in prison last year. Now reunited with Stone Temple Pilots and in love with model Mary Forsberg, Weiland remains the last rock star standing.

Scott Weiland was a beaten man. Last September, the Stone Temple Pilots singer sat in a Los Angeles courtroom with his head bowed, fighting back tears. His long saga of multiple drug busts, divorce, missed concert appearances, arrest warrants, and judicial patience had come to a close. Weiland was going to prison.

It was a dramatic change for a man who just months earlier was still parading around like the last rock star standing. While Weiland was promoting his first solo album, his appearance grew increasingly edgy, his body and once boyish face painfully thin, making him look like one more poster child for heroin chic. And no amount of cool threads and feather boas could hide it. Now, his third drug bust had him sitting in this courtroom, once again sending a scheduled STP tour into chaos.

Early this year, Weiland was quietly released from prison. And by April, STP had roared back with a series of well-received performances led by a clean and sober Weiland. With his planned marriage to model Mary Forsberg, and with the impending arrival of a baby later this year, the man is here to tell you that the ballad of Scott Weiland and Stone Temple Pilots is far from over.

Do you have any vices left?
Tobacco, and lots of coffee and sex. Makes for an exciting relationship with my fiancee.

Were you nervous the first time you back with the band?
I wouldn't say nervous [pauses]. Okay, maybe we were a little nervous [laughs]. It was the first show and we knew there would be a lot of scrutiny. But we know when we're firing on all cylinders; we just sort of take a deep breath and go out and have fun. It feels like a celebration.

Is it tougher to stay straight on the road or at home?
It's kind of like this: If an addict wants to get loaded, an addict's going to get loaded, no matter where, no matter what. There's always dope and there's always booze. In the past, I've tended to get into more trouble when we had long periods off. I would hang around with people who probably were not the best people to hang around with. But they're not the reason why I did drugs-I did more drugs than just about anybody that I came into contact with.

How do you avoid falling into old habits?
Vigilance is very important. I have kind of gotten into a routine. When I'm at home, I wake up and I have my two or three cups of coffee and three cigarettes. I sometimes have sex in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon, at least once a day. I actually feel like I'm going through a second sort of puberty, because my hormones are reactivated beyond comparison-heroin tends to dampen your sexual appetite. I go to the gym. I usually run between five and 10 miles a day. Then some yoga. Then I do whatever's in front of me.

It's quite a change from just a few months ago.
The letters from my fans, my family and Mary just really kept me going through times when I tended to get down and start to lose hope. Especially from Mary. She was such a tower of strength. She was there every weekend, twice a weekend to visit me, and was never late. Our love for each other really blossomed in a way that's really hard to describe, even though we were separated and the only time I saw her was behind glass. I fell so deeply in love with her through this experience, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that she's the woman I will spend eternity with.

Do you think all this would have happened if you hadn't been sent to jail?
I don't know. I really feel that was a very significant thing. The last night I used, the night I overdosed, July 7th, when I ended up in the hospital detox ward and was told that the judge had been informed what happened-I knew the reality of the situation. I knew that no amount of money or power or prestige would get me out of it. So it was a crossroads. I coudl either try to mask and cover up my fear with a chemical blanket and run, or I could take a stand. To tell you the honest truth, it hasn't been easy.

Is it ever a problem to perform songs from your past?
For anything really powerful, there has to be a balance between the light and the dark. I have the same passion for-I still get tempted by-the darker side of what the world has to offer. I just don't bite that apple. I can flirt with it and I can draw on it when I'm on stage, because its a huge part of who I am. It wasn't the drugs that made me that way. If anything, the drugs began to numb me to experience and music. The music and my performance on stage were muddled with brown water. Althought I'm in a really good place right now, there are still days when I can feel those emotions-it's not so much the drugs that got me to that point. Drugs were like the medication for everything else that was wrong in my life. There are moments when I still lapse into darkness. But I don't medicate it.

STP just recorded 'Break On Through' for a Doors tribute. Did you wonder about the Irony of covering a band that experienced the same problems as STP?
Yeah. Working with the Doors was amazing. They've been a huge influence, I listened to them more than the Beatles. But it's kin of odd, the similarities in what the other Doors went through with Jim and what the guys had to deal with with me. For whatever reason, his ending wasn't a happy one. But mine is.

Raygun Magazine-- Summer 6.2000; Pgs: 110-113