Scott Stapp Interview and Live Review
Scott Stapp Live Review
06/28/14 Machine Shop MI
Photos and Review By ~Eric DiRezze
Scott Stapp, the voice of Creed, rocked The Machine Shop in Flint, MI playing a mix of his new solo material (from 'Proof Of Life') as well as an array of his hits with Creed. No matter the size of the venue, Scott's stage presence is undeniably magnetic/commanding and his voice sounding as good as it ever has.
During a recent interview I did with Scott, he said that he is in a much better place these days, physically & emotionally, and it shows! Having seen Creed live many times (I stopped counting after 20 :p) at various cities across the Mid-West... and knowing about the issues he's had in the past with his vocal chords, it was great to hear Scott back on top of his game! It was also great to meet other fans there who share the same passion of his music and even traveled from as far as Chicago to see Scott perform!
Definitely don't miss your chance to check out his show when he comes through your area!
Who I Am
My Own Prison
New Day Coming
With Arms Wide Open
Hit Me More
One Last Breath
Jesus Was A Rockstar
What Would Love Do
Proof Of Life
Click The Image Below to See All Stapp Photos
Scott Stapp Interview
By ~Eric DiRezze
Scott Stapp, best known for his work with Grammy Award winning rock band Creed, is currently back out on the road in support of his second solo effort 'Proof Of Life'. An album that is considered to be an extension, or companion piece, to his 2012 uncensored memoir, "Sinner's Creed" which gives fans an inside look at the struggles he faced growing up in a strictly religious houselhold, his battles with depression and addiction, overcoming adversity and how those experiences molded him into who he is today.
“This record is almost the sound track to the book,” Stapp said. “It couldn’t have been written without the journey of self discovery that I took to try to grow as a human being. Writing that book I know I had to make changes in my life because I got into a dark place. And this record symbolizes to me that it all mattered, it all had a purpose. And what I thought was such a mess and a disaster that I had made in a period of my life has now turned into a message. It has been re-purposed. And so it is a lot of healing within that for me.”
On 'Proof Of Life', Stapp again taps into those experiences while also finding inspiration with his love of life, family and God. Putting together some of his finest and most personal solo work to date.
“Music has always been therapy for me,” Stapp said. “I didn’t have that understanding until the last two or three years. But knowing that now I can clearly see it. Its always been an outlet for me and a way for me deal with every emotion in my life. Good or bad. I really got to a place where the music stopped because of my disease and alcoholism and all of the destruction that can bring. Getting to that place of brokenness was just essential for me to move forward and really change my life and my perspective and who I was inside. And how I approached the music and appreciated the music.”
He seems to be in a much better place these days and is more focused/driven than ever before. Ready to share his message and his music with the world.
I recently had the pleasure and opportunity to catch up with Scott, talk to him about the new album and also ask him about the future of Creed.
Full Metal Rock (FMR): You've seen success before with Creed. Now that you're a solo artist, what will 'success' look like to you?
Scott Stapp (SS): You know, I think the more people out there that I connect with through my music is part of that answer. Also, I think becoming the artist that continues to grow & push the limits, in terms of the sonic beds & genres and the styles that I create, and not feel that I'm just in a box.... and continue to grow & explore as an artist. I think that's really another thing of success. And you know, the most important thing of success in terms of my career is enjoying what I'm doing & having that passion for the music & for the performance. With all 3 of those that would mean success for me.
Full Metal Rock (FMR): Is your favorite track on Proof of Life also your favorite song to perform live?
Scott Stapp (SS): My favorite track on 'Proof of Life' it changes all the time. I think right now it's "Proof of Life"... It just feels like it defines my style, my signature, and embodies influences that I love. What I like to perform live the most right now would probably be 'Proof of Life' as well.
Full Metal Rock (FMR): Are there any places you're looking forward to touring, or would like to go, that you haven't been before?
Scott Stapp (SS): I just got back from Europe a month ago.... I was really lookin forward to gettin back over there because I hadn't been over there in so long. And I think now~ one thing I'm really looking forward to~ is going to places, in the US & anywhere else in the world, that don't see a lot of artists. Going to places in what they call secondary & tertiary markets outside of the standard routine of touring artists and really connecting with my fans that are kind of on the fringes & out of the 'mainstream' in society in the touring & entertainment community. Because you know they love music too they just dont get many opprtunities to see them.
Full Metal Rock (FMR): You've performed at big arenas & now smaller venues across the world.. do you have a preference playing one over the other?
Scott Stapp (SS): Well, I tell ya~ there's things I love about both. When you play the big arenas & the big outdoor ampitheaters it adds a whole 'nother dimension just to the grandness and the enormity & the impact of 20,000+ souls, man, in a room connected through song. But one thing that it doesn't have as much of is the interpersonal part. The personal connection which I really like about the smaller venues. Feeling that I can look everyone in the eye and we can connect.. and also get a chance to get to meet everyone who's there & begin relationships that go beyond just the normal fan/artist situation.
Full Metal Rock (FMR): You'll be coming back to the Machine Shop (in Flint, MI) on 6/28. As far as the show or setlist goes, what can fans expect?
Scott Stapp (SS): There's gonna be some songs/new material that I didn't play the first time. I think that every tour it'll be that way. In search of the perfect experience and the perfcet setlist and everything within me that fulfills that. And also, you know, I think that the fans want to see it. And for me I feel the need to do it... I think it's just a natural thing & will continue to change.
Full Metal Rock (FMR): A couple years back I saw your acoustic show at Motor City Casino in Detroit.... I have always been a fan of your acoustic arrangements of Creed songs. Any chance we'll see/hear more of that on this tour?
Scott Stapp (SS): There are some acoustic moments in the electric show right now but there's no songs that are played in their entirety in a stripped down acoustic fashion... but I may get to that! It may end up becoming a part of the show as it continues to grow & evolve... I like that idea as well. And so I think it's just a matter of time.
Full Metal Rock (FMR): I remember back on Creed's Weathered tour you played a little guitar on "Stand Here With Me" Live.... Do you play any guitar on this record?
Scott Stapp (SS): Yeah, I mean I play guitar~ I use the guitar to write~ but live right now, I'm just focusing on singing & performing and interacting with the audience. But there are times that I want to be playing as well so again~ that's something that as we continue to grow as a band with this record I could be doing.
Full Metal Rock (FMR): How did creating this album differ from "The Great Divide".... was it any 'easier' (so to speak)?
Scott Stapp (SS): Well it was a completely different experience for me on multiple levels. I mean personally I'm a completely different human being than I was on 'The Great Divide' to 'Proof of Life'. You know, secondly~ the way that I wrote this album was kind of getting back to the basics of how I always created, which is me & another guy on acoustic guitars. And with 'The Great Divide' I wrote most of those songs with a full band in the room. So, you know, I got back to what I do best and what's the best for me to cultivate the soul in which I create from. Also, the emotions and the perspective and maturity as a human being were absolutely the opposite. You know I was kind of bitter and had anger and desperation... and no perspective in terms of my role in my own life. And with 'Proof Of Life', the exact opposite. So, you know, they're twin extremes of my [inaudible] experience.
Full Metal Rock (FMR): I feel like vocally you're pushing yourself to try something different things on this album and like you said too your in a different place than you were years ago...
Scott Stapp (SS): Oh yeah.. I mean, 'The Great Divide' to be honest with you, vocally, in hind sight, I might not have been at the level that I would normally set for myself. And I was at a low point in my life when I recorded that record. Not when I wrote the songs, I was at a sober place when I wrote the songs, but by the time it got time to record the vocals I was in self-destruction mode and for me and I'm sure others, when you compare my work, could hear. But you know, looking back I'm kind of glad it ended up that way because it was the reality of my life in that situation. And then now with 'Proof Of Life' I've since worked with vocal instructors & teachers like Renee Grant-Williams in Nashville & Beth Riggs in LA~ two of the best & most legendary vocal teachers there are~ and relearned about my instrument, how to properly sing, and it really changed my voice in an amazing way, in terms of my range and quality. It really just expanded my horizons so, you know, I think it'll even continue to do that. And you can probably hear even from my Creed days because I had no training or experience... it was just kind of coming from the throat back then. So I think you can hear on 'Proof Of Life' the changes that have happened with me vocally and for me I think its a positive.
Full Metal Rock (FMR): Do you think working with a different producer (Howard Benson Vs. John Kurzweg) had any affect or influence on your recording or vocals on this record?
Scott Stapp (SS): Oh, absolutely! AND~ changing up my routine & stepping out of my comfort zone. To make a baseball analogy~ "experimenting with different gloves". You know, Mark Tremonti was 'the glove' that I used since 9th grade in high school when we were 14 yrs old & that was a comfort zone. And Howard really challenged me to step outside my comfort zone and of course I wasn't going to create with Mark for this record, but not just one other individual. You know, to take time to get together with someone for 2 or 3 days... and then someone else for 2 or 3 days.... and then someone else for 2 or 3 days..... and you know having those new and fresh opportunites on a regular basis just expanded my horizons and my thought processes and pushed me and taught me different ways of thinking and really pulled me out of a rut. And just opened all types of doors to a variety of different melody styles and things that I probably never would've thought of but it was a very rewarding experience and it was all put to me through my producer Howard Benson.
Full Metal Rock (FMR): Speaking of Mark & Creed that brings me to my next question... what, if anything, do you miss most about the early days of Creed??
Scott Stapp (SS): You know~ we were on a mission. And we were best friends, brothers, we were family. And you know that comraderie and that single purpose and that one goal 'all for one, one for all' brotherhood. That was my dream of what a band should be and is supposed to be. And I'll never forget those days and the innocence and naivity of the four of us. It was an amazing time. Something that you can't just recreate. It's just the way our real life was... and those are things that I really look back on and appreciate and love and something that will connect the four of us for the rest of our lives.
Full Metal Rock (FMR): It's hard to believe it's already been 5 years since 'Full Circle' came out~ Has there been any talk of another Creed record/tour in the near future?
Scott Stapp (SS): Well you know~ I think for all of us... whatever we do artistically, we want to be passionate about it. We want it to feel organic... and real and.. that's what we want to do and there's nothing else that we wanna do except get together with each and make a great record. And until all of that is there and we all feel collectively compelled to do that, there's really no point in doing it. And also~ it would be a disservice to the fans. Our fans deserve better. So theres no time line... there's no future plans on the map right now. I couldn't even give you an idea of when. But I'm sure they'll come a day, somewhere in the future, where those feelings that I described will come back into fruition. And it'll happen. So, you know... I never say never.
Full Metal Rock (FMR): As an artist myself I'm always interested in checking out bands artwork/designs. How much involvement (if any) do you have with the artwork/merch?
Scott Stapp (SS): Tons! And I have since the first Creed record and all the way through... With this one, things torwards the end were just different. My focus was on the music. And so I think going forward you'll see with what's getting ready to happen in terms of the live show and the art presentation from the stage... and then the merchandise. You'll see my direction, control & input in all the art that has to do with that. And, you know, more of [inaudible] and what Creed fans are used to & my fans expect.
Full Metal Rock (FMR): Can you talk a little bit about the cover art for 'Proof Of Life'? What it is, or is it supposed to be something abstract...?
Scott Stapp (SS): On this particular record, it was very abstract. I think a reflection of the intent in where my soul was with this record. And you know.... in that moment that was fine. [Inaudible] real creative artistic expressions pertaining to 'Proof of Life' are going to be out here at the live show and on the merch and then also some possible repackaging when I put out some material that I didn't put on the record but I feel like I should put it out in the next 2 or 3 months, so. I think that's when its kinda really gonna have that visual, artistic, surreal painteresque quality that I love. With 'Proof of Life', for me at the time, it was all about the music and I didnt want anything to distract from that. And also try too hard in a way. So there's really no distractions on a white, coral type album cover. It's like, ok... there it is now let me get to the music. You know~ idk if it worked but that was kinda my intent.
Full Metal Rock (FMR): No I dig it! I like it. It's very abstract, simple....
Scott Stapp (SS): And if you look~ there's triangles. And, you know, those represented something to me... and they're there in a subtle way. You know with what triangles symbolize: body, mind and spirit. And the trinity. And everything else we come to know... and we dig deeper through symbolism in triangles. So that would be the only real thing that I can point out that there was something symbolic for that.
Full Metal Rock (FMR): Older and wiser, how do you see your career evolving?
Scott Stapp (SS): You know I think new musical territory. And new dimension of my core & my roots that sometimes push the limits to what is considered rock & roll. Fully embracing the music as it comes out of me and as it's created and not taking something & then conforming it to Rock & Roll. You know, I think at times I write songs that may have a 'country' feel.. You can hear that on the 'Weathered' album with the song "Weathered". And you know there's just different varieties of my style that I no longer feel 'confined' because of thought processes. You think different when you're in your early 20's than you do at my age now. And so, you know, I'll be pushing new musical territory for me however it comes out.
Scott Stapp (SS): You know, I love em with all my heart and appreciate them more than I think they'll ever know. And I'm thankful they've come on this journey with me. And you know, thank them for lettin' me know that they connect. And that I'm not alone in this world.
Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Scott Stapp's latest release, 'Proof Of Life', and don't miss your chance to see him on tour near you!
Jun 24 - Pittsburg, PA @ Latitude Live
Jun 25 - Poughkeepsie, NY @ The Chance
Jun 27 - Niagara Falls, NY @The Bear's Den at Seneca Niagara Casino
Jun 28 - Flint, MI @ The Machine Shop
Jun 29 - Lexington, KY @ Buster's Billiards & Backroom
Jul 01 - Springfield, MO @ Gillioz Theatre
Jul 02 - Fort Smith, AR @ Neumeier's Rib Room & Beer Garden
Jul 11 - Ottumwa, IA @ Promiseland Fest 2014
Jul 12 - Woodhaven, MI @ Uncle Sam Jam
Jul 18 - Willmar, MN @ Sonshine Festival
Jul 26 - Grover Hill, OH @Wetxel Motorcycle Club
Aug 01 - Kennewick, WA @ Creation Festival 2014
Aug 08 - Gilford, NH @ Soulfest 2014
Aug 25 - St. Paul, MN @ Minnesota State Fair
Aug 26 - St. Paul, MN @ Minnesota State Fair
Aug 31 - Montpelier, IN @ Montpelier Jamboree
Sep 13 - Manassas, VA @ Awakening Festival 2014
Full Metal Rock Gives Scott Stapps New Album 'Proof of Life" 2 Thumbs Up
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