SCOTT STAPP On Overcoming Depression – “Clean Living Has Really Made A Dynamic Impact On My Life”
May 7, 2020, 8 months ago
Over the past few years, we have seen depression lead to the deaths of some of rock’s most renowned figures – Chris Cornell, Chester Bennington, Keith Flint, etc. And in the case of Scott Stapp, he has also battled his demons – but has seemingly come out the other side having overcome his troubles, which he has documented on his latest single, “Survivor,” from his third solo effort overall, 2019’s The Space Between The Shadows. Speaking to BraveWords correspondent Greg Prato, Stapp discussed the single, how he overcame depression, and what he and his family are currently doing while in quarantine.
BraveWords: Let’s discuss the new single, “Survivor.”
Scott Stapp: “Initially, it was inspired by me just writing down positive affirmation things, that I was aspiring to feel and to manifest in my life – while I was in the midst of personal crisis and adversity, and a ‘dark period’ so to speak, in my life. Really, a lot of the initial lyrical content was aspirational. It was something I was trying to tell myself to make it through that day, so I could get to the next day. It was trying to believe these things prior to them becoming a reality. And it gave me the courage, the strength, and the endurance to learn to fight another day and to continue moving forward. And eventually, getting to the place where I could look back, and go, ‘You know what? I survived that. I’m a survivor.’”
BraveWords: How important has music been to you – as far as overcoming your problems?
Scott Stapp: “It’s definitely been something that has helped me deal and cope with life, and various tough times and tough situations in my life. Very critical in that. And of course, like others, it’s also been a source of great joy and great memory markers of amazing times in my life. So, it’s covered the gamut – which I think is what music does. It’s there for us at various phases in our lives, and that’s the beauty of music and how it connects the human spirit.”
BraveWords: You’ve discussed in the past how you’ve struggled with depression over the years. How are you currently coping with that?
Scott Stapp: “Exercise and a healthy diet has really done wonders for me. It’s amazing how you can metastasize depression by abusing your body with alcohol, partying, lack of exercise, and horrible eating habits. So, doing a complete 180 on all of those and really committing to a life of exercise, health, diet, and clean living has really made a dynamic impact on my life. And then I think on a personal level, not reverting to old habits of isolation, and running from my problems and wallowing in them and hiding – I think that’s a recipe for cultivating and making any kind of depression fester and get worse. So, when you combine everything that I’ve mention early, as well as a propensity to isolate, that’s a recipe for disaster. So, I’ve done everything in my power over the last six years to completely change every single one of those habits and go in the complete opposite direction. And it’s had a complete, profound impact on my life.”
BraveWords: How bad was your depression?
Scott Stapp: “I got to some low points. Very, very low points. For me, again, the majority of it was metastasized by what I was putting into my body and the lifestyle that I was living, and also, not reaching out and asking for help. And not being honest with my friends and family about how I was feeling. Isolating and not staying connected with people. And knowing that I needed help and again, keeping quiet, isolating, and continuing self-destructive behaviors. So, I think it’s important for anyone who’s out there suffering from depression or any other mental health issue to reach out and ask for help. And once you’ve reached out and spoken to a doctor or a parent or a friend, and be authentic and honest and share your feelings, and you’re on that path for being helped, then you can find out through a doctor’s supervision what works best for you to treat that depression and get to the other side of it.”
BraveWords: It’s been almost a year since the release of The Space Between the Shadows. What are your thoughts on the album now?
Scott Stapp: “I’m very proud of it. I’ve been humbled and overwhelmed. And full of gratitude. The response this album got – and not only from my fans, but the rock community, the music community, rock radio, the rock media and the rock press – it’s just been a very positive experience. I know this sounds so cliché, but it’s the truth – I poured my heart and soul into this record, and I really shared and put into the songs the three to four years of life I lived to finding sobriety, and then the two years after finding it, and really shared my story and lessons learned, and observations about the world around me. Genuine feelings. The whole gamut of the human emotion. And I hope that it continues to connect with people, because that’s all I’ve ever wanted as an artist – for my music to connect with people on some level. I’m really fortunate.”
BraveWords: Future plans?
Scott Stapp: “Right now, we just dropped ‘Survivor,’ which if you include Europe, is the fourth single off the record. So, continue to promote ‘Survivor’ – I just put out a visualizer video in lieu of a full-length video – in light of the pandemic and what’s going in the world, we had to scrap our feature video shoot. So, we filled the void with this visualizer we just released. I’m going to continue to connect with fans, and looking forward to the day I can get back out on the road and continue to play shows and play these songs – along with other songs in my career – to the fans. But we’ll wait for the ‘all clear,’ like everybody else. And then as far as 2021 goes, I’m looking to get back in the studio and make another solo record.”
BraveWords: What are you doing to keep busy during the current quarantine situation?
Scott Stapp: “Keeping busy in my household is not a problem. I’ve got three kids ranging from two to thirteen – with a nine-year-old in the middle. My wife and I are rotating as school teachers – between 8 AM and 3 PM. One day, I’ll have my nine year old, and sometimes she has my thirteen year old. So I’m going back to third grade and sixth grade, and it’s much more difficult than I remember! And then with my two year old, we squeeze in time to get him outside in the park. Of course, social distancing – we’re fortunate that we have a property and our own playground and swing sets, so when I refer to ‘the park,’ I’m referring to our own personal property. So, getting him outside and just spending time with the family. We’re trying to make the best out of this situation and find the silver lining. It’s tough. I know a lot of people out there are suffering and going through some tough times – in terms of income. We’re trying to do our part there by helping others that are in need as a family. So, we’re definitely staying busy in the Stapp household and just trying to stay positive and keep our hopes up.”