When Scott Weiland sat down with Rolling Stone for two long interviews in June 2007, the Stone Temple Pilots frontman was 39 years old, and feeling hopeful about the future. He had just lost his brother, Michael, to drug-related heart issues, but had broken his own drug habits after some very dark times. He had just finished his second album with the supergroup Velvet Revolver, Libertad, a major step forward for the band. On tour a few months later, Weiland started using drugs again, and Velvet Revolver never made another album. Weiland died of an accidental overdose on December 3rd, 2015. He was 48.
The latest episode of Rolling Stone Music Now features audio from those honest, sometimes dark interviews with the show’s host, Brian Hiatt. Listen and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Spotify, or check it out below.
On rocking in his 40s: “Well, I can’t
imagine doing what Steven Tyler does or Mick Jagger does. I can’t imagine being
in my forties and shaking my ass onstage and trying to pretend like I’m
something that I’m not anymore. I feel like that part of this rock & roll
journey is nearing its end, and it’s coming time for the next phase. I’ll
always make records, because that’s what this is about for me… I would
love to just be able to be in that place where I could just write the kind of
music that I want to write without having to worry about selling three, four
million records and recouping and all that. I’d love to be able to tour without
having to worry about filling arenas and sheds and that. It’s been 17 years now of that, and that kind of wears on you.
On what he has in common with Axl Rose: “What I do see is the inability to maybe
control my temper at times. I’ve been known to sort of go on rampages. Onstage
if something sets me off, I don’t really have a great control valve. When I
blow a head gasket, it’s hard to sort of contain myself.”
On cocaine: “It just makes you want more coke. That’s why I always had to do heroin with coke. Fuckin’ do coke for a few hours straight until you’re going out of your mind, the fucking demons are trying to smash through the mirror, and then after that, it’s time to run down the hallway and get into the fucking bag as soon as you can, put that fuckin’ needle in the arm and get that shit in you quick to…to slow the fuckin’ world back down and close that fuckin’ hole to the next dimension. Because once you open it, it’s…you don’t know what can come in.”
On the differences between Velvet Revolver and Stone Temple Pilots: “One difference is STP loved being in the studio. There was this element of STP that was much more like the Beatles – no band’s like the Beatles, it’s blasphemy for any band to mention themselves in the same breath as the Beatles – but where a band loved being in the studio and just tripping out and exploring things and really taking risks from one record to the next. I think left to our own devices, we would have went anywhere. [STP producer] Brendan [O’Brien] would harness us and hold on. Velvet Revolver really is kind of a nuts and bolts rock & roll band, because who the players are, what you see is what you get. We’re not trying to fool you with trickery. It’s like blues-based rock and roll, and we’re going to come out and shove it down your throat, and that’s really what it’s about.”