Scott Weiland’s death hit me especially hard since I had just interviewed him last month for Alternative Nation in what ended up being his final in-depth interview. The interview was conducted in the bedroom on his tour bus where he died just under a month later, which has haunted me since the news of his passing.
When I conduct major interviews like this, I generally use two audio recording devices. The primary device for this interview was my Zoom recorder, which is heard in the interview audio I uploaded last month. My backup recording device (in case of an issue transferring the Zoom audio) that I always use concurrently to record is my iPhone. When the interview with Scott concluded, I turned off my Zoom recorder, but forgot to turn off my iPhone recorder. This mistake ended up being a blessing, as I went back to listen to the iPhone audio after learning of Scott’s passing and found 4 minutes of audio following the actual interview where I talked a little bit with Weiland and Tommy Black.
There’s nothing groundbreaking here, but it was nice to be able to look back at the little bit of time I got to spend with Scott when I found this audio. I thanked Scott for doing the interview, and told him a big reason there were misconceptions about him (in regards to things like the recording of STP’s self-titled album) was because of interviews where he was asked the same generic questions. I also had my fanboy moment, asking him to sign all six STP albums for me, which had already been signed by the DeLeo brothers and Eric Kretz. Weiland obliged and signed the albums.
Weiland and Tommy had a TV on in the background (Scott had DirecTV on his bus). Scott said, “I was watching Homeland.” Black added, “It changed, this is Rampart.” He said Homeland was getting a little weird. Tommy then took photos of Scott and I. I mentioned that they couldn’t be as depressing as my photo I took with Richard Patrick, which looked like a prison photo. Scott’s manager then came in to take photos of Tommy, Scott, and I. Tommy then said that he did the ‘back tap’ for the photo. “I did the back tap again, like the James Iha back tap, remember that?” Scott said, “Yeah.” It was a reference to a photo they had taken with James Iha from The Smashing Pumpkins in 2014.
Tommy then discussed the similarities between James Iha and Jeff Schroeder. I then thanked Scott for the interview. I told him, “Scott, thanks a lot man, I really appreciate it.” Scott responded, “Hey, no problem brother.” I told him, “I look forward to getting this out there. Anything I ever post about you, it bums me out when I write certain stuff that I do, but this one will be great, and I think people will love it.” Scott said, “Alright, cool.”
It still troubles me that I didn’t push Scott to talk about his issues with addiction, especially with what happened. It’s hard to explain what I saw when I looked into his eyes. I didn’t know the guy personally, so it’s hard to judge based on not knowing what he was going through completely. But what I could tell was he didn’t emote at all (outside of forcing a small smile for one photo), and he just seemed burned out and like he needed a change. He just didn’t seem like the same vibrant charismatic guy I had seen years earlier headline the Hollywood Bowl.
I wish I had talked to him about alcoholism. Even before the list of pills (and cocaine) discovered on Scott’s bus came out, everybody knew Scott was still drinking despite being a self-described alcoholic in his book. His quotes in that book on how a ‘drink in my mouth is something like putting a lead blanket over my heart’ really resonated with me, especially since my stepfather died from drinking 2 years ago. I obviously wouldn’t have changed Scott’s ultimate path, but I wish I could have at least talked to him about it to get an understanding for myself and his fans as to why a great person could just throw their life away.
Anyways, despite all of this, it was an honor to interview Scott and run his social media for the last month of his life. Below is an unreleased audio clip from my interview with Scott on his bus, and a few unreleased photos.