Scott Weiland (1967-2015)

We’re sad to report that Scott Weiland, creator and frontman of the band Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts, passed away yesterday.  Best known as the former lead singer of both Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver, Weiland was a talented musician and a mainstay in the rock industry for the two and a half decades.  While details have not yet been disclosed at this time as to the cause of death, it has been revealed that he was found dead on his tour bus by band management.  He was 48.

I’m not going to sit here and pretend that Weiland’s groups were among the greatest bands to ever grace this Earth.  I’m also not going to sit here and pretend that they were among the most influential either.  There’s a recurring habit between both fans and journalists to canonize celebrities who have passed on as untouchable saints whose works are unimpeachable.  Such actions always tend to rub me the wrong way a little, but it’s nice to see an artist celebrated for their accomplishments nonetheless.

That said, as with all artists that have had staying power throughout the years, his music meant something to me and likely to many others.  It’s this work that he leaves behind and our memories tied to it that will echo as the years go on.  There have certainly been numerous tough times in my life where the music he helped create has helped me through.  For that, I’ll be forever thankful.

Weiland had actually put out two new albums earlier this year.  One, “Blaster“, with his aforementioned solo band, and also a self-titled release with the hard rock super-group project Art of Anarchy. He had become estranged from his past bands in recent years, with Velvet Revolver collapsing after his departure and Stone Temple Pilots moving on without him after his own recurring personal demons came back to haunt him once more.  STP had even hired a replacement singer for a time, but was actually frontman-less after early November this year.  Many, myself included, had hoped that Weiland might bounce back once more and return to the band.

While I see no reason to justify why I’m talking about this on a comic book site, its inclusion is not without merit.  Weiland was a self-professed fan of comic books and superheroes; often referencing them (as well as various other bits of pop culture) in his song titles (“Barbarella” comes to mind), lyrics and occasionally his stage costumes.  He also happily helped contribute songs to the soundtracks for comic book movies in the past, from STP‘s ultimately unused submission for Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man (“All in the Suit That You Wear”) to Velvet Revolver tunes for both Ang Lee’s Hulk (“Set Me Free”) and Tim Story’s Fantastic Four (“Come On, Come In”).  I’ve added the music video for the latter below.

Scott Weiland had struggled with his demons throughout the majority of his career, suffering from various addictions that constantly came back to haunt him.  While it’s unclear whether he ultimately succumbed to one of them or passed on for other reasons, it’s a sobering reminder that none of us our perfect.  Everyone needs help sometimes and if you are suffering from such problems, please be safe and seek out help.  There’s always someone out there who will have your back.

Rest in peace, Mr. Weiland.  You will be missed.