Creed rocker on way to tour SA

Scott Stapp over­came men­tal ill­ness and home­less­ness to make a come­back, writes SAMEER NAIK

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PEOPLE -

JUST last year US rocker Scott Stapp made the star­tling rev­e­la­tion he was pen­ni­less, hun­gry, and home­less. But the­former lead vo­cal­ist of rock band Creed is back on his feet and head­ing to South Africa.

Now a solo artist, Stapp will per­form in the coun­try for the first time next month. He kicks off his tour in two weeks in Pre­to­ria be­fore head­ing to Joburg and Cape Town.

Stapp, 42, who co-founded and fronted Creed, achieved great suc­cess in the late 1990s with sin­gles such as With Arms Wide Open, My Sac­ri­fice, One Last Breath and Higher.

The band re­leased three con­sec­u­tive multi-plat­inum albums, of which Hu­man Clay has been cer­ti­fied di­a­mond, col­lec­tively sell­ing over 53 mil­lion albums world­wide and be­com­ing the ninth best-sell­ing artist of the 2000s.

In 2001 With Arms Wide Open also won Creed a Grammy Award for best rock song.

Stapp chat­ted about his up­com­ing tour to South Africa.

“I am so ex­cited to make my first trip to South Africa and meet all of my fans. I have heard that the mu­sic scene is thriv­ing and I am happy that I get to be a part of it.”

Aside from his three shows he said he looked for­ward to ex­plor­ing the cities. “And I definitely want to go on a sa­fari.”

He said he had en­joyed tour­ing and the op­por­tu­nity to meet his fans from around the world. “This is long over­due. I have al­ways wanted to visit South Africa and when I got the call that the fans wanted to see me I was thrilled and ready.”

Af­ter Creed went on a break he pur­sued a solo ca­reer in 2004. “My solo ca­reer has been really re­ward­ing as I have been able to share my per­sonal jour­ney with my fans. It has been amaz­ing to see their re­sponse and hear their per­sonal sto­ries, how they can re­late to my mu­sic, and how it has helped them over­come their own strug­gles and demons.”

Stapp said work­ing suc­cess­fully with Creed and hav­ing a good solo ca­reer were both re­ward­ing. “I loved be­ing part of a group with guys that I am still very close to, and I have also en­joyed hav­ing a solo ca­reer where I was able to con­nect more with the fans.”

He de­scribed the past year as one of the most chal­leng­ing in his life. “I had made a pub­lic mess and I was di­ag­nosed with bipo­lar dis­or­der. While it was a huge strug­gle and I had to work through all of my demons, I have been lucky enough to have my wife, Ja­clyn, stand by my side and help me through it.”

He said there was a pos­si­bil­ity of do­ing a tour with the band when the time was right. “I really want us to come to­gether from a pure place where ev­ery­one feels com­fort­able and we get back to the roots of how we started. I have so much re­spect for them, we have all grown ar­tis­ti­cally and I feel there is room for ev­ery­thing th­ese days.”

He de­scribed work­ing with Car­los San­tana on his al­bum Gui­tar Heaven as a unique ex­pe­ri­ence.

“I was in my stu­dio in Florida and Car­los all the way out in LA with the pro­ducer Howard Ben­son. We had to com­mu­ni­cate a lot through Howard and the mu­sic. We were able to in­spire each other with ev­ery piece of mu­sic we cre­ated. I feel hon­oured and hum­bled that I was able to record with one of the great­est artists.”

He said mu­sic had been key to han­dling his dis­or­der.

“It has given me an out­let to ex­press my­self and it helps take away my pain. I have been able to put my strug­gle into lyrics and melodies which is not only ther­a­peu­tic but also al­lows me to make a dif­fer­ence in my fan’s lives.”

PIC­TURE: SKEISVOLL PHO­TOG­RA­PHY

BRIGHT FU­TURE: Af­ter hit­ting the skids, Scott Stapp is look­ing for­ward to a much bet­ter year.

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