Don't plan on seeing Scott Weiland any time soon. With his days in platinum supergroup Velvet Revolver behind him and no plans to record again with '90s sensation Stone Temple Pilots, Weiland is moving on as a solo artist—and on his own terms. He scheduled only a dozen or so solo shows this year and says he has no plans for a lengthy solo tour—this at a time when spending endless months on the road is more important to an artist's success than ever. While his unwillingness to bend to the demands of the music industry might earn him a few integrity points, it's not likely to keep him in the center spotlight for too much longer. And that's a shame, because Weiland makes one hell of a good rock star.
His weathered but boyish face, spiky hair, and designer suits have endeared him to a league of fashion junkies. His sonorous voice and captivating stage presence have helped him win over audiences from grunge kids to mainstream rock fans. And his appetite for self-destruction has been more compelling than a season of Intervention.
When we last left Weiland, he had just quit Velvet Revolver because of irreconcilable ego struggles with his bandmates and was playing reunion shows with Stone Temple Pilots, the band that made him a celebrity before his descent into drugs, jail, and the court system. After the STP dates, Weiland returned to his home studio with friend and producer Doug Green and No Doubt members Adrian Young, Tony Kanal, and Tom Dumont to finish up his second solo album, "Happy" in Galoshes.
The multihued effort bursts like a piñata filled with '70s glam, classy altrock, and psychedelic pop, revealing multiple references to David Bowie, The Beatles, Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson, The Doors, and Pink Floyd. Yet "Happy" in Galoshes is neither schizophrenic nor particularly derivative. And though it's surely melancholy, it belies the pain Weiland experienced during the year and a half in which it was written. In that time, Weiland's younger brother, Michael, died of a drug overdose, and his second wife, Mary Forsberg, left him and filed for divorce, leaving him less time to spend with his kids, Noah, 8, and Lucy, 6—who, he says, are the most important people in his life.
Now that Weiland seems determined to spend more time in his basement writing new songs about his sad life, and less on the road promoting them, we may be seeing less of him than ever—especially if he's as sober as he claims to be.
When we were first invited to talk to Weiland, we were prepared to settle into a lengthy discussion about his recent losses and triumphs, and the music he's created as a result of both. But Weiland is a notoriously hard guy to nail down. After blowing off the interview no fewer than six times, he finally rang us up in a limo on his way to the Los Angeles airport. As the vehicle twisted through the Hollywood Hills, Weiland spoke in a tone most people reserve for telemarketers. And when the rock star arrived at LAX, we were promised that we would finish the interview at a later date. Then the line went dead. Hey, Scott, we're still waiting.
INKED: When did you get your last tattoo?
SCOTT WEILAND: My last tattoo was of my wife. It was when we got back together after she filed for divorce for the last time.