Friday, December 4, 2015

Scott Weiland - RIP

It was announced late last night that Scott Weiland has died from a cardiac arrest, possibly brought on by his present health and drug use. He was 48 years old.

Weiland is best known as the lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots, the 90's alternative rock band and one of the Big Five of Grunge. His unique persona, consisting of multiple hair dyes, slinking body movements a la Iggy Pop, and sheer amount of swagger, help make the group stand out from the pack and be more accessible with audiences. STP's debut album Core had Weiland belling out "Plush" and "Creep", two rock radio staples even today, along with minor hits "Wicked Garden" and "Sex Type Thing".

The follow-up Purple, infamously known for its odd Chinese artwork and lack of details, contained "Vasoline" and "Interstate Love Song", the latter of which is considered the band's most beloved single, largely thanks to its Southern rock style and Weiland's beautiful crooning. The album also contained the haunting "Big Empty", more well known for its inclusion in the comic book film The Crow.

The third release Tiny Music... Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop signaled the downward trend for the band, as the album disappointingly sold not as well and received mixed reviews, despite the minor successes of the glam-influenced "Big Bang Baby" and quick ditty "Trippin' on a Hole in a Paper Heart".

No. 4 was their, well, fourth album and unleashed "Down" and "Sour Girl"; the latter outperformed the former thanks to its breezy tone and Sarah Michelle Gellar-featuring music video.

Like many of his contemporaries, Weiland was addicted to several types of drugs during his peak years, most notably cocaine and heroin. Though his abuse helped influence much of his music and lyrics, it obviously brought much turmoil in life and destroyed his mental and physical being. His drug dependency eventually led him to be arrested and cause STP to break up in 2002.

Weiland rebounded by joining Velvet Revolver, a rock supergroup consisting of him and the core members of Guns N' Roses (Slash, Duff McKagan, and Matt Sorum). Their debut album Contraband was a big hit in 2004, thanks to the band's throwback appeal and the signature tune "Slither". The second single off the album "Fall to Pieces" was a harrowing work, as Weiland touched upon, both in his lyrics and its music video, the toll of his heroin abuse and the martial problems he helped engineered. After a tepid second album, the band was put on hiatus in 2008 when Weiland left them high and dry and reunited with his former band.

STP's reunion tour did very well but by 2013, Weiland's behavior and attitude caused him to be fired by the band and be replaced by Linkin Park's Chester Bennington. At the time of his death, his was touring with his new solo band The Wildabouts.

Weiland was an amazing artist with an incredible range of depth. His flamboyant and rugged demeanor helped make STP my favorite grunge band during my youth years. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to escape his personal demons. His possible drug-related death sadly now means that three lead singers of the Big Five of Grunge all suffered the same fate, leaving Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder remaining.

He will be missed.

No comments:

Post a Comment