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Old 03-03-2006, 11:55 AM   #1
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New Stapp Interview

Stapp owns up to his mistakes and looks forward to family life
Friday, March 03, 2006
Gary Graff
Special to The Plain Dealer
Former Creed singer Scott Stapp has given "Higher" a whole new meaning since the release of his first solo album, "The Great Divide," in late November. He was involved in a bar fight with 311 on Thanksgiving night in Baltimore, made a drunken appearance on Spike TV's "Casino Cinema" in December, went through rehab, got married on Feb. 10 (to former Miss New York Jaclyn Nesheiwat) and was arrested for public drunkenness the next day at Los Angeles International Airport on the way to his Hawaiian honeymoon.

And after all that, a six-year-old porn tape feature Stapp and Kid Rock with groupies began making the rounds on the Internet. All of this, of course, puts the spotlight on Stapp rather than his music. "The Great Divide" debuted at No. 19 on the Billboard charts, and he'll perform material from the album, as well as Creed hits, in his own show.

So, um -- what gives?

I made a couple bonehead mistakes, man. That's what they were, bonehead mistakes. It involved alcohol, and it made me address a situation in my life, and it made me realize I'm just one of those people that can't drink liquor. I'm one of those people, I guess, that has to find out the hard way. I have to find out by [Nesheiwat] making me watch myself on TV. I can understand how people are like, "Whoa, what's up with this guy?" But they were just some stupid mistakes that I wish I could have back.

The 311 fight was a probably the most shocking of all these incidents. What was that about?

That was a case of, we were all celebrating, and it just got out of hand. It was just one of those nights. I don't want to get into the details of that. I regret that it happened, but I will say that, had the same things gone on, and we were sober, the same thing would've happened.

Do you hope the new marriage will chill you out?

I do think I've found something in my life that's gonna help me take that next step, and that's [Nesheiwat] and the family that my son, who's 7, never had. . . . I think I want what most people want -- happiness, family and to be able to do what I love. I'm really looking forward to the future. It's really, really exciting.

Some artists, when they split from a band, distance themselves from that music. How do you feel about the Creed songs?

Why would I do that, man? I love the songs that I wrote. They still speak to me in my life, what I still feel. The Creed records are just diaries of my life, and they're real.

What perspective do you have on "The Great Divide" nearly three months later?

It was real cathartic. But it's unfinished in terms of how it applies to my life. I write about where I'm at and where I want to be. There's a section in the album where you cross "The Great Divide," and you reach the "Sublime" and then "You Will Soar." That's where I want to be, man. But what do I end the album with? "Broken." I'm still trying to get there, just like everyone else.

Graff is a free-lance writer in Beverly Hills, Mich.

To reach Gary Graff:
Matthew 11:30
His yoke is easy and his burden is light
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