Scott Weiland, one of the most iconic voices in ’90s rock, was found unresponsive on his tour bus tonight just prior to his band, the Wildabouts, playing a concert in Minnesota. He was later confirmed dead. He was 48.
Dave Navarro of Jane's Addiction first broke the news on Twitter, and then Weiland's Facebook page confirmed the news.
"Scott Weiland, best known as the lead singer for Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver, passed away in his sleep while on a tour stop in Bloomington, Minnesota, with his band The Wildabouts. At this time we ask that the privacy of Scott’s family be respected." the post on Weiland's page read.
Weiland was best known as the lead singer for ’90s rock radio mainstays Stone Temple Pilots, and he was also the singer for supergroup Velvet Revolver and recently started a new band, the Wildabouts.
His time in both Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver was marked by struggles with drugs. For example, in 1995 he was arrested for buying crack cocaine, and he was arrested twice for driving under the influence in the 2000s.
New Times' Jim Louvau interviewed Weiland twice this year, as Weiland came through town with the Wildabouts twice in just a few months. The first interview, Weiland was upbeat. Louvau remarked that he'd seen the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of Scott Weiland, and the singer promised he'd only show his best side going forward. He called the band a "new beginning," noting that "this is my third shot at this."
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However, drug issues continued to dog the singer. Though Weiland appeared to have put his drug days behind him, not everyone in his life did the same. His guitarist in the Wildabouts, Jeremy Brown, died on March 30. A coroner would later finger drugs and alcohol as the culprits. Just over a month later a video of Weiland singing horribly off-key at an April 28 gig in Corpus Christi, Texas, surfaced. The performance was such a train wreck that the blog Metal Sucks wrote, "it’s impossible to watch theses videos from a recent performance with his new band, Scott Weiland & The Wildabouts, and think, 'Yeah, that dude is 100 percent sober.'"
It didn't come up in the New Times interview, but Weiland would reiterate that he hadn't shot up heroin in 13 years. But when New Times talked to him on June 5, something seemed off. His answers to our questions were short and clipped. But if he was struggling with drugs at the time, he didn't tell us.
New Times: Rock ’n’ roll is supposed to be unpredictable and a little dangerous. Do you feel you've ever taken that too far?
Scott Weiland: Years ago.
So nothing recently, and you feel you're in a good head space at this point?
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Weiland ended up visiting Valley music venues with the Wildabouts three different times in 2015, including a performance at Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino in Chandler less than a month ago.
Despite the interview, during their show at Livewire in Scottsdale in early June, Weiland looked and sounded like his old self and offered glimpses of just how talented he could be when on point. From our review of the show:
“Weiland is still rock 'n' roll's Jekyll and Hyde. Recently, we've seen plenty of his uglier side, but on Friday night, he gave us glimpses of greatness and reminded us why we all know his name...When Weiland goes out and executes the way he did during [the] performance, you can see why it's easy to get frustrated with him, because he has all the tools to go down as one of the best rock stars of the past 30 years if he could just keep Mr. Hyde away.”
Whether or not Mr. Hyde overpowered Jekyll is still undetermined at this point. What is clear is that a talented voice is now silent.