Wes Scantlin’s canine received’t cease barking. There’s somebody furiously banging on his entrance door. “There’s a fucking psycho outdoors my home!” the Puddle Of Mudd frontman frantically reveals to us throughout a transatlantic phoneline, as he fearfully retreats into his toilet, whereas concurrently texting his greatest good friend and hoping that the unidentified particular person outdoors will simply “get the fuck again within the fucking automotive” and depart him alone – no matter it’s that they need.
This sort of factor isn’t out of the norm for Wes, apparently. He’s sober as of late and he seems to have rescued himself from the sorry mess that his life had grow to be for a few years, however drama nonetheless follows him round in 2020. It’s a far cry from the dizzying heights of fame and success he loved all through the flip of the century.
Along with his band’s first album, 2001’s Come Clear, the Puddle Of Mudd singer helped promote greater than 5 million copies, thrusting Wes into the limelight. What adopted, nevertheless, wasn’t a straightforward lifetime of luxurious, however a harmful cycle of drug and alcohol dependancy, arrests, altercations and even allegations of home abuse. It noticed him not solely lose management of his life, however grow to be a goal for tabloid fodder. In 2015, he misplaced his home within the Hollywood Hills, which he’d bought for $1.7 million a decade earlier. He was later arrested and charged with trespassing and vandalism whereas attempting to interrupt again into it. Stories recommend that it was attributable to foreclosures, though Wes insists in any other case. At a gig in Ohio in January 2016, Wes, clearly inebriated, accused an viewers member of stealing the home, after which he walked offstage, ending the present early.
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Naturally, the entire debacle was filmed by somebody within the crowd and it went viral – one other incident in a mounting record which portrayed him as a caricature greater than a human being in disaster. Talking to Kerrang! about these tumultuous years because the commotion outdoors lastly dies down, he’s candid about simply how troubling his spiral of dependancy and melancholy had grow to be. Now nearly three years clear, he’s additionally defiant in regards to the accusations he made at that gig.
“My home was principally stolen,” he reiterated. “It was mailbox fraud. I wasn’t on the town. I used to be on tour and after I got here again and there was a barbed wire fence round my home. However I like to show negatives into positives in life. There’s all the time gentle on the finish of the tunnel. I don’t give up.”
In a narrative that has run parallel to Wes’ tales of woe, multi-platinum-selling former Creed frontman Scott Stapp additionally discovered his life derailed after experiencing mega-fame. He, too, grew to become hooked on alcohol and substances, whereas being topic to scandals – together with a intercourse tape involving himself, Kid Rock and 4 girls – that made headlines worldwide. Clearly, fame and fortune don’t make anybody immune from the pitfalls of dependancy or the strains of psychological well being points. And because the tragic deaths of Chris Cornell, Chester Bennington and Keith Flint have illustrated in recent times, they will even show deadly. Scott got here near that abyss, too, however he’s one of many fortunate ones.
“I felt utterly deserted by my mates, these round me and my band,” he says. “However I didn’t know what was mistaken with me. I didn’t know what was occurring or methods to clarify it, and I felt like there was no-one rallying round me, attempting to assist me determine it out. Despair hits everybody in a different way, however for me it was bodily. There was a lack of power, a cloudy thoughts, and I wished to twist up in a ball and lie in mattress all day. To really feel like no-one cared and to let every little thing go was a low level for me. However in trying again, to offer folks the advantage of the doubt, there wasn’t a lot dialog round that situation and no-one actually knew something about it. So it may have simply been misinterpreted as rock star-itis or me considering that I used to be higher than everybody else, when actually I used to be simply struggling and didn’t know what to do.”
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Right this moment, each Wes and Scott are clear and have rebuilt, or try to rebuild their lives, in an effort to restore as a lot of the injury they’ve endured as attainable. They’re additionally each making music once more. Whereas every credit their intense and unwavering religion with getting them by means of their darkest hours, Scott’s rehabilitation was undoubtedly aided by MusiCares. Based in 1989, the U.S.-based charity is a non-profit organisation that, amongst different issues, offers emergency monetary help and dependancy restoration providers for musicians. It’s an indication of an business lastly waking as much as the vulnerability of these within the limelight, however there’s nonetheless a protracted method to go.
“The dialog has begun,” says Scott, “and it’s been going some time now, however sadly it took some lack of life for folks to essentially talk about psychological well being and dependancy; methods to recognise it, what to do when you’re experiencing it or if somebody round you is. There are extra sources and there are extra folks speaking about it and extra folks dedicated to it now. I believe and hope that by sharing my experiences, I can assist educate folks about it.”
Wes and Scott’s tales are simply two of many examples from the rock world – to not point out the pop and film equivalents – that spotlight how success isn’t sufficient to maintain the demons at bay. In some instances it may even invite, allow and exacerbate underlying points. Particularly when within the case of Scott, Wes, or somebody like Britney Spears, for instance, the gutter press seems to thrive off a falling star’s psychological demise. That obligation of care shouldn’t essentially fall on the ft of charity organisations, both. Quite, there needs to be mechanisms in place throughout the music business to supply help and steerage. That, nevertheless, isn’t more likely to occur any time quickly in keeping with Asking Alexandria’s Danny Worsnop – a person who believes he was actively inspired to dwell a hedonistic and harmful way of life by these round him. When he realised how damaging it was, there was nowhere for him to flip.
“It began out enjoyable,” he says, “however the longer you’re on the get together, it will get fucking outdated. And also you begin hurting actually dangerous. The toll it takes in your physique is excessive, and I discovered the underside a thousand totally different occasions in one million alternative ways. However as soon as that’s the picture the document labels are promoting and it’s bringing in cash, it’s in the perfect pursuits of these folks to maintain that going. In the event that they need to throw cash or medication at you to maintain the get together going so the cash retains coming in, they’re going to do it. I used to be coping with dependancy, and with lots of people attempting to have management over my life, what I did and what I mentioned. My complete identification was managed by others. I needed to give up the band [in 2015] in order that they couldn’t try this any extra.”
Now again in Asking Alexandria, Danny has been sober since 2017, one thing he places all the way down to willpower and dedication.
“I’ve encountered arduous occasions and struggles on this life,” he says, “however I’m lucky in that I’m extremely strong-willed. If I say I’m going to do one thing, I do it and if I’m going to cease one thing, I cease it. However asking for assist isn’t a adverse factor. I spoke to MusiCares just a few occasions, they usually’re good folks. It will be good for folks throughout the business to be extra open with one another, however I additionally assume that individuals want to know that you just don’t need to be a sufferer. Do one thing about it and create your personal future.”
Not everybody, after all, is as strong-willed as Danny, and in contrast to him, many musicians additionally endure from poor psychological well being. Add in an business that always exploits these it makes cash from, even the strongest will could be overwhelmed. Ginger Wildheart, the 54-year-old frontman of The Wildhearts – whose new mini-LP, Prognosis, is all about psychological well being and the federal government’s lack of ability to adequately deal with it – is a working example. Ginger does nonetheless drink, though his days of extra are lengthy gone, however he has seen how touring life encourages folks to fall down that slippery slope.
“There are lots of totally different components guilty,” he says. “You additionally flip up at a venue and receives a commission with a fridge filled with beer at lunchtime, so you find yourself ingesting closely each evening as a result of it’s all a part of the circus. The business is crammed with grasping bastards who solely have their very own pursuits at coronary heart. Arguably, the business has killed lots of these fallen rock stars, as a result of they’ve allowed this to occur. Individuals don’t get addictions in a single day – it’s a protracted, drawn-out course of that everybody’s allowed to occur.”
As a lot as Ginger blames the music business, to essentially make a distinction inside it, he believes that it’s crucial to begin outdoors of it. And whereas charities like MusiCares and the UK’s Assist Musicians/Music Minds Matter do their bit, as festivals like Obtain additionally grow to be extra psychological health-aware in recent times, extra must be completed.
“There must be some type of platform to speak about this,” says Ginger. “All people must be speaking about this. There must be a marketing campaign that features each superstar who’s ever been affected by this. It wants an training that begins in class, so that children are made conscious they usually don’t develop up with these items being stigmas. As a result of they aren’t.”
Posted on January 31st 2020, 12:00pm