Scott Stapp and Art Of Anarchy share more than heady histories in the annals of heavy metal. Scott Stapp soared to mammoth artistic and commercial success as the lyricist and lead singer of Creed, yet even at those personal and professional peaks, specters of depression and manic episodes clouded any gleam of glorious acclaim.

Art of Anarchy became a band in 2011, combining the musicianship of Ron “Bumble foot” Thal of Guns N’ Roses, New York music scene brothers, Jon and Vince Votta, on guitar and drums, and the driving bass of John Moyer of Disturbed.

After their debut collaboration with Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots led to a solid following, the relationship between the musicians and singer devolved into tabloid talk and broken dreams. Both Scott Stapp and Art of Anarchy were after a more committed union, in music and integrity.

Coming together clean and sober

Scott Stapp was emerging out of a downward spiral of self-medication through drugs and alcohol that reached its darkest point in 2014. He and the band members started coming together in 2015, and finding “organic” connection during basement jam sessions, as he was embracing peace and joy of life with clear-headed determination after coming to acceptance with his diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

Beyond personal journeys being committed to verse, the artists found common ground in sobriety. “Me and [Jon and Vince] never even smoked a cigarette,” insists Thal in an interview in Blabbermouth. The lead guitarist has confidence in the seasoned new front man of AOA “in his determination and dedication to stay clean” and in “the strong family and people that care and support” around Stapp.

Rich fodder for creativity was cultivated from the shared fusion of those personal goals, and the sophomore album, The Madness,” became an even more powerful chronicle of the battle to get to “the other side,” from pain to healing. The collaborators will be a force to be reckoned with on stage through the April dates in support of the album, and the highs will come from the shows, not the stash on the tour bus.

Blessings from beyond

Scott Stapp's unmistakable baritone and palpable passion set him apart in many ways from Scott Weiland, but the singer, who tragically died in December, 2015, conveyed a powerful message to Scott by example.

“Having that reminder that he used to sing in this band was almost like him speaking to me from the grave,” reflects Stapp in Blabbermouth, adding that the remembrance comes as a warning that “you need to stay on the straight and narrow, or this is what could happen to you.”

The message has been heeded loud and clear “in my desire to stay sober one day at a time,” affirms the new AOA front man. Support is a two-way street for Scott and his band mates. Tragically, Scott Weiland never lived to make better choices, and lead a sober life, nor sing with the band.

“I wanted to go out of my way to show that I was a humble guy, a team player, and to give them a positive influence as well,” he pledges, reciprocating their support in maintaining a sober environment.

No music fan ever experiences passion from an artist with the intensity that Scott Stapp continuously delivers on stage, whether in past performances with Creed, his many solo shows, or with Art of Anarchy. Every performance will be a fulfillment on the promise of what it means to be in a band.

Two videos, one for the title single, and the other a lyrics video for “No Surrender” have given fans tantalizing appetizers for the full album, which releases March 24. Tour dates begin April 3 and wrap on April 29 in Nevada. Ticket information is available and posted on the Art of Anarchy Facebook page.