ART OF ANARCHY guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal said in a new interview with TeamRock that Scott Stapp is thriving as the group's new lead singer, adding that the band is providing a healthy environment for Stapp as he continues his fight to stay sober. Thal explained: "The band, ART OF ANARCHY, is drug free. Me and the Votta brothers [guitarist Jon and drummer Vince] have never even smoked a cigarette, none of us drink, have never done drugs, never smoked pot or anything like that."
Thal continued: "So that's good, because the last thing you need on the road if you're trying to stay clean is a bunch of people doing that around you. Scott is doing well... It's great that he has a strong family and a lot of people that care and support and that were there to help him get out of that situation. Now he's better than ever."
The CREED frontman joined the band earlier this year, following a highly publicized, drug-enhanced meltdown in late 2014, after which he entered rehab program and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Stapp told The Pulse Of Radio he was touring as a solo artist again when he was approached about joining. "I really wasn't looking for a band, but I was definitely curious," he said. "I wanted to see what it was all about. I love writing with talented people and I think that's really what made the decision for me, was to sit in a room with Ron, Jon and Vince and throw out ideas, trade ideas and realize, 'Hey, there's something that could come of this.'"
ART OF ANARCHY will make its live debut on Thursday, October 27 at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City. The group will perform all brand new songs, including "The Madness", the video for which can be seen below.
ART OF ANARCHY released a self-titled debut album last year that featured former STONE TEMPLE PILOTS singer Scott Weiland.
Weiland, whom STP parted ways with in 2002 and again in 2013, died last December.
Thal joined GUNS N' ROSES in 2006 and stayed in the band for eight years, playing on the 2008 album "Chinese Democracy". He has also released a number of solo CDs.
Photo: Annie Atlasman