The inside of Scott Weiland's personal rehearsal and recording space, Lavish Studio, is exactly as its name suggests. Past the entryway, one walks through a hallway lined with gold and platinum Stone Temple Pilots records and into the main room lit mostly by candlelight and oriental lamps that cast a red hue over the myriad instruments (and several Samurai swords) that fill the space. The floor is layered with patterned rugs, all rich in color, and the hand scrawled notes on the walls suggest late nights of fevered songwriting. It is a sanctuary of sorts — a den of creativity that Weiland refers to as a “church” — hidden in an narrow alleyway alongside an otherwise nondescript Los Angeles street, quiet and removed from the whirlwind city that screams outside its walls.
When I arrive for our interview, Weiland and his band are rehearsing songs off his upcoming solo album, “Happy” in Galoshes, due November 25 on Weiland's own Softdrive Records. Electricity crackles through the room as the musicians discuss each song and knock them out, one after another. The excitement is to be expected; Galoshes is Weiland's first solo album in a decade (since the release of 12 Bar Blues in 1998) and his first collection of new material since his highly publicized falling out with Velvet Revolver this past Spring.
“We weren't writing songs to write hits,” Weiland explains about his and songwriting/producing partner Doug Grean's approach to Galoshes. “We looked at this place [Lavish Studio] as a place to create. It was kind of a getaway… a place to have solitude and, really, for me to write music that was true to me.”
Weiland went on to discuss the emotional turmoil that went into making this album, influenced much by the death of his brother in 2007, his mother's recent battle with cancer and the legalities of separating from his wife, Mary Forsberg, with whom he has two kids. During one of the more poignant moments in our conversation, Weiland — lost in thought, his eyes far away — spoke of his children and how hard it is to miss any of their growing up because of touring demands.
“It pains me when I am gone for a month, even, and I come back and there's differences — big positive amazing differences, beautiful differences — that I haven't been a part of because I've been working… to make the money, out there on the road.”
Check out the video below for an inside look at L.A. Weekly's visit to Weiland's studio and our one-on-one interview.