Weiland was found dead on his tour bus in Minnesota last week (December 3). A cause of death has yet to be established but it is known that Weiland had long struggled with addiction and alcoholism.
Speaking about Weiland’s death, Barker told Billboard: “I think it’s just ultimately what drugs do when they get the best of somebody. It’s sad.”
He continued: “Whatever you’re masking when you’re doing drugs gets more severe the more you mask it. Everyday you’re doing it more and more and you’re never facing what you’re running from — whatever that is. The masking gets to be so dangerous. It is excessive. It’s unfortunate. My son at a young age asked me what happened to John Bonham. What happened to Elvis Presley? What happened to Marilyn Monroe? I explained to him that all these people who you know as these huge icons or rock stars died because of drugs or alcohol.”
Barker also discussed his own struggles with drug abuse, saying: “Myself, I was addicted to drugs for a long time and the only way I was able to stop doing drugs was being in a plane crash and having morphine for four months when I didn’t want it. That’s what it took for me to get sober… For me, I’m a good example — I had to go through it and experience it and it’s possible to still be a bona fide rock star and not be a drug addict. You can get through it. Find other things to get addicted to, like boxing or music, what got you in the business in the first place. Having children was a constant reminder for me to get my shit together.”
The drummer continued to describe Weiland’s contributions to music as “amazing”, adding: “He’s great… I saw video of him recently, he sounded great and he looked fine. But you never know what demons anyone is fighting.”
Following his passing, Weiland’s former bandmates have also paid tribute to the frontman.
Stone Temple Pilots’ Dean DeLeo, Robert DeLeo and Eric Kretz paid tribute to their former bandmate with a statement on Facebook, which read: “Let us start by saying thank you for sharing your life with us. Together we crafted a legacy of music that has given so many people happiness and great memories.”
“The memories are many, and they run deep for us. We know amidst the good and the bad you struggled, time and time again. It’s what made you who you were. You were gifted beyond words, Scott. Part of that gift was part of your curse.”
“With deep sorrow for you and your family, we are saddened to see you go. All of our love and respect. We will miss you brother.”