Creed front man Scott Stapp talks overcoming addiction, mental health issues

Stapp opened up to "Nightline" about dealing with fame, substance abuse, depression, creating new music and becoming the father and husband he is today.
9:18 | 07/13/19

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Transcript for Creed front man Scott Stapp talks overcoming addiction, mental health issues
To a place where blind men see Reporter: Scott staff can take you back in time. That distinctive voice behind power balance adds like "Higher" and with "Arms wide open." Frontman for the group creed, staff helped shape the sound track of the '90s. To his legions of fans, he was, and is, a rock star. A grammy-winning, multi-platinum artist. But, along the way, the band also became an easy target, with some people, even Jimmy Fallon -- Reporter: Loved to mock. And his reputation is difficult and moody. I heard you say you isolated yourself from your own band mates and they interpreted that as you think you're better than us. I think that's all about lack of understanding and depression doesn't discriminate. Reporter: Creed would eventually break up. And in 2014, staff hit rock bottom. You had a very public psychotic break. Yeah, six years ago, yeah. Reporter: When people go their these kinds of break downs they do it in private. Yeah. Reporter: They don't have millions of fans watching their every move. And mine would have been private had I not posted it on Facebook. I had to sleep in my truck. I had no money even for gas or food. Reporter: Staff made headlines after posting these disturbing videos to Facebook, followed by a series of distressing 911 calls. I've uncovered that the core of ISIS is in my own family. Reporter: He even threatened president Obama. I've reached out to the secret service. Reporter: Do you have rational memories of what you were thinking when some of those, you know, like the Obama threat or the ISIS threat game in? I mean, I don't have rational understanding of why I was thinking that, except that, of the substances that I had in my body created that paranoia, and it was a prescribed medication that, that I had used. And so I took it to the next level. Reporter: His battle with addiction almost cost him everything, including his marriage. That's when I was, like, I got to do whatever I've got to do to save my family and say with the woman that I love and keep this family together. Reporter: The psychotic break was the culmination of a toxic combination of substance abuse and mental health issues which lasted for years. I had an onset of depress, you know, we at the height of our career. Reporter: Were you one of the biggest rock bands in America. Right. You don't want to let your friends down, your band mates down, because it's hard to describe what you're feeling. I did what I thought I needed to do to keep everything moving forward. And it worked for a time. Reporter: Which was to self-medicate. Yeah, self-medicate. I didn't know what was wrong. When you start mixing alcohol and substances to self-medicate, that's a toxic combination. So that can create a human being that is so far removed from who you are because of the chemicals inside of you, that you can say and do some pretty nasty things. Reporter: He thinks it stems from childhood trauma. How do you think that played out in the way you spiralled into this self-destructive pattern? I can't claim to be a psychologist or psychiatrist, but I do though it played out in very self-destructive manners that would manifest when I would Reporter: Today he's clear-eyed and sober with a new I'll never forget my nephew and my oldest son. I'm driving in the car one day, and they're giggling and laughing in the back seat, and they were probably about 14 years old. And I was like, what are you guys laughing about? And they just busted out with how, how those memes probably are, like how people, you know, sing my voice and, you know, whatever. And I'm like, do I sound like that? For real? Are you kidding me? Reporter: I love that you have a sense of humor about it. Now my 12 year old and my 8-year-old, they'll imitate me. I always say we're perfect for each other, he's my best friend. Reporter: He and his wife, Jaclyn, a former beauty queen who's been his rock for more than a decade. Alexa, play baby shark. Reporter: Live here in the posh suburbs outside Nashville with their kids. So how does it feel? It feels good. We're ready. We've been working pretty hard and doing 12-plus-hour days. Reporter: Giving us a preview of his new album due out next week. "The space between the shadows" dives head first into the lessons he's learned. His polished life a far cry from the life he was leading just a few years ago. There's got to be more Reporter: Known for his soul-baring lyrics like "In purpose for pain" his new music seems to be a reflection of where he is today and how far he's come. There is a light despite the darkness. There is a color despite the gray. And if you want it, you can have it. And I found it, and I want to share it. That would pretty much sum up the journey that the record takes you Reporter: I mean you're baring your soul. Yes. Reporter: Do you ever worry about getting hurt when you open up so much? You know, I should have thought about that in 1994 when I started writing songs and lyrics with creed because it's how I write music, how I right lyrics. It's what moves me. Reporter: Another song that seems very personal is "Gone too soon". Yeah. Reporter: He says the song was inspired in part bit tragic deaths of his friends, Kris Cornell and Chester Bennington. When Kris passed, it hit me hard. And then a year later,hen Chester died, again, hit me really hard, and I was at a place in my recovery journey at that point in time where not only was I feeling the pain of their loss, but I was saying, man, that very, very easily could have been and should have been me. And this feeling of just I can't ever go back. You know. Because that will be my story. Reporter: You say so much that I'd want to say. Yeah. Reporter: So much that I didn't take the time to. Yeah. Reporter: What would you say to them, and what might have gotten through to you when you were in that dark place? You know, I don't know if there was much that would have gotten through to me. When you're in the throes of addiction, combined with depression or any other mental health issue, you're not of sound mind. You're not thinking rationally, so, for me, I can just base it on my personal experience. It really took the threat of losing the two most important things in my life for me to have that moment of clarity amidst the darkness to get in the door of a facility that could help me to start the journey. Reporter: A journey to recovery that's following him even out on tour. I run a sober tour. You know, it's sober on the bus. We're all really not even in to that. We have this family vibe. And it's so cool, because we can have wife. Reporter: A guy with six earrings and all tatted up is telling me this. Yes. All this positiveness, we have a good time. Reporter: Finish the sentence. Scott Stapp is? A husband and father. Reporter: You're in a good place. Yeah. My greatest accomplishments in life, my grammys are my children and my wife. They mean more to me than anything that I could ever achieve or receive or have received in my entire career. And if I never get another accolade, if I never reach any pinnacles of success as I've done in the past in my career moving forward, I've already achieved it all with the family that I have.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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