FILTER frontman Richard Patrick says that he "will learn" from Scott Weiland's mistakes and will use the former STONE TEMPLE PILOTS singer's recent death as an inspiration to stay sober.
Writing on the FILTER Facebook page, Patrick — once played in the short-lived act ARMY OF ANYONE with STP's Dean and Robert DeLeo — said: "I'm sorry, Scott. You know, I was trying to help.
"You were mad at me when I went public with my comments on your addiction, and [I] pissed you off just to get you to hear. I figured if I lost a friend in order to help him, it was worth the risk. I figured if the shoe were on the other foot, maybe one day you could hit me back somehow if I went out. People think it was lame or a publicity stunt, but all I wanted was for you to hear me, if not all of us.
"Bless you, Scott. I will learn from your mistakes. I will be sober because of you. Your death won't be in vain.
"Whenever I feel the temptation to use, I will say to myself: 'For Scott, not today.'"
Patrick said in an interview earlier in the year that STONE TEMPLE PILOTS fans were the "biggest enabler" for Weiland. He explained: "The amount of shit that [the fans] give the band for trying to have a normal life… [The fans are] just sticking up for Scott, and they have no idea of [what is going on] behind the scenes." He added, "They're pushing him into his death, because they're making him believe that, 'Whatever I did is acceptable. And I can be as high as I want. And I can do as much drugs as I want.'"
Patrick noted that he didn't "work with people that are using," saying, "I fire people all the time, because it's, like, 'Hey, dude, I know an addict when I see it.'" The FILTER singer himself has been sober since September 2002.
Weiland later released a statement to BLABBERMOUTH.NET in which he responded to Patrick directly. He said: "Just so you know, and others do as well, I haven't had a needle in my arm in thirteen years.
"Overcoming my addiction to heroin was the hardest thing I've ever done, and I'm damn proud of the fact that the time in my life when drugs were stronger than my commitment to my health is so far behind me, and always will be.
"By the way, man, I recall when I DID do drugs, and you were one of the guys getting high with me. It's behind you, [so] please note and respect that it's behind me too.
"As for my issues with my former band — just remember the old adage that there are two sides to every story. I haven't been late for a show in a very long time. I have worked hard to be present and on time for my fans.
"I'm not perfect — no one is — but I have worked my ass off to repair the reputation I created by being thoughtless years ago.
"Why you felt the need to attack me is unclear but I am happy to set the record straight."
STP began working with singer Chester Bennington in May 2013 after firing Weiland three months earlier, saying that his erratic behavior and pursuit of a solo career had been detrimental to the band.
Weiland, who has had a long history of drug problems, arrests and stints in rehab, was found dead on his tour bus on December 3 at the age of 48. The suspected cause of death is cardiac arrest, although an official report has yet to be released.
A small amount of cocaine was found on the bus and Tommy Black, bassist for Scott's band THE WILDABOUTS, was arrested for possession.
Both of Scott's former bands, STONE TEMPLE PILOTS and VELVET REVOLVER, issued statements on his passing, while musicians and fans around the world have also posted tributes.