The Creed frontman has been anything but idle since the group came off the road to support its 2009 release, "Full Circle." Stapp tells Billboard.com that he has between 30-40 songs he's been working on during the last four years for his solo album, on which he's collaborated with Desmond Child, Howard Benson, Ron St. Germain, Chris Lord-Alge, Gregg Wattenberg and others.
Tentatively titled "Somewhere in the Middle of Lust and Love," it may also feature a guest appearance by Carlos Santana, a thank-you for Stapp singing Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son" for the deluxe edition of Santana's 2010 album "Guitar Heaven."
"It's really become a labor of love," Stapp says of the album, which follows 2005's "The Great Divide" and was put on hold in order to reunite Creed in 2008. "It's the soundtrack of my life through what... has been some of the most difficult time periods of my life and my journey as a human being. The songs reflect that." Song titles include "Better on This Side," and Stapp says he considered making "Somewhere in the Middle of Lust and Love" a double album to reflect the "two stories" he's telling through the music.
"It kind of takes you down this journey of the dark side, and then you transition into the light and realize life is better on this side," Stapp explains. "I really feel people will connect to this because it's real and it's honest and it's delivered with a passion that nine times out of 10 came from actually living in that moment that the song was written and recorded."
Stapp has been road-testing some of the songs during his recent acoustic shows, which resume Mar. 26. He'll be on the road much of this year but plans to be back in the studio to finish the album as well. "There's changes I want to make -- vocal changes, lyrical changes," Stapp says. "I don't think it'll take longer than a month, but we'll see."
Meanwhile, Stapp and co-author David Ritz are "about 100 pages in" on "Exposed and Released: The Confessions of Scott Stapp," which the singer, the stepson of a strict Pentecostal minister, says is "not written from a Christian perspective" but will chronicle the spiritual issues he's grappled with throughout his life and in his music.
"It's going to be constantly interrelated with the realities of God's grace and love and miracles, and how they happen in the weirdest ways and how they happen to all of us," Stapp notes. "It's definitely a cathartic process for me, and I really hope that those who read it can walk away knowing more about my life...but also the grace of God. If we can accomplish that, that would be a blessing."
Stapp has been recording his acoustic shows and may release some sort of album or video project from them, but he's also gearing up to work with Creed again. "There's definitely Creed stuff on the horizon," he acknowledges. "Everyone's off doing their own thing right now, but there'll be work going on on that project while we're doing work on these other things. [The reunion] was once just a one-time thing, but now everybody wants to do it again, and I do, too, so it's all good."