The rock world was shocked on February 27th 2013 when the members of Stone Temple Pilots (STP) made a public statement stating they had officially fired Scott Weiland, right before he was to embark on his solo tour with his backup band The Wildabouts. Weiland immediately fired back with this statement in an interview with E! Online, “I learned of my supposed ‘termination’ from Stone Temple Pilots this morning by reading about it in the press… Not sure how I can be ‘terminated’ from a band that I founded, fronted and co-wrote many of its biggest hits, but that’s something for the lawyers to figure out. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to seeing all of my fans on my solo tour….”
I can actually see both sides of the story, considering I was on the road with many acts over the years, and saw many musicians with drug addictions hold their fellow musicians back from their full potential. They don’t call it Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘N Roll for nothing. I see Weiland’s point of view being the founder, song writer and image of STP since their inception, but I can also see the other members’ point of view with Weiland habitually being late, falling off stages while performing, him even opting to record their last record apart from each other in different facilities, among many other incidents. Personally, I love Weiland to death and in my honest opinion when the guy is clean and healthy; he is one of the greatest rock front men of all time. Seeing him three times over the last 20 years, twice sober and clean and once very inebriated, I could tell a huge difference with his performance. The band was visibly upset, and I could feel the vibe throughout the crowd during the entire show. Seeing Velvet Revolver letting him go in 2008 told me all I needed to know—that Scott’s Wieland’s addictions were making the bands he was fronting implode.
Fast forward to May 18th 2013 and we see Chester Bennington from Linkin Park enter the picture with a surprise appearance at a radio festival in Los Angeles, California as STP’s new front man. Five days later on May 23rd, the remaining STP members sue Scott Weiland claiming that he sabotaged their 20th anniversary tour by being chronically late for performances and missing promotional gigs. They also allege Weiland refused to communicate with other band members in trying to “hijack the tour”. Subsequently, Scott was asked in a recent radio interview if STP will continue to play without him. He stated, “I started the band… not gonna [SIC] go into it legally, but there are things in place, like certain clauses that are in place that keep that from happening.”
On June 3rd 2013, Scott files $5 million counter-suit against his fellow STP band mates. According to Weiland’s 74-page filing, a partnership agreement signed by STP in 1996, and amended in 2010, allows each band member to perform on his own. Under the agreement, STP members Robert DeLeo (bass), Dean DeLeo (guitar) and Eric Kretz (drums) would be forced to play under a different name if separate and apart from Weiland. With Scott having made untrue statements in the past because of actions band mates took, there is no telling who comes out of this a winner.
Now for my opinion on Chester Bennington as the new front man: Chester and Linkin Park broke new ground in the rock music world and deserve all the accolades and respect they get from fans and the music industry. I love what they do and look forward to seeing anything new from them. I have been a fan of theirs since their inception. As far as Chester being the new front man for STP? To me, honestly … he doesn’t fit. I truly believe in Chester’s defense that no other singer in the world at this very moment could take Weiland’s place. His stage presence and ability to get a crowd in a frenzy, including women with his Jim Morrison-type antics on stage is stuff from which legends are made. The guy is on a level very few singers have reached.
In my opinion this story is an enigma, wrapped in a riddle, surrounded by big inflated egos at war with each other, with one having a drug addiction. Who knows where this goes from here, I would love for STP to come back with Weiland. I would also love for him to finally kick the demons in his life and be all he can be with one of rock music’s greatest bands ever. Stay tuned for more on this, I have a feeling this story has a long way to go before it’s over.
Below you will find Scott and Chester singing–your thoughts? Leave your comments in the section below.