Stone Temple Pilots' often underrated third album was called Tiny Music... Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop, but their next one could be subtitled Songs From the Courthouse Cafeteria. STP frontman Scott Weiland has been slapped with a breach-of-contract lawsuit by the rest of the band, and he has responded with a "letter to my fans" contending he's in the right both legally and ethically. The back-and-forth follows the band's release earlier this month of a new song with Linkin Park's Chester Bennington as their lead singer.
According to court documents filed in Los Angeles on Friday and posted by the Hollywood Reporter, STP members are asking for an unspecified amount of green from the guy who sang lead on 1994's Purple. They claim, in part, that he cost them big time by failing to commit to anniversary tour dates. "Enough is enough," the lawsuit says. "Without relief from the court, Weiland will continue violating STP's rights, misappropriating STP assets, and interfering with the band's livelihood."
Weiland fired back with a statement on his website Friday night. He said he's still a member of the band, so the other members can't use the name STP. He said that when he tours without STP, he always uses his own name. "I don't give a fuck what they call themselves, but it's not Stone Temple Pilots," he said of his bandmates new combination with Bennington. He concluded by saying he hasn't given up on STP just yet.
The lawsuit leaves no doubt the rest of STP considers itself a new band led by Bennington, noting that the group "plans to record a seventh studio album, its first with Bennington." Bennington has already said he plans to play more shows with the non-Weiland STP.
The dispute has deep roots. Last year, Weiland said he and Stone Temple Pilots would tour to celebrate the 20th anniversary of 1992 debut Core. They never did, but this year he set off on a tour with backing band the Wildabouts where he performed songs from Core and follow-up Purple. Right after Weiland announced the tour, STP said he was fired. He said this was news to him, brushed it off as a stunt, and told SPIN "it hurts my feelings" when STP don't get along. He also told us about what it was like when fans would say they were rooting for him. Weiland's drummer quit. Then Bennington debuted with the post-grunge survivors at Los Angeles radio station KROQ's annual Weenie Roast, and here we are.
Read Weiland's full statement below.
A letter to my fans,
Like everybody else out there, I read about my band, Stone Temple Pilots, and their recent performance this past weekend with a new singer. To tell you the truth, it took me by surprise. And it hurt.
But the band that played last weekend was not Stone Temple Pilots and it was wrong of them to present themselves as that.
First of all they don't have the legal right to call themselves STP because I'm still a member of the band. And more importantly, they don't have the ethical right to call themselves Stone Temple Pilots because it's misleading and dishonest to the millions of fans that have followed us for so many years.
When I tour on my own, it's never as Stone Temple Pilots. It's as Scott Weiland. The fans deserve to know what they're getting.
Like any band that's stood the test of time and made music for more than two decades, STP had a special alchemy - the four of us together were greater than any one of us apart. So if my former bandmates want to tour with a new singer, that's their prerogative.
I don't give a fuck what they call themselves, but it's not Stone Temple Pilots.
And so I say to you, our fans, I'll see you out there on the road this summer where I'm touring as "Scott Weiland" with my band The Wildabouts. But don't give up on STP. I know I haven't.