As the new Stone Temple Pilots rides forth with Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington taking lead, Scott Weiland is making his grievances against his former bandmates a legal matter. The orphaned singer is asking a judge to rule against the group’s continued use of the name, and also for a minimum of $7 million in damages. Of course, the Brothers DeLeo and drummer Eric Kretz kinda-sorta started it by suing the dude for breach of contract, alleging that he sabotaged their success.
Weiland’s initial response to the suit came in the form of an open letter to his fans in which he contended that the new STP is in the wrong both legally and ethically, adding, “I don’t give a fuck what they call themselves, but it’s not Stone Temple Pilots.” He also claimed that he’s still a member of the band, who publicly announced his firing in late February apparently without actually consulting the singer. He initially dismissed the news as a publicity stunt and told SPIN his feelings are hurt.
But in the new countersuit, filed on May 31 in the California Superior Court Los Angeles, Weiland gets down to brass tacks … sort of. The first allegation in the text of the document is couched in a rhetorical question: “How do you expel a man from the band that he started, named, sang lead on every song, wrote the lyrics, and was the face of for twenty years, and then try to grab the name and goodwill for yourselves? You don’t, but three of the instrumentalists from the band … tried.”
The motion also takes at least one cheap shot at Weiland’s former bandmates — alleging that Dean and Robert DeLeo and Kretz would be “unlikely to achieve any commercial success without [the established name]” — and paints a nefarious picture of their doings, explaining that they “secretly met on numerous occasions with the Band’s lawyer … clandestinely conspiring to wrongfully expel Weiland from the Band.”
While the countersuit calls for $5 million in damages due to what’s being characterized as a “fiduciary breach,” $2 million per willful and wrongful use of the band name and plus the singer’s attorneys’ fees, one gets the feeling that Weiland might call the whole thing off if he felt like the fans were rooting for him again. “I haven’t heard that in a long time, and I don’t know why,” he told SPIN in March. #Sadface.