Stone Temple Pilots' return with Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington on vocals evolved into quite the rock soap-opera last week when the band sued their former singer Scott Weiland for misuse of the band's name.
The backstory gets somewhat complicated.
STP maintain they fired Weiland in February, and this lawsuit provides reasons for this decision that are not at all surprising for those who've followed the band over their tumultuous history: tardiness or absence to gigs, drug abuse, only interacting with other band members through surrogates like lawyers and managers, etc.
The band also complains Weiland's camp interfered with STP's promotion of their own new music. Billboard reports:
The lawsuit claims that Weiland's lawyer called the head of programming at KROQ, a Los Angeles modern rock station, and said if the station played "Out of Time" it would be infringing on Weiland's rights.
"Enough is enough," the band's lawsuit states. "Without relief from the court, Weiland will continue violating STP's rights, misappropriating STP assets and interfering with the band's livelihood."
The lawsuit states the band entered into agreements in 1996 and 2010 that state that no former members can use the Stone Temple Pilots name.
STP's suit against their former singer even goes so far as to prohibit Weiland from performing STP material or referring to himself as a former member of the band. That latter assertion would make any revisionist historian proud!
Weiland posted a statement on his website that addresses many of STP's allegations.
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 f--- 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.
Rock & roll is awash with tales of bands and former members fighting in court over who gets to use a band's name. I'm no lawyer, but I believe Weiland's people overplayed their hand while trying to obstruct airplay of the STP with Chester tune "Out Of Time". But the band probably has no logical basis from blocking Weiland from playing STP songs live. While the band alleges Weiland misuses STP's name to further his solo career, Weiland tours under his own name with a backing band.
UPDATE: Turns out Weiland's current tour gimmick is "Purple At The Core featuring the music of Core and Purple", STP's first two records. Perhaps STP's allegation that Weiland is misusing the bands' name isn't so far-fetched...
What do you think? Leave a comment and let us know.