Gary Susman
May 16, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The former members of Guns N’ Roses have been looking for a frontman for some time, but if you want to replace Axl Rose and sing with Slash, Duff McKagan, and Matt Sorum, you need more than strong lungs and a history of erratic behavior. Judging by those who auditioned, you also need a certain notoriety of your own as a hard rock frontman. At last, however, the ex-Gunners have made their choice: It’s Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots, Rolling Stone reports. The new band has a seemingly ”Matrix”-inspired name: Reloaded.

”Yeah, I’m in the band,” Weiland told the magazine on Monday . ”We signed the contract.” Drummer Sorum was more circumspect, saying, ”I need to ask my whole band before we can say anything.” Still, the STP website reports that Reloaded has already recorded two songs with Weiland for imminent release: a cover of Pink Floyd’s ”Money” for the soundtrack to the upcoming film ”The Italian Job” and a new song called ”Set Me Free” for the soundtrack to ”The Hulk.” A full Reloaded album is due in February.

Slash and company have been looking for a new singer for about a year, a process they documented for an upcoming VH1 special. Those who tried out included Sebastian Bach (Skid Row), Travis Meek (Days of the New), Kelly Shaefer (Neurotica), Josh Todd (Buckcherry), and A. Jay Popoff (Lit). The band has also played live with Cypress Hill’s B Real and Sen Dog behind the mic, and even with ”Showgirls” star Gina Gershon at the Sundance Film Festival (where she was promoting her film ”Prey for Rock and Roll,” where she plays a rock singer). Meanwhile, Axl Rose put together a new band as Guns N’ Roses that traveled last winter on a concert tour marred by Axl absences, rioting fans, and the continued non-appearance of Axl’s long-promised ”Chinese Democracy” album.

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