This morning, we received a one-sentence e-mail stating the current status of one of the members of a seminal ’90s alt-rock band.
The message, in its entirety: “Stone Temple Pilots have announced they have officially terminated Scott Weiland.”
Naturally, that immediately conjured images of the T-100 taking out Weiland in a blaze of liquid-metal glory. (Or as one EW music staffer commented on the brevity of the statement, “This reads like a Hunger Games cannon going off.” Yes, we work at a general entertainment magazine.)
In the meantime, Weiland has become the David Lee Roth of grunge, minus the split kicks. Despite the fact that he’s currently on a solo tour playing STP’s first two albums in their entirety, he has insisted for months that the band was not breaking up. Rumors did circulate about the end of Weiland’s latest tenure, but the singer told Rolling Stone that it was all hearsay.
“STP has not broken up,” Weiland told the magazine in December. “I haven’t quit. I haven’t been fired. We’re talking right now about when we want to tour next. No one has ever fired anybody in STP.”
Weiland has always been the band’s most important and central member, though his presence, notably, has been problematic throughout the course of the group’s history. His substance abuse problems derailed recording sessions and promotional runs for tours (most notably for the group’s third album Tiny Music: Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop), and he has often drifted away to work on his own projects (several solo albums, as well as Velvet Revolver). In 1998, Weiland released his first solo album 12 Bar Blues not long after the three other members of STP put out an album with a different singer under the name Talk Show. (They were never officially broken up and reconvened for 1999’s No. 4 a little while later.)
They unofficially split following the release of 2001’s Shangri-La Dee Da but got back together in 2009 for a series of shows that led to 2010’s Stone Temple Pilots. No plans were made for further recording, and Weiland spent part of last year putting out strange solo work, including a covers collection and a Christmas album.
So we once again have two entities: Three dudes who make up 75 percent of Stone Temple Pilots, and a charismatic singer in search of a band. Who do you think should be the new singer of STP? Is Gary Cherone available? And what should Weiland do next? Let us know what comes out of your STP crystal ball in the comments.
UPDATE: Weiland released his own statement about his pink slip.
“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 which starts this Friday.” —Scott Weiland
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