Stone Temple Pilots have commenced legal proceedings in their dispute with the band’s former frontman Scott Weiland: The lawsuit apparently attempts to stop the singer from using the band’s name or performing their songs, many of which he co-wrote.
Weiland was formally fired from Stone Temple Pilots by his bandmates in February. The new lawsuit claims that the Weiland-fronted version of the band, which regrouped in 2008, imploded because he became impossible to work with, was frequently late for shows in 2012, often performed poorly due to drug consumption, and eventually would only communicate with his bandmates via his lawyers or manager. The band have now released a new track with Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington on vocals. In a post on his website last week, Weiland said he hadn’t known that Bennington would be performing with his former band, adding: “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”.
Insisting again that his bandmates didn’t have the power to ‘fire’ him back in February, Weiland’s statement continued: “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”.
He went on: “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”.
In their lawsuit, Weiland’s ex-bandmates say that it is the former frontman who is mis-using the STP trademark. In particular, they allege that Weiland’s lawyers tried to pressure an LA-based radio station to not play the Bennington-featuring STP track ‘Out Of Time’ on the basis doing so would breach their client’s rights. The lawsuit concludes: “The band endured much strife and lost significant opportunities because of Weiland. Enough is enough. Without relief from the court, Weiland will continue violating STP’s rights, misappropriating STP assets and interfering with the band’s livelihood”.
In response Weiland is countersuing, seeking a $7 million damages settlement for his ousting from the band, and a court order to stop his ex-colleagues from using the band’s name – although exactly who owns the rights to the Stone Temple Pilots name isn’t clear – and both sides now seem set to demand that the other refrain from using the mark,