Atlantic and the Stone Temple Pilots go to court

July 2008

Artists, record labels

Atlantic Records has issued legal proceedings in the US District Court in Manhattan against two members of Stone Temple Pilots accusing them of trying to prematurely end their recording contract with the Warner Music Group label. The suit against lead singer Scott Weiland and drummer Eric Kretz says the pair have threatened to stop performing under their contract and have indicated they would like to end the agreement unless Atlantic makes significant changes. The record company said in the suit it wants the group to record a seventh album and deliver up to two more if Atlantic decides to option these. The group, whose momentum was often curtailed by Weiland’s drug problems, had fallen apart shortly after a 2002 tour. In late 2003, the other two members of the group, guitarist Dean DeLeo and bassist Robert DeLeo, were released by Atlantic from their recording contract as they said they wanted to pursue separate careers. Atlantic said in the lawsuit that the group, Weiland, Kretz and a returned DeLeos were now touring successfully and had indicated its intention to record together again. The record company said its contract with Stone Temple Pilots was written under New York laws and that the musicians are trying to use California laws to terminate it. Atlantic said claims by Kretz and Weiland that they have a right to terminate the contract “have given rise to a definite, real and substantial controversy between the parties that threatens to harm Atlantic’s business.” Atlantic is seeking a court declaration of its rights under the recording contract, the costs of its legal fees and any other relief the court decides is appropriate. In a statement, the band maintains it “never threatened anything more than remaining away from the studio until equitable terms could be arranged, going on to say that if the action were dropped then negotiations might result in a new albums (although conversely saying that if Atlantic followed a “scorched earth policy” then the fans will “never be able to enjoy a new album from the group”).

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