May 24, 2013 7:00pm PT by Emily Zemler
Stone Temple Pilots Sue Scott Weiland; Singer Responds
Members of Stone Temple Pilots are suing their former frontman Scott Weiland, according to court documents filed with the Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday.
The suit, which refers to STP as "one of America's most popular rock bands," claims that Weiland has "violated his duties" and has been "misappropriating" their name to further his current solo career. The suit specifically targets STP's 2012 20th anniversary tour on which they claim Weiland's actions damaged the group.
The suit charges Weiland with breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, violation of the Lanham Act, and declaratory and injunctive relief, and seeks a jury trial. According to the extensive lawsuit, Weiland's inability to commit to tour dates both this year and last caused STP "to lose lucrative business opportunities for live performances and other appearances, which cost the band millions." It also alleges that Weiland and his management team cited a variety of excuses regarding the tour dates, which STP refers to in the paperwork as a "smokescreen." It continues to cite a laundry list of complaints against Weiland, noting specific incidents and injuries to the band, including his recent attempt to sabotage radio play of the band's new single.
Stone Temple Pilots are seeking unspecified damages from Weiland. The suit claims that Weiland's breach of contract is worth over $2 million but that the exact amount will be "proven at trial." The suit also asks that Weiland cease using the Stone Temple Pilots name to promote his solo career or related endeavors.
"Enough is enough," the lawsuit reads. "Without relief from the court, Weiland will continue violating STP's rights, misappropriating STP assets and interfering with the band's livelihood."
STP, who fired Weiland in February in a statement, have added Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington to their official lineup and will move forward with him in Weiland's former slot. The suit notes that STP "plans to record a seventh studio album, its first with Bennington," which answers any lingering questions about whether Bennington's appearance with the band at the KROQ Weenie Roast last weekend was a one-off gig.
"I grew up listening to these guys," Bennington told KROQ last weekend. "When this opportunity came up, it was just like a no-brainer. We couldn't really plan a tour until now because we couldn't let people know what was going on. Now the cat's out of the bag, so we're going to go out and make more music and go play more shows and have some fun."
Stone Temple Pilots released a new single, "Out of Time," with Bennington last week. The band's next show is scheduled to take place May 30 at Los Angeles' Nokia Theater.
Weiland responded to the lawsuit with a letter posted on his website. In it, the singer asserts, "The band that played last weekend was not Stone Temple Pilots, and it was wrong of them to present themselves as that." He then added, "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 also writes: "I don't give a f--- what they call themselves, but it's not Stone Temple Pilots."
Update: On May 31, Weiland filed a $7 million countersuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against his fellow co-founders of Stone Temple Pilots, claiming they did not have the legal right to expel him from the band and asking a judge to bar their use of the name going forward. In the 74-page filing, Stone Temple Pilots' songwriting splits are detailed as well as emails from management stating that Weiland and his bandmates had not communicated directly on issues related to the 20th anniversary of the 1992 album Core, an STP tour and solo outings.