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Posted March 14, 2013 by Jeff in Tunes
 
 

Scott Weiland: Solo, but not “terminated”

Scott Weiland Spring Tour by Jamie Wachtel
Scott Weiland Spring Tour by Jamie Wachtel

Singer Scott Weiland has had an off-again and on-again relationship with Stone Temple Pilots. The two are currently at odds and last month, as Weiland began a solo tour with his backing band the Wildabouts, the band officially “terminated him.” Weiland, for his part, denies he’s out of the group and spoke about them (somewhat) fondly as he talked about his current tour, which finds revisiting Stone Pilots’ first two albums, 1992’s Core and 1994’s Purple.

You’ve been a working musician for 25 years now. Reflect a bit on the experience.
I feel very, very honored to have been creating art for this long. How many people can attest to that? It’s been quite amazing.

Bands come and go quickly these days. To what do you attribute your longevity?
If you look at it like that, that’s a sign of the times.  A lot of it now has to do with social media . . . in general, people have a shorter attention span. It’s a different society. I feel very fortunate that my band was one of a handful that came out during a three-year time period between 1991 and 1993 which was the last organic movement in rock ’n’ roll. That was a special thing. Our longevity happened because of word of mouth and because we focused on making albums and because back then record companies still believed in promoting albums and touring and building careers and that. If you were lucky and talented and everything serendipitously fell into place, then you had a shot of having a career. A lot of things came into play and we were one of the few that made it through. Now, it’s quite a legacy. I’ve had the great fortune to play with some amazing musicians over the years.

Talk about what it’s been like going back to the songs on Core.
It’s very cool. I played some of those songs over the last five-and-a-half years with the guys in STP and a greatest hits collection of songs that are on our set list. I just got a little tired of having the same list every night. I love those guys and they’re great. They’re like family. I’ve spent my entire adult life with those guys, the majority of my life, I’ve been with them as opposed to being a teenager. We’ve had problems and gotten through things and we’ve had different bands, everything from the Magnificent Bastards to Velvet Revolver and the band I had with Daniel Lanois. We’ve all had different bands and you have to do that sometimes to keep your sanity. It was lauded during the ‘60s and first half of ’70s. Punk came around and said, “Piss off, super groups.” I agreed with that to a certain extent.  [Velvet Revolver] was not really a super group. We knew each other. Slash and I were just acquaintances, but the rest of us did know each other. It was more like a bunch of friends getting together

Were you surprised when the guys in STP said you were “terminated”?
I think it was a reaction to the fact that this tour had sold out within a week. It was probably not the smartest thing for them to do since I founded the band and there are certain legal terms within the contract which don’t make sense as to that decision, or that threat. There’s a lot of different things to think about. The bottom line is that I love those guys. We’ve gone through a lot of things in the past and gotten through them. To tell you the truth, it started out as internet rumor and it just grew some legs.

Well, yes, but the band publicist did issue an official statement, no that it provided any detail.
Yes, but it initially did begin as a rumor on the internet from a fan. There is no record company or publishing company associated with the band now.

My philosophy is that I don’t feel like going on the road and playing a greatest hits set that we’ve been playing for five years.

How does your solo material fit into the set lists you’ve been playing?
It’s part of the reason why STP hasn’t done anything. My philosophy is that I don’t feel like going on the road and playing a greatest hits set that we’ve been playing for five years. We’ve been doing that and in the midst of doing that, we made an album that took us a year-and-a-half. That’s not the way STP makes records. We make records in two weeks. If we’re going to do something, we need to get back in the studio with Brendan O’Brien who has a track record with us and get re-inspired artistically again. We need to do it that way and get out there on the road and get out there with some excitement and not just turn our legacy into what Journey or Foreigner is. That’s not what we’re about. That’s not why we got into this. That’s not at all what I’m about.

I think Soundgarden has been out playing deep tracks rather than the greatest hits.
Yeah. I think that’s very cool. More than anything, we’ve been a great live band. The reason why critics didn’t like us because they thought we were one thing that we weren’t. They thought we sounded like a Seattle band. We proved those critics wrong over our career and changed from album to album. We didn’t sound like the Beatles, but we took that blueprint and the idea of being a band. Sure, there are some bands that have one sound and do it really well. But we looked at the idea of the Beatles and thought to really do it right, we had to evolve. We had to go into a cocoon every once in a while and come out as a butterfly and not an ugly moth.

Upcoming Tour Dates

3/14

3/15

3/19

3/20

3/22

3/23

3/26

3/27

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Sands Bethlehem Event Center

Fort Wayne, Indiana, Piere’s

Chicago, Illinois, House of Blues

Cleveland, Ohio, House of Blues

Cincinnati, Ohio, Bogarts

Indianapolis, Indiana, Egyptian Room

Houston, Texas, House of Blues

Dallas, Texas, House of Blues


Jeff

 
Jeff started writing about rock ’n’ roll some 20 years ago when he stood in the pouring rain to hitch hike his way to see R.E.M. on their Life’s Rich Pageant tour. Since that time, he's written for various daily newspapers, alt-weeklies, magazines and websites. Feel free to comment on his posts or suggest music, film and art to him at jeff@whopperjaw.net.