We had a feeling that the Stone Temple Pilots story was going to get curiouser and curiouser.
Just days after singer Scott Weiland was unceremoniously "terminated" from the band he co-founded more than 25 years ago, the singer shot back on Thursday and claimed the whole thing was a publicity stunt.
Now bear with us with this one, because, like so many things about this story (and, let's face it, STP's career) it's a bit hard to follow.
Speaking to TMZ on Thursday, Weiland once again denied that he's been booted. "STP is not broken up. It's a whole thing to try to boost ticket sales," said the singer, who launches his solo tour on Friday (March 1) with a gig in Flint, Michigan.
Weiland claimed that STP's action was an attempt to goose ticket sales, but it was unclear which tour he was talking about. No STP dates have been announced, and Weiland's outing will have him playing the majority of the band's first two albums, Core and Purple, with his solo band. In several interviews given before the (alleged) split, Weiland said he decided to go it along on the tour because his STP bandmates were not interested in hitting the road to perform those two albums.
"STP were originally supposed to go out and play Core this year," he told Rolling Stone before the split news hit. "I was really excited and I talked to the press about it, but the rest of the band didn't want to do it."
Hours after news of his firing came out on Wednesday, Weiland said it surprised and confused him. "I learned of my supposed 'termination' from Stone Temple Pilots this morning by reading about it in the press," the singer said in a statement. "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."
He told TMZ that the band's contract has a key man clause that forbids the other members from using the STP name in another group that doesn't feature him. "I have no idea," he said when asked what the terse announcement claiming he'd been fired meant. "I haven't talked to them in a while, but they were trying to get shows put together ... but we already had our tour."
As to why the other members put out the release announcing his firing, Weiland said, "They've done a lot of that stuff in the past before. It's just kind of the way they roll."
So, the TMZ interviewer inquired, "STP is still together and you're leading it?" Shaking his head in the affirmative, Weiland said, "I started it." MTV News contacted STP's spokesperson for comment on Weiland's claims, but did not receive a response at press time.