Earlier this year, Stone Temple Pilots parted ways with — er, “officially terminated” — founding frontman Scott Weiland via a press release that set new industry standards for brevity … a move that led to an inevitable multi-million dollar lawsuit filed by the erstwhile singer, accusing the band of “breach of contract,” amongst other things.
Oh course, drama like this is nothing new for STP … and neither is what the remaining members decided to do in the aftermath: start a new band.
Yes, much like the DeLeo brothers and drummer Eric Kretz did in 1997, when they formed Talk Show while Weiland pursued a solo career (and battled addiction), STP pressed on … bringing in Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington for a string of shows — no matter what fans thought — and, eventually, recording an EP of new music, all done under the moniker “Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington.”
Through it all, Bennington has managed to stay out of the dispute between Weiland and Stone Temple Pilots, focusing instead on making music with his new bandmates. How? Well, let’s just say he made it very clear the second he signed on that wasn’t going to deal with STP’s past dramas.
“Oh yeah. I made that real clear from the beginning,” he laughed. “I told them ‘Nope. I want no part of that.’ ”
Bennington said that, despite the unresolved issues with their former frontman, he’s having a blast playing with STP, and, inspired by the release of their High Rise EP earlier this month, they’ve already begun writing new songs … and there might be even more music coming in the very near future, so long as his day job singing for Linkin Park doesn’t get in the way.
“We’re always working on a bunch of songs; it’s a lot of fun. The friendships we’ve established are great, getting feedback from people who come out to the shows has been great too; and we want to get new music out to the fans,” Bennington said. “If we have time to make a record, we’ll make a record, if we can put out music faster, we’ll do another EP. And we’ll definite tour around Linkin Park’s schedule.”
And to that end, though he never thought he’d be singing with Stone Temple Pilots, Bennington now admits that he’s relishing his role as frontman. And he’s not about to let any ongoing drama change that.
“It’s funny; I made a comment to my wife, like probably ten years ago, I think the band had broken up and I said kind of jokingly ‘I wouldn’t be surprised if they give me a call one day.’ And 10 years later they did,” he laughed. “I never sat at home and thought about it though, but it’s been a lot of fun, as left field as the request to do something creative with the band was, this experience has been a trip.”