Despite protests from Scott Weiland earlier this year denying the news that he was booted from Stone Temple Pilots the band made the ousting even more official over the weekend when they played their debut show with a new singer: Linkin Park's Chester Bennington.
Not only did they hook up with the singer of the multi-platinum rock-rap act for a surprise weekend gig, they've also recorded a new song with him, the Led Zeppelin-style cruncher "Out of Time," which appears in teaser form on their site, along with new band pictures featuring Bennington.
"Chester has a one-of-a-kind voice that we've admired for a long time," said guitarist Dean DeLeo after the group played a surprise set at KROQ's Weenie Roast over the weekend. "We know Linkin Park will always be his priority, but we thought it would be cool to try something together. We managed to find the time to record a song and we're all really happy with the result."
For his part, Bennington said he's been a fan of STP since he was 13 and that they've had a huge influence on him, noting that his LP bandmates have been supportive of the side gig. No details have been announced yet on how the new arrangement will work and what impact it will have on LP's next album, or if Bennington will tour with STP; for now, the group has a second gig scheduled for Club Nokia in Los Angeles on May 30.
But how do the fans feel? Well, so far they're not so sure.
"Chester Bennington new Stone Temple Pilots vocalist? Thanks but no thanks! :/," wrote STP fan @luisibave.
Chester Bennington new Stone Temple Pilots vocalist? thanks but no thanks! :/ #STP— Luis Ibave (@luisibave) May 21, 2013
STP fans weren't all bummed, though, with Jeanine cutting through the negativity with the tweet, "This is huge!!! #STP #excited."
Another said the news was "bizarre," but wanted to hear the results and one said they "kinda liked" the new single.
Linkin Park fans seemed to take the news a bit better, with Kasey Wilson, saying, "Just heard a new Stone Temple Pilots song featuring the singer from Linkin Park on vocals. It wasn't too bad ..."
Just heard a new Stone Temple Pilots song featuring the singer from Linkin Park on vocals. It wasn't too bad...— Kasey Wilson (@krebstar1021) May 21, 2013
The LP Twitter feed was full of links to the news, but fan Pao was concerned, asking, "Is Linkin Park done? Chester w/STP? Scott Weiland killed two bird with one stone." Deano, though, wasn't hating on it, saying, "I heard STP featuring Chester Bennington of Linkin Park on vocals instead of Scott Weiland. I'm okay with this. It rocked."
At press time, Weiland, who is on tour where he plays selections from STP's first two albums with his band, the Wildabouts, had not reacted to the news. Though, not for nothing, his Twitter handle remains @ScottWeilandSTP.