Scott Weiland

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Scott Weiland
Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots) Open Air St. Gallen (rotated).jpg
Weiland performing live in 2010
Background information
Birth name Scott Richard Kline
Born (1967-10-27) October 27, 1967 (age 46)
Origin San Jose, California, U.S.
Genres Alternative rock, hard rock, grunge, neo-psychedelia, alternative metal
Occupations Musician, singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar, keyboards, piano, synthesizer, organ, percussion
Years active 1985–present
Labels Atlantic
Associated acts Stone Temple Pilots, Velvet Revolver, Camp Freddy, The Magnificent Bastards, Doug Grean, The Wondergirls, Limp Bizkit
Website scottweiland.com

Scott Weiland (born Scott Richard Kline[1] on October 27, 1967) is an American musician, lyricist and vocalist. During a career spanning three decades, Weiland is best known as the former frontman for the successful rock band Stone Temple Pilots, as well as the supergroup Velvet Revolver from 2003 to 2008. He has also established himself as a solo artist, releasing three studio albums, a cover album, and collaborations with several other musicians since 1995.

Weiland's onstage persona is known as being flamboyant and chaotic; he is also known for constantly changing his appearance and vocal style, as well as his use of a megaphone in concert for vocal effect.[2] While viewed as a talented and versatile vocalist,[3] Weiland's career has been plagued by substance abuse, as well as several arrests. Weiland has been ranked in the Top 100 Heavy Metal Vocalists by Hit Parader (No. 57).

Biography[edit]

Early years[edit]

Weiland was born as Scott Richard Kline at Kaiser Hospital in San Jose, California.[4] His surname was changed after being adopted by his stepfather David Weiland at age 5.[5] Around that time, Weiland moved to Bainbridge Township, Ohio, where he attended the Kenston School District. He moved to California as a teenager and attended Edison High School in Huntington Beach and Orange Coast College.[6] Weiland revealed in his 2011 autobiography that he was raped at 12 years old by a senior high school student.[7] He smoked his first marijuana cigarette at age 11.

1985-1994: STP's formation and early success[edit]

In 1985 Weiland met bassist Robert DeLeo at a Black Flag concert in Long Beach, California, and shortly thereafter formed the band Swing. Robert DeLeo eventually left the band to pursue other avenues, but suggested his brother Dean to replace him. However Dean refused to play for a band called "Swing" so the band changed their name to Mighty Joe Young with DeLeo's brother Dean on guitar and Eric Kretz on drums, recording a demo tape in 1990. After signing with Atlantic Records it was discovered that the name "Mighty Joe Young" was already taken by a blues artist, so they changed their name to Shirley Temple's Pussy. Not long afterwards the band's name was changed again to Stone Temple Pilots, due to pressure from their record label, although they retained the initials STP.[8][not in citation given]

Weiland wrote the band's lyrics and performed vocals. In 1992, they released their first album, Core, spawning four hits ("Sex Type Thing", "Wicked Garden", "Creep", and "Plush") and leading them to becoming one of the most influential bands of the grunge movement, the music genre that was started in Seattle in the late 1980s and became rock and roll's central movement in the early-mid-1990s. The band was widely accused of imitating bands such as Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Nirvana in an attempt to cash in on the scene's burgeoning popularity. Critics also pointed out that Weiland's vocal style at the time was very similar to that of Layne Staley's and Eddie Vedder's. Weiland has rejected such comparisons, however, citing Jim Morrison[9] and David Bowie as more influential on his vocal techniques and sound. Weiland also pointed out that many of STP's hit songs were originally written and demoed a few years before Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam rose to national prominence. Despite negative reviews from critics, Core was extremely successful, eventually being certified 8x platinum by the RIAA.

Scott Weiland performing with Stone Temple Pilots in Ottawa, ON on July 13, 2009.

1994-1997: Continued success and initial drug issues[edit]

In 1994, Weiland and STP released their second record, Purple, which saw the development of a more distinctive identity for the band. While still a clear continuation of their previous techniques, the album featured a more "classic rock" sound, and had a mixture of punk, bossa nova, and acoustic songs. Like Core, Purple was a big success for the band, spawning three hit singles ("Big Empty", "Vasoline", and "Interstate Love Song") and selling over 6 million copies. The year prior, STP toured with the Butthole Surfers and Weiland developed a heroin addiction, claiming Butthole Surfers singer Gibby Haynes introduced him to heroin, which Gibby denies.[10]

In 1995, Weiland formed the alternative rock band The Magnificent Bastards with session drummer Victor Indrizzo[11] in San Diego.[citation needed] The band included Zander Schloss and Jeff Nolan on guitars and Bob Thompson on bass.[11] Only two songs were recorded by The Magnificent Bastards, "Mockingbird Girl," composed by Nolan, Schloss, and Weiland,[12] appeared in the film Tank Girl and on its soundtrack,[13] and a cover of John Lennon's "How Do You Sleep?" was recorded for the tribute album, Working Class Hero: A Tribute to John Lennon.[11][14]

Weiland rejoined Stone Temple Pilots in the fall of 1995, but STP was forced to cancel most of their 1996-1997 tour in support of their third release, Tiny Music... Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop. Although Tiny Music... was certified 2x platinum, the canceled tour caused the album to fall quickly off the charts. STP went on a hiatus soon after the album was released, with Weiland focusing on a solo career before serving a stint in jail for heroin possession.

1998-2002: 12 Bar Blues and STP's separation[edit]

While STP went on hiatus after the release of Tiny Music..., Weiland released a solo album in 1998 called 12 Bar Blues. Weiland wrote most of the songs on the album, and collaborated with several artists, notably Daniel Lanois, Sheryl Crow, Brad Mehldau and Jeff Nolan. In 1999, STP regrouped once again and released No. 4. The album contained the hit single "Sour Girl" which featured a surreal music video with Sarah Michelle Gellar. That same year, Weiland also recorded two songs with the short-lived supergroup The Wondergirls.

In November 2000, Weiland was invited to perform on the show VH1 Storytellers with the surviving members of The Doors. Weiland did vocals on two Doors songs, "Break on Through (To the Other Side)" and "Five to One". That same month Stone Temple Pilots appeared on The Doors tribute CD, Stoned Immaculate with their own rendition of "Break On Through" as the lead track.

On June 19, 2001, STP released its fifth album, Shangri-La Dee Da, to lukewarm success. However, that same year the band headlined the Family Values Tour along with Linkin Park and Staind.

In late 2002, an altercation between Weiland and Dean DeLeo on the final gig of STP's Shangri-La Dee Da tour led to the band's official demise with much of the speculation surrounding Weiland's inability to balance personal issues.

2003-2008: Velvet Revolver era[edit]

Weiland performing with Velvet Revolver in London
Main article: Velvet Revolver

In 2002, former Guns N' Roses members – guitarist Slash, bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Matt Sorum – as well as former Wasted Youth guitarist Dave Kushner were looking for a singer to help form a new band. Throughout his career Weiland had become acquainted with the four musicians; he became friends with McKagan after attending the same gym,[15][16] was in rehab at the same time as Sorum, and once played on the same bill as Kushner.[3][3][16] Weiland was sent two discs of material to work with, but felt that the first disc "sounded like Bad Company gone wrong."[15] When he was sent the second disc, Weiland was more positive, comparing it to Core-era Stone Temple Pilots,[15] though he turned them down because Stone Temple Pilots had not yet separated.[3]

When Stone Temple Pilots disbanded in 2003,[17] the band sent Weiland new music, which he took into his studio and added vocals. This music eventually became the song "Set Me Free."[17][18] Despite delivering the music to the band himself, Weiland was still unsure whether or not he wanted to join them,[17] despite performing at an industry showcase at Mates.[19] They recorded two songs with producer Nick Raskulinecz,[20] a recorded version of "Set Me Free" and a cover of Pink Floyd's "Money," for the soundtracks to the movies The Hulk and The Italian Job, respectively.[20] Weiland joined the band soon after,[15] and "Set Me Free" managed to peak at number 17 on the Mainstream Rock Chart[21] without any radio promotion or a record label.[22] It was prior to a screening of The Hulk at Universal Studios that the band chose a name.[23] After seeing a movie by Revolution Studios,[23] Slash liked the beginning of the word, eventually thinking of Revolver because of its multiple meanings; the name of a gun, subtext of a revolving door which suited the band as well as the name of a Beatles album.[23] When he suggested Revolver to the band, Weiland suggested back Black Velvet Revolver, liking the idea of "something intimate like velvet juxtaposed with something deadly like a gun."[23] They eventually arrived at Velvet Revolver,[23] announcing it at a press conference and performance showcase at the El Rey Theatre[23] while also performing the songs "Set Me Free" and "Slither" as well as covers of Nirvana's "Negative Creep", Sex Pistols' "Pretty Vacant", and Guns N' Roses' "It's So Easy".[23]

"I just thought he was a great singer, and he'd always been on my mind for [Velvet Revolver]. He was the one vocalist that I knew had the kind of voice that would serve what we were going to do: he had a John Lennon-ish quality, a little bit of Jim Morrison, and a touch of almost David Bowie. He was the best singer to come out in a long time in my opinion."[3]

Slash on Scott Weiland

Velvet Revolver's debut album Contraband was released in June 2004 to much success. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and has sold over three million copies worldwide to date. Two of the album's songs, "Slither" and "Fall to Pieces", reached number one on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. The song "Slither" also won a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance with Vocal in 2005, an award Weiland had won previously with STP for the song "Plush" in 1994. At the 2005 Grammy Awards, Weiland (along with the rest of Velvet Revolver) performed the Beatles song "Across the Universe" along with Bono, Brian Wilson, Norah Jones, Stevie Wonder, Steven Tyler, Billie Joe Armstrong, Alison Krauss, and Alicia Keys.[24]

Velvet Revolver released their second album, Libertad, on July 3, 2007,[25][26] peaking at number five on the Billboard 200.[27] The album's first single "She Builds Quick Machines" peaked at 74 on the Hot Canadian Digital Singles.[21] The second and third singles, "The Last Fight" and "Get Out the Door", both peaked at number 16 and 34 on the Mainstream Rock Chart, respectively.[28] Critical reception to the album was mixed. Though some critics praised the album[29][30] and felt that Libertad gave the band an identity of their own,[31] outside of the Guns N' Roses and Stone Temple Pilots comparisons, others described the album as "bland"[32][33] and noted that the band seem to be "play[ing] to their strengths instead of finding a collective sound."[26]

Weiland in 2007

2008-2012: Reunion with STP, "Happy" in Galoshes, and one-off reunion with Velvet Revolver[edit]

In 2007 Dean DeLeo discussed with Weiland an offer from a concert promoter to headline several summer festivals. Weiland accepted and said he had cleared the brief tour with his Velvet Revolver bandmates. He explained, "everything was cool. Then it wasn't", and stated that the rest of the band stopped talking to him.

On March 20, 2008 Weiland revealed at Velvet Revolver's show in Glasgow that this would be the band's final tour. After several flares on their personal blogs and in interviews,[34][35] on April 1 it was announced by a number of media outlets that Weiland would no longer be in Velvet Revolver.[36]

In March 2010, Weiland revealed in an interview that "the wives and 'petty jealousies'" had led to the downfall of Velvet Revolver.[37]

Scott Weiland performing with Stone Temple Pilots in São Paulo, Brazil, December 12, 2010.

In 2008, Stone Temple Pilots announced a 73-date U.S. tour on April 7 and performed together for the first time since 2002. The reunion tour kicked off at the Rock on the Range festival on May 17, 2008. According to Dean DeLeo, steps toward a Stone Temple Pilots reunion started with a simple phone call from Weiland's wife. She invited the DeLeo brothers to play at a private beach party, which led to the reconciliation of Weiland and the DeLeo brothers.[38] However, Weiland stated in a 2010 radio interview to promote the band's self-titled release that the reunion was the result of Dean calling him and asking if he'd be interested in reuniting the band to headline the Coachella Festival.

STP's reunion tour was a success, and the band continued to tour throughout 2009 and began recording its sixth studio album. STP's first album since 2001, Stone Temple Pilots, was released on May 25, 2010.

On November 25, 2008, Weiland released his second solo album, "Happy" in Galoshes, produced by Weiland and songwriting-producing partner Doug Grean. Weiland went on tour in early 2009 to promote the album.[39]

In September 2010, STP announced it was rescheduling several U.S. tour dates so that the band could take a "short break." STP toured Southeast Asia for the first time in 2011, playing in Philippines (Manila), Singapore, and Indonesia (Jakarta). Following this, the band played successful shows in Australia, including sell out performances in Sydney and Melbourne.[40]

On August 30, 2011, Weiland released a covers album, A Compilation of Scott Weiland Cover Songs, exclusively through his website. The album was originally to be released along with Scott's autobiography until he decided to release it separately, stating, "[it] actually turned out so well that we’re going to release a single and put it out on its own, ‘cause I think it’s…it’s sort of my Pinups, I guess you’d say."[41][42][43]

On October 4, 2011, Weiland released The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, an album consisting entirely of Christmas music. Weiland supported the album with a club tour of the United States.

The band stated they were interested in a 20th anniversary tour to celebrate the release of Core with Scott commenting on January 2, 2012, "Well, we're doing a lot of special things. [There's] a lot of archival footage that we're putting together, a coffee table book, hopefully a brand new album - so many ideas. A box set and then a tour, of course."[44] However, while the band did tour in 2012, they did not perform the album in its entirety as promised nor did they release a coffee table book, archival footage, or new album.

In January 2012, guitarist Dave Kushner announced Velvet Revolver would reunite with Weiland for the first time in four years for a one night, three song gig to raise money for the family of recently deceased musician John O'Brien. On what the future would hold for the band and Weiland, Kushner replied "We haven’t played together in four years, and so we’re really just like, 'Let’s see how this goes."[45]

In April 2012, Scott Weiland remarked that he would like to reunite permanently with Velvet Revolver, saying that "if Maynard James Keenan can do it with A Perfect Circle and Tool, then there’s no reason why I shouldn’t go and do it with both bands".[46] Further in May in an interview with ABC Radio Weiland said that he had reunited with the band permanently for a tour and an album,[47] which however was denied a few days later by Slash in an interview with 93x.[48]

In November 2012, Scott Weiland once again spoke of his desire to possibly reunite with his Velvet Revolver band mates, stating that he thought 2013 would be "The perfect time for Velvet Revolver to get back together". In the same interview, Weiland confessed that the band was "sorting through things" and that he wanted the band to "start writing for some big film opportunities".[49]

2012-present: Firing from STP and continued solo career[edit]

In a November 2012 interview with Rolling Stone, Weiland stated that he foresaw 2013 being a busy year for him and his solo band, now called The Wildabouts. Scott Weiland and The Wildabouts plan on possibly entering the studio for a new album and in addition to that, they plan to continue touring after Weiland's small tour at the end of 2012.[50]

Scott Weiland & The Wildabouts perform at The Howard Theater in Washington, DC on March 11th, 2013 as part of the Purple At The Core Tour. Photo by: Steve Castano Photography.

STP began to experience problems in 2012 that were said to have been caused by tensions between Weiland and the rest of the band. Despite the band's claims that their fall tour would be celebrating the 20th anniversary of Core,[51] this did not happen. This is likely because Weiland reportedly no longer has the vocal range to perform many of the album's songs, and could not perform them well in rehearsals. According to the same source, the band initially agreed they would stick to performing the album's hits, but Weiland was unhappy with the deal and insisted that he would perform the album on a solo tour, which his bandmates were unhappy about, as "he was basically taking money away from the band and essentially touring under the promotion of the STP brand."[52]

Later, on December 7, 2012, Slash told Minneapolis/St. Paul radio station 93X that Weiland had been fired from Stone Temple Pilots. However, it was later revealed that he was possibly not yet fired by the band at this point, but STP had made a threat if Weiland was to go ahead with his solo tour, performing their Core album.[52] On February 27, 2013, shortly before this solo tour was set to commence, Stone Temple Pilots announced on their website that "[..]they [had] officially terminated Scott Weiland" [53]

Weiland criticized the band after they hired Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington as his replacement, claiming he was still a member and they shouldn't be calling themselves Stone Temple Pilots without him.[54]

Weiland's solo tour "Purple At The Core" with his backing band, now branded as The Wildabouts, commenced in March 2013 with pop/rock band miggs as the opening act.[55] In June 2014, in an interview with San Diego radio station KBZT, Weiland revealed that his third solo album, titled Blaster, would be released in November 2014.[56]

Business ventures[edit]

In 2006, Weiland launched his own record label, Softdrive Records. Later, Weiland announced that his label signed the up-and-coming rock band, Something to Burn. On December 19, 2008 Weiland signed a publishing deal with Bug Music, allowing Weiland to "receive funding to pursue the development of creative projects and writers for Bug Music through his co-founded label, Softdrive Records." The deal includes Weiland's share of the Stone Temple Pilots catalog and future solo projects.[57]

On January 21, 2009 Weiland announced the launch of his clothing line, Weiland for English Laundry, in partnership with designer Christopher Wicks.[58][59]

It was announced in March 2009 that VH1 would begin airing new episodes of the popular documentary series Behind the Music, which originally ran from 1997 to 2006. Weiland, along with rapper Lil Wayne, both signed on for their own episodes.[60] However, for unknown reasons, Weiland's episode has since been indefinitely shelved.[61]

Musicianship[edit]

Scott Weiland's vocal and musical style has proved to be versatile, evolving constantly throughout his career. At the peak of Stone Temple Pilots' success in the early to mid-1990s, Weiland displayed a deep, baritone vocal style that was initially closely compared to that of Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder.[62] However, as STP continued to branch out throughout its career, so did Weiland's vocal style. The band's third album, Tiny Music... Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop, had Weiland singing in a much higher, raspier tone to complement the band's more 60's rock-influenced sound on that album. Later albums showcased Weiland's influences ranging from bossa nova on Shangri-La Dee Da to blues rock and classic rock on the band's 2010 self-titled album.

Weiland's first solo record, 1998's 12 Bar Blues, represented a huge shift in Weiland's style, as the album featured a sound "rooted in glam rock, filtered through psychedelia and trip-hop."[63] With Velvet Revolver, Weiland's vocals ranged from his classic baritone to a rawer style to complement the band's hard rock sound. A New York Post review of Velvet Revolver's 2007 album Libertad commented that "Weiland's vocals are crisp and controlled yet passionate."[30]

Weiland's second solo album, 2008's "Happy" in Galoshes, features a wide variety of musical genres, such as bossa nova, country, neo-psychedelia, and indie rock.[64] Weiland's most recent solo effort, the 2011 Christmas album The Most Wonderful Time of the Year consists entirely of Christmas music in a crooning style similar to that of David Bowie and Frank Sinatra, as well as some reggae and bossa nova.[65]

Personal life[edit]

Weiland married Janina Castaneda on September 17, 1994, but the couple divorced in 2000. He married model Mary Forsberg on May 20, 2000. In late 2001 Weiland was arrested on domestic violence charges in Las Vegas, apparently for shoving Mary. However, the charges were eventually deferred upon the couple agreeing to counseling. Soon after, Forsberg filed for divorce but the couple eventually reconciled. They have two children, Noah (born 2000) and Lucy (born 2002). Weiland and his son Noah were featured on comedian David Spade's The Showbiz Show with David Spade during a comedy sketch about discouraging music file sharing in 2005. Noah has a line during the sketch in which he asks a little girl, "Please buy my daddy's album so I can have food to eat".

In 2006 after an altercation at a hotel, Mary Forsberg went home and torched $100,000 worth of her husband’s clothing in their front yard. In late 2007, Weiland and Forsberg divorced. Weiland told Howard Stern in 2008 that his second marriage ended due in part to Forsberg's infidelity. Despite this, both Weiland and Forsberg have stated they remain friends. In a 2007 interview with Blender Magazine, Weiland mentioned that he is a practicing Catholic.[66]

Weiland has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, yet according to an interview with VH1.com, he is not under medication, consequently suffering from mood swings.[67]

Weiland is a Notre Dame football fan, as his stepfather is an alumnus. In September 2006, Weiland performed at the University of Notre Dame's Legends Restaurant on the night before a football game. He sang several of his solo songs, as well as "Interstate Love Song" and a cover of Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here." He is also a big fan of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Weiland's autobiography, Not Dead & Not for Sale, co-written with David Ritz, was released May 17, 2011.[68]

In a November 2012 interview with Rolling Stone, Weiland revealed that he was engaged to photographer Jamie Wachtel, whom he met while filming the music video for his version of "I'll Be Home for Christmas" in 2011.[69] Weiland and Wachtel married on June 22, 2013 at their Los Angeles home.[70]

Drug Use[edit]

In a 2005 interview with Esquire, Weiland stated that while performing in his first bands as a teenager, his drinking "escalated" and he began using cocaine for the first time, which he referred to as a "sexual" experience.[71]

In 1994, Weiland developed a heroin addiction during a STP tour with Butthole Surfers, claiming that his first experiences with heroin were with Butthole Surfers lead singer Gibby Haynes.

In 1995, Weiland was caught and convicted of buying crack cocaine. He was sentenced to one year's probation. Issues with drug use did not clear up after his sentence. As his drug problems increased, Weiland moved into a hotel room for two months next door to Courtney Love and claimed to have "shot drugs the whole time" with her.[72]

In 1998 Weiland was caught in Manhattan buying heroin, dressed like a pimp, ending his brief tour. A previous conviction in Los Angeles, coupled with numerous probation violations, earned Weiland jail time.

Weiland was arrested on his birthday on October 27, 2003, in Hollywood, California, after a traffic collision. He was charged with driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. His charges were eventually dismissed after he successfully completed rehab and subsequent drug tests.

In December 2007 Weiland was arrested and charged with DUI, his first arrest in over four years (since October 27, 2003). On February 7, 2008, Weiland checked into rehab[73] and left in early March.[74]

On April 28, 2008, Weiland was sentenced to 192 hours in county jail for his November 2007 DUI. He was also required to complete an 18-month alcohol program, as well as pay $2000 in fines, and was placed on probation for four years. Weiland entered a Los Angeles County jail on May 12, but was released later that same day.[75]

Weiland's younger brother Michael died of cardiomyopathy in early 2007. The Velvet Revolver songs "For a Brother" and "Pills, Demons, & Etc" from the album Libertad are about Michael. Weiland stated in an interview with MTV News in November 2008 that several songs on "Happy" in Galoshes were inspired by the death of his brother and his separation from Mary. In the same article, MTV News reported that Weiland has not done heroin since December 5, 2002. Weiland also admitted that he went through "a very short binge with coke" in late 2007.[76] Weiland stated in 2008 that he still drinks alcohol.[77]

Solo discography[edit]

Studio albums
Compilation albums

References[edit]

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