Can STP Break Out With Weiland Behind Bars?

Can STP Break Out With Weiland Behind Bars?

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With the reunited Stone Temple Pilots album, No. 4, due in stores on Oct. 26, news that lead singer Scott Weiland has been sentenced to jail for violating his probation would seem to torpedo the rock band's long-awaited comeback.| But industry insiders say that may not be the case, and that even with Weiland behind bars and the band unable to tour, No. 4's chances for success remain relatively bright. Besides, they say, the last thing Weiland needs now as he battles his heroin addiction is to be out on tour roaming from city to city.

Guarded optimism for the band's success stems from the fact that weeks before its official release to rock radio, STP's new single, "Down," is already being embraced by influential stations. Plus, a "Down" video, using live band footage filmed last month, will soon be on its way to MTV.

And while STP's reign during the early Nineties grunge era might seem like eons ago, a look at the charts proves hard rock, lead by Kid Rock, Limp Bizkit and Blink 182, is once again hot.

"It's a good time for them," says Joe Kvidera, general manager of a Chicago Tower Records store. "I can't imagine the jail time will make any difference at all. The curiosity is if they'll be good this time out."

The last three years have been chaotic ones for the multi-platinum San Diego-based band. Soon after Tiny Music...Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop was released in early '96, Weiland skipped out on a court-ordered rehab center. Later that year, STP had to cancel tour stops when Weiland relapsed. Last year, touring in support of 12 Bar Blues, Weiland was arrested in New York City for buying $100 worth of heroin. This past Friday, the thirty-one-year-old singer was sentenced to twelve months in jail after violating his probation for the third time this year.

As for the mandated jail time, one source suggests that in the best-case scenario eleven months from now Weiland walks out of prison, "clean and with a hit album."