Two-and-a-half years after replacing Scott Weiland as the frontman of Stone Temple Pilots, Chester Bennington announced Monday that he was departing the band to focus on his other group, Linkin Park. Bennington and STP members Robert DeLeo, Dean DeLeo and Eric Kretz issued simultaneous statements insisting the split was amicable.
"The last few years have been an amazing experience," Bennington said. "I got to create and perform with one of the greatest rock bands of our generation, that had so much influence on me growing up. With the amount of time STP deserves, in addition to being in Linkin Park, and with the needs of my family, one of them always seems to fall short.
"Going into this, the four of us ... Robert, Eric, Dean and myself knew what we were up against. We decided in due fairness to friends, fans and the legacy of STP that it needs more than time was allowing me," the singer added. "And in all fairness to my bandmates in Linkin Park, as well as to myself and to my family, I'm going to focus solely on Linkin Park so I can contribute 100 percent. It's been an amazing experience and a dream come true, and I look forward to the future of both STP and Linkin Park."
In a separate statement, the three remaining Stone Temple Pilots members noted that "scheduling and time was working against us," but remained optimistic that STP will continue making music in some form.
"What an amazing and beautiful few years we've all had together," the group wrote. "It was our honor to play and see all of you recently on tour. We have thoroughly enjoyed our time together with Chester not only professionally, but even more so on a personal level. Sadly, it was evident that scheduling and time was working against us.
"Within this, there is a new beginning. There is an abundance of new music written, some of which is already recorded. We have had the fortune of playing with some very talented singers over the last few months and will continue to do so until each of us feels and knows when the right person arrives."
Stone Temple Pilots will still perform with Joss Stone Monday night as part of Jimmy Kimmel's Mashup Mondays. The split appears to be immediate, however, as Bennington will not join the band as part of the performance.
Rumors of Bennington's departure intensified on Saturday when Weiland told Alternative Nation that Bennington was "not in the band anymore." "[Chester's] got a band where he gets paid $700,000 a night with, and with STP, the brand is kind of falling apart, which is a shame," Weiland added.
Bennington joined the group in 2013 shortly after Weiland's departure. The group released an EP, High Rise, the same year and performed live numerous times, most recently at Sacramento, CA's Aftershock festival last month. Linkin Park released their last album, The Hunting Party, in June 2014.