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Q&A: Scott Weiland on the State of Stone Temple Pilots, Velvet Revolver and His Solo Tour

'I'd love to return to Velvet Revolver, but it's not something that I can control

February 28, 2013 1:25 PM ET
Scott Weiland
Scott Weiland in Sacramento, California
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

It's been a pretty crazy week for Scott Weiland. For the past few days, he's been rehearsing with his solo band the Wildabouts for their upcoming Purple at the Core tour, which will focus almost entirely on material from the first two Stone Temple Pilots albums. It kicks off March 1st in Flint, Michigan and runs through the entire month. Weiland called Rolling Stone on Tuesday afternoon to chat, and we asked him about Slash's statement that STP had fired him. He emphatically denied it. Sixteen hours later, the band put out a single-sentence press release: "Stone Temple Pilots have announced they have officially terminated Scott Weiland."

Weiland's camp says they were stunned by the announcement, and later that day Weiland put out his own statement explaining that he learned the news from the press. "Not sure how I can be 'terminated' from a band that I founded fronted and co-wrote many of their biggest hits," he said. "But that's something for the lawyers to figure out." 

In this Q&A from Tuesday, Weiland addresses the state of STP, his desire to reunite with Velvet Revolver and the plans for his solo tour. 

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Tell me how this tour came together.
I've been touring with my solo band for a little while and we have a really tight chemistry, and a tight friendship. It became important for me to give them a name, so we went with Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts. It just feels right. We're working on a rock & roll record. Over the last month we've recorded close to 30 songs. It's really lean and raw, sort of like garage rock.

I though it would be cool to launch a record like that by going out and doing the early Stone Temple Pilots songs. STP were originally supposed to go out and play Core this year. I was really excited and I talked to the press about it, but the rest of the band didn't want to do it. So I went and talked to agents and my entertainment lawyer and the managers, and we decided to do a selection of songs from Purple and Core, as well as a couple space jams and maybe some covers that will change from night to night. All of a sudden there was a big groundswell of interest that just took on a life of its own. 

How much of the show will be devoted to Core and Purple?
Easily 90 to 95 percent of it.

Are you playing the albums straight through?
No. It would be impossible. We were into the real long show thing and we had a feeling it might happen, but people just don't have the same attention spans. Core was 59 complete minutes, and Purple was like 46 minutes-plus. Then you add in a couple of space jams, and a couple of covers here or there, and a couple of our own songs for an encore, and we're easily at an hour and a half, which is pretty perfect for us right now. 

I see about 17 shows on the schedule. Are you planning on doing more after that?
Yeah, we're going to be taking a break and then coming back. I haven't seen the full routing sheet yet, but I think it will late April and then through May.

What's it like to play these STP songs with different musicians? I'd imagine it's a very different sort of energy.
Yeah, but it's a lot of fun, because we do different arrangements of the songs. There's certain songs, like "Vaseline," that are very, very similar, and then there are other songs that are changed a lot.

Which ones?
There are a lot of them. The band has been working on arrangements with the notes that I've given them over the last day and a half. I start with rehearsing with them today. Then we'll rehearse again before the first gig. I already have ideas about how I want to change things around – kind of like what we did with "Do It for the Kids" on Contraband with Velvet Revolver. We made it a Cramps-meets-Doors kind of thing. There are certain songs we can do that with. I want to do the original version of "Crackerman." Before Brendan [O'Brien]'s input it was inspired by "Jesus Built My Hotrod" by Ministry. That was the vibe I was going for. 

I've seen lots of rumors about Stone Temple Pilots on the Internet. What's the status of the band? Are you guys still together?
That's the thing. I really have paid no attention to social media. It's never been something that I've done. There are people that put up tour dates and basically say what's going on, but I need to get more involved, because I hear about rumors that are absolutely ridiculous. STP has not broken up. I haven't quit. I haven't been fired. We're talking about when we want to tour next. 

My personal feeling is that we just need some new blood in the band. It'll give it new energy, so that we're not just playing the same greatest hits set we've been playing ever since we got back together after I left Velvet Revolver. I'd like to make a new record so it breathes new life into it. Right now, I'm focused on building my solo career with this group of guys. That's what feels right. 

As far as Velvet Revolver goes, I'd love it if it happened. But it's not something I can count on, and it's not something that I can control. If it happens, it'll happen. It would be a great thing. I know the fans would love to see it, but I respect that Slash has a solo career and he wants it to succeed the same way that I would like my solo career to succeed. Having said that, whether things work out in a timely fashion, and if it's quarterbacked right by the team and we all work together . . . it's all very sensitive right now, but I'd like to do it. It would be fun. 

I've always been good at juggling my musical adventures between different bands – the Magnificent Bastards, solo projects, STP, Velvet Revolver, as well as doing things with different artists, like Cyndi Lauper and a lot of other people. I think you need to do that stuff as an artist. That's the way things were done in the Sixties and the Seventies, even to the Nineties. People like collaborations. Maynard [Keenan] is a really good example of how things can be done right. That's what I would like to do. I'm not going to force anything to happen. I want it to sort of happen organically.

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