Los Angeles – What began as a 20th anniversary tour for rock band Stone Temple Pilots ended in California court after the band fired its lead singer, Scott Weiland, and sued him for trademark infringement, among other claims.
The lawsuit, brought in California Superior Court for Los Angeles County, alleges that Weiland breached his contract with STP, his fiduciary duty, and misused trademarks held by the Stone Temple Pilots band partnership.
According to the band, Weiland would consistently show up one to two hours late for live performances during their 2012 tour and refused to commit to a new tour schedule. The last straw, says band members, came in February when they realized that Weiland was planning his own solo tour with the same concept as their tour commemorating the 20th anniversary of their debut album, “Core”.
The Stone Temple Pilots band mates pointed to a clause in their partnership agreement to fire Weiland, expelling him from the band. Since his firing, Weiland has begun touring as Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts, titling the tour “Purple at the Core,” which references the two best-selling Stone Temple Pilots albums. He has also referred to himself as a former member of Stone Temple Pilots, which the band claims he is not entitled to do under the terms of their partnership agreement.
In response to the lawsuit, Weiland filed a countersuit of his own, seeking $5 million in compensatory damages. Weiland has argued the partnership agreement requires the remaining members of STP to perform under another name should he leave the band. He is seeking $2 million in damages for each time the band uses the Stone Temple Pilots name in concert or on advertisements. Weiland argues that he is, in fact, the rightful owner of the STP trademarks and that his former band mates are the infringers.
STP has since hired Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington to sing lead vocals for live performances and to collaborate on new recordings. The band argues that Weiland’s claims of trademark infringement against them have interfered with a national promotional campaign for its new single, “Out of Time.” STP intends to record its seventh album with Bennington at the helm, its first without Weiland.