Though there's certainly no love, or legalities, lost between Scott Weiland and the other founding members of Stone Temple Pilots, the singer bears no ill will towards his replacement, Linkin Park's Chester Bennington.
"I've known Chester for a long time. I got to be pretty close with him on the (2001) Family Values Tour," Weiland tells Billboard. "I don't think Chester did it in a spiteful way. The brothers DeLeo can be pretty persuasive...I guess nothing is totally shocking, but...I don't think it was smart for them to do that. I'm surprised they did what they did without checking the legality of it, how they just decided to go and use the (STP) name and go and hire another singer and start playing shows with a name that I still am an owner of."
STP announced it had fired Weiland, who's been touring with his own band, the Wildabouts, on Feb. 27, and the two parties have filed lawsuits against each other. Bennington began performing with STP in May, releasing a new single, "Out of Time." The group plans to release an EP this fall, with a tour starting Sept. 4.
Weiland, meanwhile, hasn't wasted any time getting his solo career back in order; he and the Wildabouts are playing throughout August -- including the Sunset Strip Music Festival in West Hollywood and the Sturgis Rally in South Dakota -- and are 12 songs into a new album Weiland hopes to finish before the end of the year.
"We're doing it much more like a band type of an album instead of an art project, which (his previous solo albums) '12 Bar Blues' and 'Happy in Galoshes' were," explains Weiland, who says he'd like to get another eight songs ready for the project. "It's much more of an overall collaborative effort and much more rock 'n' roll. I've always loved doing this stuff, but it was always put off because there was either an STP record that came up or a tour or a Velvet Revolver record that came up or a tour, so my solo stuff always ended up taking a back seat. Now I'm really able to focus on that and really work on branding it, and it's finally starting to pay dividends -- not just financially but really have its own identity."
Weiland -- who married for a second time, to photographer Jamie Wachtel, in June -- says he's also "looking at the idea of bringing a producer on board" for the album. "I have some meetings with some producers, just so the onus isn't on me to really do everything. It's just sometimes good to have somebody else so I don't have to wear all the hats and someone who can say, 'Y'know, this is actually the best idea' or 'Why don't we stick with this one and continue on' or 'This sounds like a really good pre-chorus but we may need a better chorus' and things like that. We've got some pretty good names that we're looking at, so we'll see what happens."