From venomous public feuds with his former hard-rock supergroup Velvet Revolver to a long history of drug abuse and run-ins with the law, Scott Weiland-the slinky, gruff-voiced frontman who became a grunge-era heartthrob as the leader of '90s giants Stone Temple Pilots-rarely has been one to hold his tongue. During an interview with Billboard in November 2008-when STP was six months into its highly anticipated reunion tour, the band's first set of shows in about six years-Weiland candidly expressed his disinterest in continuing to work with the group's longtime label, Atlantic Records. When asked if the comeback tour would lead to a new STP studio album with his bandmates Dean and Robert DeLeo (guitar and bass, respectively) and drummer Eric Kretz, Weiland seemed open to the idea-but not if it meant releasing the set on the Warner Music Group label, which signed the band in 1991.
"It was sad to find out that we're still in some way locked into a contract with Atlantic Records, which is a travesty, actually. When we signed to them it was a great label. It was a beautiful time in music," Weiland said. "When we first talked about putting STP back together, it was, 'Do this tour and then see about doing a creative deal with another company.' So if it ends up being we have to make a certain amount of records for Atlantic in order to be free, then I don't know if I have that in me."
While the road to reconciliation wasn't easy, Weiland seems to have come to terms with the label in the past two years. The band's new self-titled album-its sixth studio release overall and first since "Shangri-La Dee Da" in 2001-will be released May 25 on Atlantic. While Weiland may have had grandiose visions on how to innovatively release a new STP album without label interference, his bandmates had to remind him of an important fact: They were still under contract with Atlantic.
"Yeah, that sounds fine and dandy, but I had to tap him on the shoulder and say, 'By the way, we're contractually obligated to two more albums,' " Dean DeLeo says. "I would've loved to have done that too, but I knew what was at hand on a legal front."