Atlantic Records sues Stone Temple Pilots members

Weiland and drummer Kretz face legal woes
Weiland and drummer Kretz face legal woes

The newly reformed Stone Temple Pilots are already facing legal trouble. According to Reuters, Atlantic Records is suing two of its members, accusing them of trying to prematurely end their recording contract with the Warner Music Group label.

The suit, filed on June 12 in US District Court in Manhattan, claims lead singer Scott Weiland and drummer Eric Kretz have threatened to stop performing under their contract and have indicated they would like to end the agreement unless Atlantic makes significant changes. Atlantic said in the suit that while Stone Temple Pilots have already delivered six albums, it wants the group to record a seventh album and deliver up to two more if Atlantic decides it wants them.

Stone Temple Pilots reunited last month for their first tour in eight years. The group, whose spectacular success in the 1990s was often threatened by Weiland's drug problems, had broken up after a 2002 tour. In late 2003, the other two members of the band, guitarist Dean DeLeo and bassist Robert DeLeo, were released by Atlantic from their recording contract.

Atlantic said in the lawsuit that the group - Weiland, Kretz and the DeLeo brothers - was now touring successfully and had indicated they planned to record together again. The label said its contract with Stone Temple Pilots was written under New York laws and that the musicians are trying to use California laws to terminate it.

In a statement released this morning, the band said, "Stone Temple Pilots were deeply disappointed to see that Atlantic filed a surprise lawsuit against two members of the legendary band STP when they were in the middle of what were believed to be cordial and positive discussions about STP returning to the studio to make a new album after five years. Despite the allegations in the complaint, the band never threatened anything more than remaining away from the studio until equitable terms could be arranged. The precipitous filing of this action is yet another example of the difficulties facing artists in the new music environment, as relationships between artists and their labels fall further and further apart.

Eric and Scott have not yet been served and hope that Atlantic will allow cooler heads to prevail, and have the courtesy of shelving this action to permit negotiations to continue in a positive spirit rather than under a dark cloud of hostility. Should everyone operate in good faith, STP are certain that a new album from the band will be available soon. Should Atlantic instead pursue this scorched earth policy towards the band, the ultimate victims will be STP's fans, who will never be able to enjoy a new album from the group."

Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar WorldGuitar PlayerMusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.