Weiland performing in June 2010
|Scott Richard Kline|
October 27, 1967|
San Jose, California, U.S.
|Died||December 3, 2015
Bloomington, Minnesota, U.S.
Scott Richard Weiland (; né Kline, October 27, 1967 - December 3, 2015) was an American musician, singer and songwriter. During a career spanning three decades, Weiland was best known as the lead singer of the band Stone Temple Pilots from 1989 to 2002 and 2008 to 2013. He was also a member of supergroup Velvet Revolver from 2003 to 2008 and recorded one album with another supergroup, Art of Anarchy. He also established himself as a solo artist, releasing three studio albums, two cover albums, and collaborations with several other musicians throughout his career.
Though derided by critics early in his career, Weiland's onstage persona was known as being flamboyant and chaotic; he was also known for constantly changing his appearance and vocal style, his use of a megaphone in concert for vocal effect, as well as his battles with substance abuse. Now widely viewed as a talented and versatile vocalist, Weiland has been ranked in the Top 100 Heavy Metal Vocalists by Hit Parader (No. 57).
In 2012, Weiland formed Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts, receiving mixed reviews: some critics and fans noted Weiland's failing health. In December 2015, Weiland died of an accidental drug overdose on his tour bus in Minnesota at the age of 48. Upon his death, many critics and peers offered reevaluations of Weiland's life and career, including David Fricke of Rolling Stone and Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins, the latter calling Weiland one of three "voices of the generation" alongside Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley.
Weiland was born at Kaiser Hospital in San Jose, California, the son of Sharon née Williams and Kent Kline. From his father's side, he was of German descent. At age five his stepfather David Weiland legally adopted him and Scott took his surname. Around that time, Weiland moved to Bainbridge Township, Ohio, where he later attended Kenston High School. He moved back to California as a teenager and attended Edison High School in Huntington Beach and Orange Coast College. Before devoting himself to music full-time, he worked as a paste up artist for the Los Angeles Daily Journal legal newspaper.
In 1986 Weiland met bassist Robert DeLeo at a Black Flag concert in Long Beach, California. The two of them were discussing their love interests, when they realized one of them was the same girl they were both dating. They developed a bond over the incident, and ended up moving into her vacated apartment. Weiland's childhood friends Corey Hicock and David Allin rounded out the group, both of whom would soon be replaced by Eric Kretz and DeLeo's brother Dean. They took the name Stone Temple Pilots because of their fondness for the initials "STP." In one of the band's first opening performances as Mighty Joe Young, they opened for Electric Love Hogs, whose guitarist Dave Kushner would one day co-found Weiland's later band Velvet Revolver. In 1992, they released their first album, Core, spawning four hits ("Sex Type Thing", "Wicked Garden", "Creep", and "Plush").
In 1994, STP released their second record, Purple, which saw the development of a more distinctive identity for the band. Like Core, Purple was a big success for the band, spawning three hit singles ("Big Empty", "Vasoline" and "Interstate Love Song") and selling more than six million copies. The critical response to Purple was more favorable, with Spin magazine calling it a "quantum leap" from the band's previous album.
In 1995, Weiland formed the alternative rock band The Magnificent Bastards with session drummer Victor Indrizzo in San Diego. The band included Zander Schloss and Jeff Nolan on guitars and Bob Thompson on bass. Only two songs were recorded by The Magnificent Bastards, "Mockingbird Girl," composed by Nolan, Schloss, and Weiland, appeared in the film Tank Girl and on its soundtrack, and a cover of John Lennon's "How Do You Sleep?" was recorded for the tribute album, Working Class Hero: A Tribute to John Lennon. Weiland rejoined Stone Temple Pilots in the fall of 1995, but STP was forced to cancel most of their 1996-1997 tour in support of their third release, Tiny Music... Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop, which sold about two million albums. Weiland encountered problems with drug addiction at this time as well, which inspired some of his songs in the late-1990s, and resulted in prison time.
In 1999, STP regrouped once again and released No. 4. The album contained the hit single "Sour Girl" which featured a surreal music video with Sarah Michelle Gellar. That same year, Weiland also recorded two songs with the short-lived supergroup The Wondergirls. During this time period Weiland spent five months in jail for drug possession.
In November 2000, Weiland was invited to perform on the show VH1 Storytellers with the surviving members of The Doors. Weiland did vocals on two Doors songs, "Break On Through (To the Other Side)" and "Five to One". That same month Stone Temple Pilots appeared on The Doors tribute CD, Stoned Immaculate with their own rendition of "Break on Through" as the lead track. On June 19, 2001, STP released its fifth album, Shangri-La Dee Da. That same year the band headlined the Family Values Tour along with Linkin Park, Staind and Static-X. In late 2002, the band broke up with the DeLeo brothers and Weiland having had significant altercations back stage.
In 2008, Stone Temple Pilots announced a 73-date U.S. tour on April 7 and performed together for the first time since 2002. The reunion tour kicked off at the Rock on the Range festival on May 17, 2008. According to Dean DeLeo, steps toward a Stone Temple Pilots reunion started with a simple phone call from Weiland's wife. She invited the DeLeo brothers to play at a private beach party, which led to the reconciliation of Weiland and the DeLeo brothers. However, Weiland said in a 2010 radio interview to promote the band's self-titled release that the reunion was the result of Dean calling him and asking if he'd be interested in reuniting the band to headline the Coachella Festival.
STP's reunion tour was a success, and the band continued to tour throughout 2009 and began recording its sixth studio album. STP's first album since 2001, Stone Temple Pilots, was released on May 25, 2010.
In September 2010, STP announced it was rescheduling several United States tour dates so that the band could take a "short break." STP toured Southeast Asia for the first time in 2011, playing in Philippines (Manila), Singapore and Indonesia (Jakarta). Following this, the band played successful shows in Australia, including sell out performances in Sydney and Melbourne.
The band said they were interested in a 20th anniversary tour to celebrate the release of Core with Scott commenting on January 2, 2012, "Well, we're doing a lot of special things. [There's] a lot of archival footage that we're putting together, a coffee table book, hopefully a brand new album - so many ideas. A box set and then a tour, of course." However, while the band did tour in 2012, they did not perform the album in its entirety as promised nor did they release a coffee table book, archival footage, or new album.
STP began to experience problems in 2012 that were said to have been caused by tensions between Weiland and the rest of the band. Despite the band's claims that their fall tour would be celebrating the 20th anniversary of Core, this did not happen. On February 27, 2013, shortly before this solo tour was set to commence, Stone Temple Pilots announced on their website that "[...]they [had] officially terminated Scott Weiland".
Weiland criticized the band after they hired Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington as his replacement, claiming he was still a member and they shouldn't be calling themselves Stone Temple Pilots without him.
In 2002, former Guns N' Roses members - guitarist Slash, bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Matt Sorum - as well as former Wasted Youth guitarist Dave Kushner were looking for a singer to help form a new band. Throughout his career Weiland had become acquainted with the four musicians; he became friends with McKagan after attending the same gym, was in rehab at the same time as Sorum and once played on the same bill as Kushner. Weiland was sent two discs of material to work with, but felt that the first disc "sounded like Bad Company gone wrong." When he was sent the second disc, Weiland was more positive, comparing it to Core-era Stone Temple Pilots, though he turned them down because Stone Temple Pilots had not yet separated.
When Stone Temple Pilots disbanded in 2003, the band sent Weiland new music, which he took into his studio and added vocals. This music eventually became the song "Set Me Free." Although he delivered the music to the band himself, Weiland was still unsure whether or not he wanted to join them, despite performing at an industry showcase at Mates. They recorded two songs with producer Nick Raskulinecz, a recorded version of "Set Me Free" and a cover of Pink Floyd's "Money," for the soundtracks to the movies The Hulk and The Italian Job, respectively. Weiland joined the band soon after, and "Set Me Free" managed to peak at number 17 on the Mainstream Rock chart without any radio promotion or a record label. It was prior to a screening of The Hulk at Universal Studios that the band chose a name. After seeing a movie by Revolution Studios, Slash liked the beginning of the word, eventually thinking of Revolver because of its multiple meanings; the name of a gun, subtext of a revolving door which suited the band as well as the name of a Beatles album. When he suggested Revolver to the band, Weiland suggested 'Black Velvet' Revolver, liking the idea of "something intimate like velvet juxtaposed with something deadly like a gun." They eventually arrived at Velvet Revolver, announcing it at a press conference and performance showcase at the El Rey Theatre while also performing the songs "Set Me Free" and "Slither" as well as covers of Nirvana's "Negative Creep", Sex Pistols' "Pretty Vacant" and Guns N' Roses' "It's So Easy".
Velvet Revolver's debut album Contraband was released in June 2004 to much success. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and has sold over three million copies worldwide to date. Two of the album's songs, "Slither" and "Fall to Pieces", reached number one on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. The song "Slither" also won a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance with Vocal in 2005, an award Weiland had won previously with STP for the song "Plush" in 1994. At the 2005 Grammy Awards, Weiland (along with the rest of Velvet Revolver) performed the Beatles song "Across the Universe" along with Bono, Brian Wilson, Norah Jones, Stevie Wonder, Steven Tyler, Billie Joe Armstrong, Alison Krauss and Alicia Keys. On 2 July 2005, Weiland and Velvet Revolver performed at Live 8 in London, United Kingdom; in which Weiland was condemned for using strong language before the UK watershed during the performance.
Velvet Revolver released their second album, Libertad, on July 3, 2007, peaking at number five on the Billboard 200. The album's first single "She Builds Quick Machines" peaked at 74 on the Hot Canadian Digital Singles. The second and third singles, "The Last Fight" and "Get Out the Door", both peaked at number 16 and 34 on the Mainstream Rock Chart, respectively. Critical reception to the album was mixed. Though some critics praised the album and felt that Libertad gave the band an identity of their own, outside of the Guns N' Roses and Stone Temple Pilots comparisons, others described the album as "bland" and noted that the band seem to be "play[ing] to their strengths instead of finding a collective sound."
In 2007, Stone Temple Pilots guitarist Dean DeLeo discussed with Weiland an offer from a concert promoter to headline several summer festivals. Weiland accepted and said he had cleared the brief tour with his Velvet Revolver bandmates. He explained, "everything was cool. Then it wasn't", and said the rest of the band stopped talking to him.On March 20, 2008 Weiland revealed at Velvet Revolver's show in Glasgow that this would be the band's final tour. After several flares on their personal blogs and in interviews, on April 1 it was announced by a number of media outlets that Weiland would no longer be in Velvet Revolver. Stone Temple Pilots subsequently reunited for a tour and Velvet Revolver began auditioning singers.
In January 2012, guitarist Dave Kushner announced Velvet Revolver would reunite with Weiland for the first time in four years for a one night, three song gig to raise money for the family of recently deceased musician John O'Brien. On what the future would hold for the band and Weiland, Kushner replied "We haven't played together in four years, and so we're really just like, 'Let's see how this goes."
In April 2012, Weiland remarked that he would like to reunite permanently with Velvet Revolver, saying that "if Maynard James Keenan can do it with A Perfect Circle and Tool, then there's no reason why I shouldn't go and do it with both bands". Further in May in an interview with ABC Radio Weiland said that he had reunited with the band permanently for a tour and an album, which however was denied a few days later by Slash in an interview with 93x.
The project started in 2011, with Bumblefoot recording parts for the debut album in between touring with Guns N' Roses. Weiland wrote and recorded the vocals after sharing the song files back and forth with Bumblefoot from 2012 to 2013. Weiland also took part in promotional photo shoots and music videos in October 2014.
Their debut album, which is self-titled, was tentatively scheduled for Spring 2015 and was released in June. On January 21, 2015 they released a 2:06 teaser of the new album. Bumblefoot is the producer and engineer on the album. The first single to be released from the album was "'Til The Dust Is Gone". The album contains 11 tracks. However, Weiland distanced himself from the project, stating "It was a project I did where I was just supposed to have written the lyrics and melodies, and I was paid to do it. I did some production work on it, and the next thing I knew there were press releases that I was in the band. (...) I'm not in the band." Weiland later added "It's just something I kinda got into when I wasn't doing anything else.... I sang over these stereo tracks and then sent it back. But it's not something I'm a part of." After his death, Weiland was replaced in the band by former Creed vocalist Scott Stapp.
While STP went on hiatus after the release of Tiny Music..., Weiland released a solo album in 1998 called 12 Bar Blues. Weiland wrote most of the songs on the album, and collaborated with several artists, notably Daniel Lanois, Sheryl Crow, Brad Mehldau and Jeff Nolan.
On November 25, 2008, Weiland released his second solo album, "Happy" in Galoshes, produced by Weiland and songwriting-producing partner Doug Grean. Weiland went on tour in early 2009 to promote the album.
On August 30, 2011, Weiland released a covers album, A Compilation of Scott Weiland Cover Songs, exclusively through his website. The album was originally to be released along with Scott's autobiography until he decided to release it separately, stating, "[it] actually turned out so well that we're going to release a single and put it out on its own, 'cause I think it's...it's sort of my Pin Ups, I guess you'd say."
On October 4, 2011, Weiland released The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, an album consisting entirely of Christmas music. Weiland supported the album with a club tour in the United States. Two promotional recordings were taken from the album, a cover versions of "Winter Wonderland" and "I'll Be Home for Christmas" with their respective music videos.
In a November 2012 interview with Rolling Stone, Weiland said he foresaw 2013 being a busy year for him and his band, The Wildabouts. Scott Weiland and The Wildabouts planned to record a new album and to go on tour.
In June 2014, in an interview with San Diego radio station KBZT, Weiland stated that his debut album with The Wildabouts, titled Blaster, would be released in November 2014. However, it was pushed back and eventually released on March 31, 2015. Guitarist Jeremy Brown died one day before the album's release. The cause of death was determined to be multiple drug intoxication, with coronary atherosclerosis and cardiomegaly being significant contributing factors. Nick Maybury replaced Brown in April 2015.
In 2006, Weiland launched his own record label, Softdrive Records. Later, Weiland announced that his label signed the up-and-coming rock band, Something to Burn. On December 19, 2008 Weiland signed a publishing deal with Bug Music, allowing Weiland to "receive funding to pursue the development of creative projects and writers for Bug Music through his co-founded label, Softdrive Records." The deal includes Weiland's share of the Stone Temple Pilots catalog and future solo projects. On January 21, 2009 Weiland announced the launch of his clothing line, Weiland for English Laundry, in partnership with designer Christopher Wicks.
Weiland's vocal and musical style proved to be versatile, evolving constantly throughout his career. At the peak of Stone Temple Pilots' success in the early to mid-1990s, Weiland displayed a deep, baritone vocal style that was initially closely compared to that of Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder. However, as STP continued to branch out throughout its career, so did Weiland's vocal style. The band's third album, Tiny Music... Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop, had Weiland singing in a much higher, raspier tone to complement the band's more 60's rock-influenced sound on that album. Later albums showcased Weiland's influences ranging from bossa nova on Shangri-La Dee Da to blues rock and classic rock on the band's 2010 self-titled album.
Weiland's first solo record, 1998's 12 Bar Blues, represented a huge shift in Weiland's style, as the album featured a sound "rooted in glam rock, filtered through psychedelia and trip-hop." With Velvet Revolver, Weiland's vocals ranged from his classic baritone to a rawer style to complement the band's hard rock sound. A New York Post review of Velvet Revolver's 2007 album Libertad commented that "Weiland's vocals are crisp and controlled yet passionate."
Weiland's second solo album, 2008's "Happy" in Galoshes, featured a wide variety of musical genres, such as bossa nova, country, neo-psychedelia and indie rock. Weiland's 2011 solo effort, the Christmas album The Most Wonderful Time of the Year consisted entirely of Christmas music in a crooning style similar to that of David Bowie and Frank Sinatra, as well as some reggae and bossa nova.
Weiland married Janina Castaneda on September 17, 1994; the couple divorced in 2000. He married model Mary Forsberg on May 20, 2000. They had two children, Noah (born 2000) and Lucy (born 2002). Weiland and Forsberg divorced in 2007.
In 2005, Weiland and his son Noah were featured on comedian David Spade's The Showbiz Show with David Spade during a comedy sketch about discouraging music file sharing. Noah has a line during the sketch in which he asks a little girl, "Please buy my daddy's album so I can have food to eat."
Weiland was a Notre Dame Fighting Irish football fan, as his stepfather is an alumnus. In September 2006, Weiland performed at the University of Notre Dame's Legends Restaurant on the night before a football game. He sang several of his solo songs as well as "Interstate Love Song" and a cover of Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here". In a 2007 interview with Blender magazine, Weiland mentioned that he was raised a Catholic.
Mary Forsberg Weiland's autobiography Fall to Pieces was co-written with Larkin Warren and released in 2009. Scott Weiland's autobiography, Not Dead & Not for Sale, co-written with David Ritz, was released May 17, 2011.
In a November 2012 interview with Rolling Stone, Weiland revealed that he was engaged to photographer Jamie Wachtel whom he met during the 2011 filming of his music video for the song, "I'll Be Home for Christmas". Weiland and Wachtel married on June 22, 2013, at their Los Angeles home.
In 1995, Weiland was convicted of buying crack cocaine. He was sentenced to one year of probation. His drug use did not end after his sentence, but increased, and he moved into a hotel room for two months, next door to Courtney Love, where she said he "shot drugs the whole time" with her.
In a 2005 interview with Esquire, Weiland said that while performing in his first bands as a teenager, his drinking "escalated" and he began using cocaine for the first time, which he referred to as a "sexual" experience. In December 2007, Weiland was arrested and charged with DUI, his first arrest in over four years (since October 27, 2003). On February 7, 2008, Weiland checked into rehab and left in early March.
Weiland's younger brother Michael died of cardiomyopathy in early 2007. The Velvet Revolver songs "For a Brother" and "Pills, Demons, & Etc" from the album Libertad are about Michael. Weiland said in an interview with MTV News in November 2008 that several songs on "Happy" in Galoshes were inspired by the death of his brother and his separation from Mary Forsberg. In the same article, MTV News reported that Weiland had not done heroin since December 5, 2002. Weiland also admitted that he went through "a very short binge with coke" in late 2007.
In April 2015, footage from a show appeared online leaving fans to question the health of Weiland, who appeared in the video to be zoned out and giving a bizarre performance. A representative for Weiland responded stating that lack of sleep, several drinks and a faulty earpiece were to blame, not drugs. In June 2015, Weiland claimed that he had been off drugs for 13 years. His response was directed towards comments made by Filter's Richard Patrick, who claimed Weiland was using drugs and even his fans were pushing him closer to death saying "the fans are just sticking up for Scott, and they have no idea of what is going on behind the scenes and it's actually they're pushing him into his death, because they're making him believe that whatever I did is acceptable, and I can be as high as I want and I can do as much drugs as I want."
Weiland's tour manager for The Wildabouts, Aaron Mohler, disclosed after Scott's death "A lot of times I've seen Scott do coke so he could drink more."
Shortly after his death, Jamie Weiland, Scott's third wife, acknowledged that her husband was drinking heavily before he left on his band's last tour, but that he promised her that he would "get it together". She accompanied him on the tour for a week in November and said that Scott was "just killing it" onstage, "every night taking it up a notch."
It has also been revealed that he had hepatitis C, possibly acquired from intravenous drug use.
Weiland was found dead on his tour bus on December 3, 2015, in Bloomington, Minnesota, while on tour with Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts. The band's scheduled gig that evening in nearby Medina, Minnesota, had been canceled several days earlier, but they were still planning to play the next night in Rochester, Minnesota. He was 48. Police searched Weiland's tour bus and confirmed there were small amounts of cocaine in the bedroom where Weiland was discovered dead. Police also found prescription drugs, including Xanax, Buprenorphine, Ziprasidone, Viagra, and sleeping pills on the tour bus. Additionally, two bags of cocaine were found and a bag of a green leafy substance. Tommy Black, bassist for the Wildabouts, was arrested by police on suspicion of possession of cocaine, although the charges against him were later dropped. Despite the discovery of drugs, no underlying cause of death was immediately given, although the medical examiner later determined it to be an accidental overdose of cocaine, ethanol, and methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA); the examiner's office also noted his atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, history of asthma, and prolonged substance abuse in its report.
News of Weiland's death quickly spread throughout the Internet, with many of his fellow musical peers, including his former band members along with fans and music critics throughout the world, sharing their condolences, tributes, and memories. A day following his death, his former bandmates in Stone Temple Pilots issued a statement saying that he was "gifted beyond words" but acknowledged his struggle with substance abuse, calling it "part of [his] curse". Weiland's ex-wife, Mary Forsberg, released an open letter about her ex-husband, his addictions, and not being a good father to their children. Forsberg said, "I won't say he can rest now, or that he's in a better place. He belongs with his children barbecuing in the backyard and waiting for a Notre Dame game to come on. We are angry and sad about this loss, but we are most devastated that he chose to give up. Let's choose to make this the first time we don't glorify this tragedy with talk of rock and roll and the demons that, by the way, don't have to come with it."
A small funeral for Weiland was held at Hollywood Forever Cemetery on December 11, 2015, in Los Angeles. Members of both Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver attended. Chris Kushner, the wife of Velvet Revolver guitarist Dave Kushner, wrote on her Instagram page following the funeral, "A very sad day when (you) bury a friend. He was a good man. Don't believe everything (you) read. Remember, we were all there." Mary Forsberg and the two children were not in attendance, later having a private ceremony in honor of Weiland.
In the wake of Weiland's death, several other artists paid tribute to the singer by covering Stone Temple Pilots tunes in concert, including Life of Agony,Saint Asonia,Umphrey's McGee,Candlebox,Halestorm, and Pop Evil, among others, while Chris Cornell dedicated a performance of "Say Hello 2 Heaven" by Temple of the Dog to the singer.
On the Smashing Pumpkins' website, Billy Corgan praised Weiland, saying "It was STP's 3rd album that had got me hooked, a wizardly mix of glam and post-punk, and I confessed to Scott, as well as the band many times, how wrong I'd been in assessing their native brilliance. And like Bowie can and does, it was Scott's phrasing that pushed his music into a unique, and hard to pin down, aesthetic sonicsphere. Lastly, I'd like to share a thought which though clumsy, I hope would please Scott In Hominum. And that is if you asked me who I truly believed were the great voices of our generation, I'd say it were he, Layne, and Kurt."