By John Benson
Rock frontman Scott Weiland is currently touring around America in what can be considered the perfect metaphor for his 20-year career.
It’s in an RV that he says falls apart daily, which is similar to Weiland, who less than a month ago received the news he had been fired, again, from Stone Temple Pilots. Still, Weiland and his career keep moving forward, albeit one pit stop at a time.
Basically, such news and self- inflicted drama has dominated the former Northeast Ohioan’s time in the spotlight. When he’s not getting fired or leaving bands, such as with the aforementioned STP or rock supergroup Velvet Revolver, the singer has struggled with drug addiction.
Now yet another chapter in Weiland’s career has begun with a solo career featuring backing band The Wildabouts. Not only is a debut album half-written and due to be released later in the year, but the 45-year-old is now on the road with his band — a Wednesday show is booked for the House of Blues — touring early STP material.
The Vindicator talked to Weiland about his memories of growing up in Geauga County, his thoughts on being fired from STP and whether or not you’ll hear any Captain & Tennille at his upcoming Rock Hall City show.
Q. You spent time as a child growing up in Bainbridge Township. When were you there?
A. From kindergarten all the way through a month before my freshman year in high school. My formative years were there, and I wouldn’t have traded them for anything. I had absolutely a wonderful childhood. In the back of my house there were acres of woods where our friends would use our imaginations to just play. We’d use sticks and pretend they were swords. When we got older, I’d say, “Hey, mom. I’m going down to the lake.” And she’d say, “Be back for dinner.” That’s the kind of area where I grew up in. It’s so much different from where I live now.
Q. Did you see any concerts in Cleveland before you moved to California?
A. I saw the Michael Stanley Band on the “North Coast” album, and I saw Beatlemania. My first record I ever got as a present was Elton John’s “Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy,” and my second album was by Captain & Tennille, oddly enough.
Q. As for your music, what are your thoughts about being fired from Stone Temple Pilots?
A. They’ve done it before, and they can do it again. They’re good players. I respect them. Every band has issues. I just think sometimes people say things before they really think about it. I know that I’ve done that in the past. I was guilty of it with Velvet Revolver after myself and [drummer] Matt [Sorum] got into an argument backstage before an encore. That led me to say that I wasn’t going to play any more shows with those guys. So I think that the fact this tour was doing so well was a reactionary thing on their part. But it actually isn’t quite so simple.
Q. That said, are you closing the door to ever working with STP again?
A. Definitely not.
Q. Looking ahead, what’s up with The Wildabouts?
A. We’re over halfway finished with our next album. Previous solo albums of mine have been art records, really, because I’ve been in two big rock bands that everyone kind of had their influence, and some of the songs have not really been my cup of tea. So I made records that have been totally about the type of music that I’ve been into. For this record, I’ve been playing with these guys for a long time. And it’s time to have it not just be Scott Weiland but give the band a name. Kind of the E Street Band or The Heartbreakers. So far, every show is sold out. It’s been great. The band is getting along great. I’m getting married June 22, and I couldn’t be happier.
Q. Considering you’re playing a few covers in your current set, any chance you’ll dig out your old vinyl album and learn some Captain & Tennille?
A. (laughs) I doubt that.