Stone Temple Pilots bassist Robert Deleo is adamant the group had no choice but to fire singer Scott Weiland because his antics were making his bandmates miserable. Weiland was dismissed earlier this year (13) and he is now embroiled in a bitter legal battle with his former friends, who have sued him over allegations he sabotaged the group's recent 20th anniversary tour by turning up late for performances and missing promotional gigs.
DeLeo has now opened up about the tensions in the group which led to Weiland's exit, insisting they needed to move forward without him.
He tells Rolling Stone, "It was a very difficult decision to terminate the face of your band. There are many paths to the history of certain bands and each one is a little different, but it all kind of turns out the same at the end. But it was a very difficult decision to do that. That's as big as it gets. But we really didn't have any other choice... (We) have been saddled by someone for a long time. We've always looked out for Scott's best interests and tried to be a great friend to someone who really didn't care to be friends with us...
"And I don't think we had any other choice... (We) would rather move ahead. I want to have f**king fun, man, making music. I have the complete luxury of making music for a living. If I'm around people that don't f**king get that, then I want to be around people who get that."
Stone Temple Pilots are now working with Linkin Park's Chester Bennington as their frontman, and DeLeo admits he feels grateful to the singer's bandmates for letting him take up the post.
He adds, "I feel very humbled by the fact the guys in Linkin Park are cool with this. All these guys are great dudes. It's not about music - it's about the humanity of it. They're the kind of human beings you want to be around at this point in life."
Bennington concludes, "I really respect the decision these guys have made. I also understand how incredibly difficult having that conversation would be... (But) this is their life. This is how they're gonna pay their bills and put their kids through college, this is how they're gonna want to spend the rest of their lives."
Stone Temple Pilots have announced their first tour with Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington as frontman. Bennington replaced Scott Weiland in the band earlier this year (13) and made his debut as frontman in May (13) at KROQ's Weenie Roast festival - and now it looks as if his position will be permanent.
Just days after STP and Bennington confirmed a headlining spot at the first annual Rockwave Festival in Fort Myers, Florida on 21 September (13), the group has released details of a new tour, which kicks off in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on 4 September (13).
Brothers Dean and Robert DeLeo and Eric Kretz have also teamed up with their new singer in the studio and the band plans to release a new EP later this year (13). A new single, titled Out of Time, has blasted its way on to the U.S. rock charts.
Rocker Scott Weiland has filed a countersuit against his former Stone Temple Pilots bandmates in a bid to ban them from using the name following his recent departure. Brothers Robert and Dean DeLeo and drummer Eric Kretz kicked Weiland out of the band earlier this year (13) and then sued him, claiming he sabotaged the group's recent 20th anniversary tour by turning up late for performances and missing promotional gigs, costing them millions.
Weiland now wants millions from the rockers, claiming they plotted to get him out of the band.
And, in legal documents obtained by TMZ.com, he writes, "How do you expel a man from the band that he started, named, sang lead on every song, wrote the lyrics, and was the face of for twenty years?"
Weiland is also asking that lawmakers formally dissolve the band partnership and he is demanding damages of at least $7 million (£4.5 million).
Stone Temple Pilots have already moved on without Weiland and have recently played two gigs with Linkin Park's Chester Bennington as their frontman.
In a post-Harry Potter Avatar and Lord of the Rings world the descriptors "sci-fi" and "fantasy" conjure up particular imagery and ideas. The Hunger Games abolishes those expectations rooting its alternate universe in a familiar reality filled with human characters tangible environments and terrifying consequences. Computer graphics are a rarity in writer/director Gary Ross' slow-burn thriller wisely setting aside effects and big action to focus on star Jennifer Lawrence's character's emotional struggle as she embarks on the unthinkable: a 24-person death match on display for the entire nation's viewing pleasure. The final product is a gut-wrenching mature young adult fiction adaptation diffused by occasional meandering but with enough unexpected choices to keep audiences on their toes.
Panem a reconfigured post-apocalyptic America is sectioned off into 12 unique districts and ruled under an iron thumb by the oppressive leaders of The Capitol. To keep the districts producing their specific resources and prevent them from rebelling The Capitol created The Hunger Games an annual competition pitting two 18-or-under "tributes" from each district in a battle to the death. During the ritual tribute "Reaping " teenage Katniss (Lawrence) watches as her 12-year-old sister Primrose is chosen for battle—and quickly jumps to her aid becoming the first District 12 citizen to volunteer for the games. Joined by Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) a meek baker's son and the second tribute Effie the resident designer and Haymitch a former Hunger Games winner-turned-alcoholic-turned-mentor Katniss rides off to The Capitol to train and compete in the 74th Annual Hunger Games.
The greatest triumph of The Hunger Games is Ross' rich realization of the book's many worlds: District 12 is painted as a reminiscent Southern mining town haunting and vibrant; The Capitol is a utopian metropolis obsessed with design and flair; and The Hunger Games battleground is a sprawling forest peppered with Truman Show-esque additions that remind you it's all being controlled by overseers. The small-scale production value adds to the character-first approach and even when the story segues to larger arenas like a tickertape parade in The Capitol's grand Avenue of Tributes hall it's all about Katniss.
For fans the script hits every beat a nearly note-for-note interpretation of author Suzanne Collins' original novel—but those unfamiliar shouldn't worry about missing anything. Ross knows his way around a sharp screenplay (he's the writer of Big Pleasantville and Seabiscuit) and he's comfortable dropping us right into the action. His characters are equally as colorful as Panem Harrelson sticking out as the former tribute enlivened by the chance to coach winners. He's funny he's discreet he's shaded—a quality all the cast members share. As a director Ross employs a distinct often-grating perspective. His shaky cam style emphasizes the reality of the story but in fight scenarios—and even simple establishing shots of District 12's goings-on—the details are lost in motion blur.
But the dread of the scenario is enough to make Hunger Games an engrossing blockbuster. The lead-up to the actual competition is an uncomfortable and biting satire of reality television sports and everything that commands an audience in modern society. Katniss' brooding friend Gale tells her before she departs "What if nobody watched?" speculating that carnage might end if people could turn away. Unfortunately they can't—forcing Katniss and Peeta to become "stars" of the Hunger Games. The duo are pushed to gussy themselves up put on a show and play up their romance for better ratings. Lawrence channels her reserved Academy Award-nominated Winter's Bone character to inhabit Katniss' frustration with the system. She's great at hunting but she doesn't want to kill. She's compassionate and considerate but has no interest in bowing down to the system. She's a leader but she knows full well she's playing The Capitol's game. Even with 23 other contestants vying for the top spot—like American Idol with machetes complete with Ryan Seacrest stand-in Caesar Flickerman (the dazzling Stanley Tucci)—Katniss' greatest hurdle is internal. A brave move for a movie aimed at a young audience.
By the time the actual Games roll around (the movie clocks in at two and a half hours) there's a need to amp up the pace that never comes and The Hunger Games loses footing. Katniss' goal is to avoid the action hiding in trees and caves waiting patiently for the other tributes to off themselves—but the tactic isn't all that thrilling for those watching. Luckily Lawrence Hutcherson and the ensemble of young actors still deliver when they cross paths and particular beats pack all the punch an all-out deathwatch should. PG-13 be damned the film doesn't skimp on the bloodshed even when it comes to killing off children. The Hunger Games bites off a lot for the first film of a franchise and does so bravely and boldly. It may not make it to the end alive but it doesn't go down without a fight.