Stone Temple Pilots came together when Scott Weiland met New Jersey-born bass player Robert DeLeo at a 1986 Black Flag concert in Long Beach. The two Point Loma residents found they were dating the same woman but, rather than fight, they decided to form a band and ended up living together in the woman’s San Diego apartment after she moved to Texas. DeLeo’s brother Dean joined on guitar and Eric Kretz (who was born in Santa Cruz — as was Weiland — but was also living in San Diego at the time) became their drummer.
In their San Diego days (from 1987 through 1990, when they moved to Los Angeles), they called themselves Mighty Joe Young. Bandmembers have claimed the STP motor oil logo inspired them to change their name to Stone Temple Pilots, because they could get STP stickers for free at gas stations and use them as promotional giveaways (rumors that the STP motor company filed a lawsuit over the band’s initials appear to be unfounded). After being signed to Atlantic Records in 1992, their first album, Core, brought fame, fortune and, in the case of drummer Eric Kretz, an acrimonious and expensive divorce.
In a 1994 Rolling Stone poll, STP was voted Worst New Band by critics, and Best New Band by readers. The same year, STP’s song “Plush” won a “Best Hard Rock Performance” Grammy. All five of the band’s studio albums have earned either gold or platinum certification. Weiland’s 1996 arrest for possession of heroin and cocaine derailed the band for awhile. During a band hiatus from 1997 to 1999, Weiland released a solo album and the others formed a temporary band, Talk Show.
The band split in 2003, with Dean and Robert DeLeo forming Army of Anyone with Filter singer Richard Patrick and drummer Ray Luzier (who went on to join Korn). STP drummer Eric Kretz founded his own Bomb Shelter studio and worked as music supervisor of the Henry Rollins Show.
Weiland joined Velvet Revolver, which also featured former members of Guns N’ Roses. For awhile, anyway.
After Velvet Revolver canceled their sold-out February 2008 show at downtown’s House of Blues, the band released this statement: “Following Velvet Revolver’s performance [February 6] in Los Angeles, lead singer Scott Weiland voluntarily entered a rehab facility. Tonight’s scheduled performance at San Diego has been postponed.”
VR canceled a planned Australia tour as well. Shortly after resuming their tour schedule, Weiland announced onstage that Velvet Revolver was through. The band rebutted that they would stay together, with a new lead singer.
After coming across the DeLeo brothers at a 2007 beach party, Weiland began talking to them about an STP reunion. The result was a 2008 reunion tour and a 2010 self-titled album produced with help from Don Was. The album came out on Atlantic Records, despite the fact that the label had sued over breach-of-contract issues, when the band first announced its plans to reunite and record withOUT Atlantic. Released in May, 2010, it debuted at number two on the Billboard album charts.
Weiland released a holiday single in 2009, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Later in 2010, he announced a solo Christmas album is in the works, but it ended up being shelved until late 2011.
His autobiography Not Dead & Not For Sale was released on May 17, 2011, via the Simon & Schuster imprint Scribner.
On joining Velver Revolver, he says in the book “They put some songs on a CD and my wife said ‘They think you’ll like what they’re doing.’ I didn’t. It sounded like Bad Company, and I never liked Bad Company. A week or so later, another CD arrived with songs custom-designed for me. The tunes had STP written all over them.”
In summer 2011, audiences were booing his solo shows again. The Wall Street Journal declared his Gramercy Theatre show a disaster, with Weiland hitting the stage 90 minutes later than scheduled, to a “vocally unpleasant” crowd. Around the same time, he told Classic RockMagazine that a reunion with Velvet Revolver was a possibility. “We patched things up and we get along. I see them every now and again, we text each other and, you know, we can never say never. Who knows, maybe we’ll do some shows some time.”
His late summer 2011 digital-only release A Compilation of Scott Weiland Cover Songs covers songs by the Rolling Stones (“Dead Flowers”), Radiohead (“Let Down”), David Bowie (“Fame” and “The Jean Genie”), the Smiths (“Reel Around the Fountain”), the New York Dolls (“Personality Crisis”), the Beatles, Nirvana, Flaming Lips, and others.
In late 2011, he released his long-delayed Christmas album (originally set for 2010) The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (Rhino Records), featuring an array of styles from big band swing to reggae to bossa nova.
Slipknot singer Corey Taylor called Weiland “a lazy piece of sh#t” and ridiculed the holiday full-length during a November 28, 2011 concert. “Do you know that Scott Weiland has a Christmas album now? Oh, it’s bad. It’s bad. Let me f#cking explain to you how bad it is. There is a video online of him singing...his hair is all slicked back and he’s in his f#cking sh#tty tuxedo.”
He performed a holiday-inspired set on November 29, 2011, for iHeartradio in NYC, including tracks from his Christmas album and some STP numbers. Video footage is posted at hennemusic.com. He reunited with Velvet Revolver on January 12, 2012, at the House of Blues in West Hollywood for an event titled Love You Madly: A Concert For John O’ Brien, honoring the recently deceased film/TV composer.
In April 2012, he contributed a new song, “Breathe,” to the Avengers Assemble compilation inspired by the new Avengers film, co-produced by longtime collaborator Doug Grean.
Then, in Autumn 2012, “I think it’s the perfect time for Velvet Revolver to get back together,” Weiland told Rolling Stone. “I am completely open to it, and I know there are other guys in the band that are completely open to it. There have been some things that have stood in the way that aren’t anything that have to do with the band.”
His claims of a pending Velvet Revolver reunion were shot down by guitarist Slash, however, who told Classic Rock magazine “None of us have a clue what he’s talking about...we’re not buying it. The door’s shut on this side and it’s probably shut on that side too, so he’s on his own. And he deserves it, too.”
Beginning just days after the public sacking from STP (again), his Purple at the Core solo tour hit twenty cities, featuring songs from the first two Stone Temple Pilots albums, solo material, and music from Velvet Revolver. However, the drummer of his backing band the Wildabouts quit the group in the middle of the tour.
Danny Thompson posted via Facebook “I have just officially quit the Scott Weiland solo band...it's a matter of self worth. Not going to elaborate.” Then, Weiland was sued by Stone Temple Pilots, with the band attempting to prevent him from using their songs to promote his solo career. His Purple at the Core tour, which takes its name from the titles of two STP albums, restarted May 29 at the House of Blues in Hollywood, with stops in Arizona and Nevada.
In summer 2013, Weiland got married to photographer Jamie Wachtel, who he met in 2011 while filming music videos for his (widely panned) Christmas album The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. In 2014, he did a short U.S. tour with the Raskins, kicking off April 27 in Austin and concluding on May 11 in Lexington, KY.
He performed three new songs during an April 30, 2014 show in Dallas, introducing “The Way She Moves,” “Beach Pop Rock,” and “Circles” as part of his set at Trees in Dallas, one of a series of spring concerts by the singer.
He badmouthed Stone Temple Pilots' and Chester Bennington's EP, telling iChill: “It sold 35,000 units. That's kind of unbelievable considering STP sold over 40 million, and I'm sure Linkin Park has sold pretty much the same amount. It didn't work, people weren't buying into it.”
In early 2015, he sang on the debut album from Art of Anarchy, featuring Guns N' Roses' Bumblefoot and Disturbed's John Moyer. On March 31 of that year, Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts released their debut album Blaster, produced by Rick Parker (Dandy Warhols, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Jewel). The group features guitar player Jeremy Brown, bassist Tommy Black, and drummer Danny Thompson.
In advance of Blaster, a video was released for the track "Modzilla," and singles were made available with "Way She Moves" and "White Lightning" from the album. However, Wildabouts guitarist Jeremy Brown passed away, just as Blaster was released on March 31. He was replaced by Nick Maybury from the Australian group Mink. The Wildabouts has cancelled their summer 2015 UK and European tour, citing "far too many administration and production issues to overcome."
Late summer 2015 found Weiland reportedly being sued by the G&M Law firm for an alleged $50,000 in unpaid fees related to the 2013 legal fight with his former bandmates in Stone Temple Pilots.
On October 5, the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles hosted An Evening with Scott Weiland, including a Q&A session and an intimate performance from his band. His band the Wildabouts kicked off a national tour October 28 in Hermosa Beach, CA at Saint Rocke.
However, "Scott Weiland, best known as the lead singer for Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver, passed away in his sleep while on a tour stop in Bloomington, Minnesota, with his band the Wildabouts," according to a December 4, 2015 post on Weiland's Facebook page.
In 2021, it was announced that Weiland would be the subject of a biographical film from Dark Picture called Paper Heart, based on Weiland's memoir Not Dead & Not for Sale, co-written with David Ritz. "It's an honor to have the trust to tell Scott's story and the ability to portray the lesser known sides of him," said Dark Picture cofounder Jennifer Erwin, "the loving and tender man he was, the high school athlete he was, the melancholy soul he was and the legendary frontman that he will always be."
Weiland's son Noah Weiland and Tye Trujillo has formed a band called Blu Weekend with Tye Trujillo, son of Metallica's Robert Trujillo. Noah and Tye previously played together in Suspect208 alongside Slash's son London Hudson, but Noah Weiland departed that group in January 2021.