Scott Weiland is the singer and principal lyricist for the rock group Stone Temple Pilots.
Born Scott Richard Kline on October 27, 1967, his parents divorced when he was 2 years old and he later took his step-father’s surname. Scott grew up in Chagrin Falls, Ohio with his mother, step-father a step-brother who was younger than him by 9 months. His step-brother was unfortunately hit by a car and killed when Scott was 10. Weiland spent his summers in California with his father, and when he was 14 his mother and step-father also moved to California. At 16 Scott was institutionalized in a mental ward and when released, was sent to rehab for getting high and being a “disciplinary problem” at school. Scott decided to attend Orange County College after high school to take liberal arts but eventually dropped out to concentrate on his musical projects.
Scott met a young Robert DeLeo at one of the last Back Flag shows ever played in California, and after discovering that they were dating the same woman, they decided that instead of fighting about it they would rather start a band. Soon after, the woman moved to Texas and Weiland and DeLeo moved into her apartment together. Drummer Eric Kretz was lured from another band, and out of sheer desperation, Robert asked his brother Dean DeLeo to move to California to play guitar for them. The band’s original name, Mighty Joe Young had to be abandoned due to a copyright violation. Stone Temple Pilots was inspired by the STP motor oil logo, and means nothing.
In 1992, STP released their first CD, titled Core. The songs Sex Type Thing, Creep and Plush sent them to the top of the alternative charts. Core sold over three million copies and their follow up album Purple, shot to number one on the charts as soon as it was released. In September of 1994, Scott married Jannina Castenada, a makeup artist he had met eight years earlier at a punk bar in Los Angeles. Following the success of the album and subsequent tour, the band took some time off during which Scott developed a serious heroin addiction.
Scott started a side project in 1995 called The Magnificent Bastards. They contributed a song to a John Lennon tribute album and a track to the Tank Girl soundtrack called Mockingbird Girl. This song would later be re-recorded for Scott’s first solo album. In the spring, Weiland was arrested for possession of heroin and cocaine, and was sentenced to complete a rehabilitation program. Following the rehabilitation, the band regrouped to record another album, Tiny Music… Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop (1996), which debuted at number 4 on the Billboard charts. Shortly after the album’s release, the band announced that Scott had once again succumbed to his addiction and had checked himself into another rehabilitation center. This was disastrous for the album, as the entire summer tour had to be cancelled, and by the end of the summer Tiny Music had fallen from the top fifty. It was Scott’s fourteenth attempt to get clean in three years.
Jannina left Scott in August, and he started work on a new album that day. The Date was the first song completed and his desperation is evident by the emotional screams of “I love you,” near the end of the song. At the end of the year, Scott was arrested for possessing drugs and experienced his first stint in prison, where he was ordered to spend a week, followed by six months of rehab.
In 1998, STP disbanded and Scott recorded his first solo album with Daniel Lanois at the helm of production duties. 12 Bar Blues was released to a critical slaughter, but was a surprisingly eclectic mix of blues, rock and some really cool ideas that just didn’t turn out quite right. That same year his ex-bandmates formed Talkshow and release their first album, but both efforts flopped spectacularly. Days before he was to embark on his first solo tour, Weiland was arrested twice more for heroin, once in Pasadena and once in New York. He managed to miss his court dates, but avioded two years in prison by checking into rehab, again.
Much to the surprise of the music community, Stone Temple Pilots reunited to record No. 4 in 1999, however Scott was arrested shortly before the album’s release for possession of a controlled substance. He spent another five days in jail at the beginning of the year for violating probation, and then continued on to take another stab at rehab. He was ejected from the clinic in April for failing to comply with the program. In July, Scott suffered a heroin overdose and was sentenced to one year in jail.
The year 2000 saw Scott’s release from prison, and Weiland emerged clean and sober for the first time in over five years. In May, Scott was married to model Mary Forsberg. November 19th Scott’s first son, Noah Mercer Weiland was born.
Stone Temple Pilots released their fifth album, Shangri-la-dee-da in 2001, to lukewarm reviews and sales. In the fall, Scott was arrested on charges of spousal abuse resulting from a fight with Mary in a hotel lobby over prescription medications. They seem to have patched things up and as of February 2002, the Weilands are expecting their second child.
sources: Details magazine, 4/98; AMG All Music Guide; Contemporary Muscians, May 1995; Guitar One, January 2000; Rollingstone.com; Spin.com; Chartattack.com; MuchNews.