Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal has commented on Scott Weiland's recent claim that the ART OF ANARCHY project "was a scam from the beginning."
In addition to the GUNS N' ROSES guitarist and the ex-STONE TEMPLE PILOTS singer, the recording lineup for ART OF ANARCHY's first CD included DISTURBED bassist John Moyer. The rest of the lineup is filled out by Jon Votta on guitar and Vince Votta on drums. The group's debut disc will arrive on June 2 via Century Media imprint Another Century.
Weiland recently denied that he was ever a member of ART OF ANARCHY, explaining that he was paid to contribute to the group's CD as a session musician and a songwriter.
"It was a project I did where I was just supposed to have written the lyrics and melodies for this band that I'd never heard of, and I was paid to do it," Weiland told The Daily Beast. "And so I did it, and did some production work on it, and the next thing I knew there were press releases that I was in the band. I mean, I did one photo shoot with them, 'cause it was part of the deal, but I'm not in the band."
He told Rock.About.com in a separate interview that he "wasn't surprised" ART OF ANARCHY put out a press release saying it was a new supergroup that he was a member of. He said: "It was a scam from the beginning."
He continued: "I had them send me the files and I worked in my studio with my engineer and I wrote the lyrics and the melodies and I sent them back. I didn't even know what their names were… I had no idea who they were."
Weiland added: "I was paid to do it. But they were an unsigned band and they're still an unsigned band. Hey. They're gonna put it out on the Internet, and as fate will have it, they don't even have a lead singer. I'm not worried about it taking away any thunder from [my solo band] THE WILDABOUTS."
Asked by Revolver magazine to comment on Weiland's "scam" claim, Thal said: "First, I gotta say Scott did an amazing job on the record; we all feel the vocals he laid down are some of the best he's ever done. We're thrilled and proud of the collaborative effort that went into the making of this record. The public response has been great. We're very happy with the whole album. As for Scott's statement, we need to address if, or why, he made it. It was just a quote from a recent interview and we're trying to verify that he actually did make that statement. Scott deserves the respect to publicly clarify whether he actually said that. All the members of ART OF ANARCHY feel he should have that opportunity."
Regarding whether ART OF ANARCHY is planning on getting a new singer and touring to support this album following Weiland's departure, Thal said: "[I] wouldn't call it a departure as of yet. ART OF ANARCHY hasn't received any official written communication that Weiland is no longer the lead singer of ART OF ANARCHY. There are certain legal steps you'd need to take in order to officially leave a band. We've been offered great touring opportunities with Scott on board even before the record's been released. Aside from Scott, all the band members are on board for getting on stage with this. As for with who? Stay tuned…"
Asked if ART OF ANARCHY would let Weiland back in the band if he ever came back and apologized asking to rejoin the group, Thal said: "He's still technically in the band, and that all needs to be addressed. We're keeping every option and door open."
ART OF ANARCHY is the brainchild of Thal and the Votta brothers, who have been friends for 18 years dating back to their days on the New York music scene.
Thal also serves as producer and engineer on the album.
Weiland is no stranger to supergroups, having formed VELVET REVOLVER with several former members of GUNS N' ROSES more than a decade ago.
He was dismissed from that band in 2008, rejoining STP until they also fired him in early 2013. He and THE WILDABOUTS put out a new album in March.
Thal has been with GUNS N' ROSES since 2006, playing on the 2008 album "Chinese Democracy". He has also released a number of solo CDs.
Moyer has been DISTURBED's bassist since 2004. The band has been on an extended hiatus since late 2011.