WashingtonPost.com recently conducted an interview with VELVET REVOLVER/ex-STONE TEMPLE PILOTS singer Scott Weiland. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:WashingtonPost.com: It's interesting to hear you say that you're not afraid to throw your influences into an album, because STONE TEMPLE PILOTS were slagged for being a copycat grunge band — a PEARL JAM knockoff. Did that criticism sting? Weiland: It definitely bothered me at the time. But I think on the song "Plush", you can make that connection to PEARL JAM just like you can make the connection from ROD STEWART's song "Hot Legs" to THE ROLLING STONES. "Plush" happened to be our breakout single. You have to remember that at the time, PEARL JAM was getting slagged brutally by NIRVANA and the media. They weren't considered critics' darlings until Kurt (Cobain) passed away. And then he (Eddie Vedder) sort of took over as the disturbed and bitter genius, I guess. But I'm so proud of the legacy that STONE TEMPLE PILOTS has. We've written close to 18 Top 20 hits, and many of them are still played on the radio today. That's the legacy we wanted to create. We wanted to be played on rock radio for the next 20-30 years. That's actually happening. The only thing that's left unfinished is the completion of the story. I feel that there could be a better final chapter, a better bookend. If all the planets line up, you never know what might happen one day. WashingtonPost.com: I read an interview with Duff where he talked about the heavy touring load after "Contraband" came out. Pointing out that you guys were together nonstop once that album landed, he said: "I don't care what five people you do that to, you're gonna get sick of each other." As all of you came out of successful bands that imploded, do you talk about making sure something like that doesn't happen with VELVET REVOLVER? Weiland: When things really go south and we start getting in that big drill car and driving to hell, we usually get together and talk. How successful that is depends on everybody's state of mind at the time. Usually it works out fairly well. But lately, there's been some things that have happened that definitely shouldn't have happened — where band members have irresponsibly used the media as a tool and said things that they shouldn't have said. And that's [expletive] blasphemy, because a band should be a safe haven regardless of what goes on. It doesn't matter what kind of problems a family is having; it should always stay in the family. The [expletive] media is bad enough as it is. It seems like everyone's got an agenda, and the agenda seems to be selling magazines or air time with sensational stories. Look at the [expletive] with Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan, these tragic figures. It's not like any of that stuff is new; that kind of [expletive] has been happening for years. It's just that the media didn't hound them. When people fell, they either fell again or they picked themselves up and figured it out. But it wasn't on E! or the celebrity news shows 100 percent of the time. It's become an addiction for the American public. People are more interested in that [expletive] than the upcoming election. WashingtonPost.com: When you tried out for VELVET REVOLVER ... Weiland: No, no, no. I need to get this straight for once. I never [expletive] tried out for VELVET REVOLVER. I've never tired out for any band. I wouldn't even try out for the [expletive] ROLLING STONES. STONE TEMPLE PILOTS broke up and I was working on my solo album. The last thing I wanted to do was join another [expletive] rock band after all the [expletive] drama I went through with STONE TEMPLE PILOTS. I ran into Duff at the gym and he told me they were forming a new band and that I should check it out and see if it's something I'd be into. They gave me two different CDs with about 40 to 50 songs. The first CD was basically atrocious. It was stuff they'd also written with Izzy (Stradlin, another GUNS refugee), and it sounded like BAD COMPANY gone wrong. I told them I was busy and wasn't really interested in the idea. About three months after that, I got another CD with some more songs and there were two that I thought were pretty good. One was called "Slither". I thought it sounded a lot like STONE TEMPLE PILOTS around "Core" — like "Piece of Pie" or "Wicked Garden". In my head, I was thinking: What would I do with this? If you listen to the vocal on it, it's like very much "Core"-era Scott Weiland. During that time, my wife and Duff's wife became friends, and they lobbied me to join the band. What ended up happening was, my wife and I separated. She was with her kids in L.A. and I I was living in our apartment in Hollywood, doing a lot of drugs. And those guys were clean at that time. I said that if I did get into this band, it might be an opportunity to hook up with some guys who aren't using and had gone down the same sort of path that I had. Right around that time, their manager called me and said there were two soundtrack opportunities on the table for a lot of money. Do the songs, get a big paycheck and if you find out you work well together, just take it from there. I didn't show up the first day because I was loaded and couldn't make it. But I came the next day and we got together and started working out PINK FLOYD's "Money" and writing a new song, "Set Me Free". And I joined. But never, ever, ever, never did I try out. Read the entire interview at WashingtonPost.com.
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