Q&A: Weiland "Happy" with long-in-the-works solo album
DETROIT (Billboard) - It's been a decade since Scott Weiland's last solo album, 1998's "12 Bar Blues," but he hasn't exactly been warming the bench. The singer has been in and out of Stone Temple Pilots twice, formed and ultimately parted with Velvet Revolver, married twice, had two children and some encounters with rehab.
He also spent a good chunk of that time working on more music of his own, which surfaces November 25 on "Happy in Galoshes," a wildly eclectic two-CD set on his own Softdrive Records label, which Weiland created with writing and producing partner Doug Grean. It features contributions by Paul Oakenfold and members of No Doubt. Weiland calls it "a sonic trip -- to where, I don't know" -- but he's hoping fans are ready to strap in and take the ride with him.
Q: You left Velvet Revolver this year, toured with Stone Temple Pilots and now are releasing a solo album. You don't waste much time, do you?
Scott Weiland: Well, I've been working on ("Happy in Galoshes") for quite a while, actually. Some of the songs were recorded a few years ago, and a good chunk of them were recorded just, like, a year ago at (producer) Steve Albini's place in Chicago. There's two songs on the record that were recorded actually around nine years ago and were the first Doug (Grean) and I ever did together.
Q: Did you purposely set out to cover such a wide range of styles?
Weiland: No. That's the thing; there was absolutely no mission. It was just, wherever the inspiration takes me and takes us, we followed. The whole idea was to throw in every influence that I've ever had, whether it be Latin or bossa nova and mix it with a little modern kind of cheap beat-box kind of vibe or some ethereal touch or whatever it could be.
Q: These are very personal songs, too, aren't they?
Weiland: Yeah, they are. It's a concept album, and it's a personal concept album. There's a song on there about my dad ("The Man I Didn't Know") and a couple of songs about my brother, but mostly it really tells the tale of the relationship between my wife and (me) from the beginning until, you know, kind of the end. There were some periods of time when the pain created the most prolific periods I've ever had. Whether it's going to actually translate into commercial success or not doesn't really matter to me, because I think that my true fans will be into it for what it is.
Q: What did happen with Velvet Revolver?
Weiland: I had already talked to (guitarist) Slash and said there was going to be an STP tour, and that's the deal. And then basically (Velvet Revolver drummer) Matt Sorum just went on the Web site one night and started talking s--t about me, and I responded and I basically said from the stage that this is the last Velvet Revolver tour. Some people thought I was kidding, but I meant it.
Q: Are you planning to make a Stone Temple Pilots album now that you've toured?
Weiland: I don't know how things are going to go with STP. It was sad to find out that we're still in some way locked into a contract with Atlantic Records, which is a travesty, actually. When we signed to them it was a great label. It was a beautiful time in music. Now if you say, "We're going to do this song as the first single," they go, "OK, we're going to do some radio testing." What the ... ? When we first talked about putting STP back together, it was, "Do this tour and then see about doing a creative deal with another company." So if it ends up being we have to make a certain amount of records for Atlantic in order to be free, then I don't know if I have that in me.