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Stone Temple Pilots says surprised by lawsuit

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Alternative rock band Stone Temple Pilots said it was surprised by a lawsuit from its record label this week, and hopes to return to the studio to record a new album soon.

Lead singer Scott Weiland (L) and guitarist Dean DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots perform in West Hollywood, California in this April 7, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Warner Music Group Corp.’s Atlantic Records label on Thursday sued the band’s lead singer Scott Weiland and drummer Eric Kretz for trying to end their recording contract early.

“Stone Temple Pilots were deeply disappointed to see that Atlantic filed a surprise lawsuit against two members of the (group) when they were in the middle of what were believed to be cordial and positive discussions about (Stone Temple Pilots)

returning to the studio to make a new album after 5 years,” the group said in an e-mailed statement late Thursday night.

The group, known for hits like “Sex Type Thing” and “Interstate Love Song,” rose to fame in the 1990s and all four members reunited last month for their first national tour in eight years.

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According to the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the record company wants the band to record a seventh album and deliver up to two more albums if the record label decides they want them.

The suit claims that Weiland and Kretz threatened to stop performing under their contract and have indicated they want to end the agreement unless Atlantic makes significant changes.

“Should everyone operate in good faith, (STONE TEMPLE PILOTS) are certain that a new album from the band will be available soon,” the band’s statement said.

“The precipitous filing of this action is yet another example of the difficulties facing artists in the new music environment, as relationships between artists and their labels fall further and further apart.”

The band, whose momentum was often curtailed by Weiland’s drug problems, had fallen apart shortly after a 2002 tour and the other two members of the group, guitarist Dean DeLeo and bassist Robert DeLeo, were released from their recording contract in late 2003 and were excluded from the lawsuit.

Reporting by Emily Chasan; Editing by Derek Caney