The Chester Bennington era of Stone Temple Pilots has come to an end.
The frontman, who's been hopping between STP and Linkin Park since early 2013, has confirmed that he's leaving STP, albeit on good terms. In a statement released Monday (November 9), Bennington said that:
"The last few years have been an amazing experience. I got to create and perform with one of the greatest rock bands of our generation, that had so much influence on me growing up. With the amount of time STP deserves, in addition to being in Linkin Park, and with the needs of my family, one of them always seems to fall short. Going in to this, the four of us...Robert, Eric, Dean and myself knew what we were up against. We decided in due fairness to friends, fans and the legacy of STP that it needs more than time was allowing me. And in all fairness to my bandmates in Linkin Park, as well as to myself and to my family, I'm going to focus solely on Linkin Park so I can contribute 100%. It's been an amazing experience and a dream come true, and I look forward to the future of both STP and Linkin Park."
STP members Robert and Dean DeLeo and Eric Kretz, in their own statement, added:
"What an amazing and beautiful few years we've all had together. It was our honor to play and see all of you recently on tour. We have thoroughly enjoyed our time together with Chester not only professionally, but even more so on a personal level. Sadly, it was evident that scheduling and time was working against us. Within this, there is a new beginning. There is an abundance of new music written, some of which is already recorded. We have had the fortune of playing with some very talented singers over the last few months and will continue to do so until each of us feels and knows when the right person arrives. "
Bennington's departure was actually tipped earlier in the weekend, when former STP singer Scott Weiland told Alternative Nation the news, saying that Bennington's "got a band where he gets paid $700,000 a night with, and with STP, the brand is kind of falling apart, which is a shame."
Meanwhile, Johnny Stevens of the band Highly Suspect tweeted on Saturday (November 7) that guitarist Dean DeLeo "called me and asked me to join but I said no. That's not a joke."
Bennington recorded on EP, High Rise, with STP, and bassist Robert DeLeo told us at the time about the rigors of sharing the singer with Linkin Park:
"Definitely the technicalities had to be talked about. I think one of the things, the first, main things Chester brought up is he wants to, wanted to be a part of this and really honor the past catalog and really move ahead and create some great new music. I think that's something we talked about. Also his availability; I think his main concern...definitely is Linkin Park. When he's busy with them, it offers Dean and Eric and myself some time to really get new music together, and when he's available, that's when we work, man, and we make the best of that time."
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.