As Stone Temple Pilots re-establish themselves without Scott Weiland, guitarist Dean DeLeo expressed mixed emotions about their original lead singer, whose history of drug abuse and erratic behavior led to his ouster in 2013.

On the one hand, DeLeo has nothing but praise for what Weiland brought to their '90s alternative hits like "Plush," "Interstate Love Song" and "Vasoline." As he told the Orange County Register, “I just want to be really clear about something. We were never, in any way, trying to just replace anyone. In his day, and I’m speaking of Scott, there was no one one. I will take that to my grave. In his day, there was no one better, but my dear Scott left us long ago.”

At the same time, he doesn't mince words in saying that Weiland's problems threatened to derail the band. “Robert [DeLeo], Eric [Kretz], Scott and I had put 25 years of our lives into it,” he said. “Just because I had one guy that didn’t really give a [care] anymore, I’m not going to let one guy ruin my dream, my band and my legacy. I worked hard for Stone Temple Pilots and I love it with a passion. Robert, Eric and I don’t take for granted what the music has meant to people.”

Stone Temple Pilots went on hiatus in 2002, which led to Weiland's involvement in Velvet Revolver. They reformed in 2008, which led to another album two years later. But the situation with Weiland became untenable, and he was fired in early 2013. Chester Bennington of Linkin Park has since replaced him, which resulted in last year's High Rise EP. They are currently on tour and recording a new album.

And even though DeLeo says that nobody can replace Weiland, they're more than satisfied with what they're getting from Bennington. “We knew Chester was fit for the position in every sense of the word – physically, mentally, spiritually," he continued. "We knew he would bring an elegance and justice to not only to our legacy, but to our future.”

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