No, it's not an April Fools' joke. Velvet Revolver has fired Scott Weiland.
The supergroup decided to part ways with its frontman, citing his "erratic onstage behavior" and other personal issues, most notably a recent stint in rehab stemming from last year's DUI arrest.
While there was no mention of the personnel change on Revolver's website, the band's rep at Sanctuary Management issued the announcement just hours after Revolver wrapped its European jaunt Tuesday night in Amsterdam.
"This band is all about its fans and its music, and Scott Weiland isn't 100 percent committed to either," guitarist Slash said in the statement. "Among other things, his increasingly erratic onstage behavior and personal problems have forced us to move on."
Weiland, 40, pleaded not guilty in March to being under the influence of drugs with a prior conviction when he was collared for bumping into another car on a Hollywood freeway in November. If convicted, he could get the maximum of one year in jail.
The singer's future with Velvet Revolver had been in doubt for weeks, following some disparaging remarks from Slash in print and broadcast interviews and, most recently, the announcement that Weiland would reunite with his original band, the Stone Temple Pilots, for a tour this summer.
Weiland addressed the inner-Revolver turmoil in an email Wednesday to MTV News.
"In response to Slash's comment regarding my commitment [to the band], I have to say it is a blatant and tired excuse to cover up the truth," Weiland wrote.
"The truth of the matter is that the band had not gotten along on multiple levels for some time. On a musical level, there were moments of joy, inspiration, fun...at times. But let's not forget the multiple trips to rehab every member of the band had taken (with the exception of one member—no need to mention his name)."
Two weeks ago, Weiland told a sold-out audience at a Revolver concert in Glasgow, Scotland, "You are watching something special...the last tour by Velvet Revolver," apparently catching the other members by surprise.
That prompted drummer Matt Sorum to write a post in his blog.
"[We] had a little band turmoil on stage, as you probably all could tell," he wrote. "Being in a band is a lot like being in a relationship. Sometimes, you just don't get along. I guess there has been more turmoil lately, with the cancellations and all. It has been frustrating; I am not going to lie.
"Everybody could see who was unhappy [at the Glasgow concert], but all I can say is let's keep the rock alive, people."
Revolver was founded in 2003, combining key members of Guns N' Roses (Slash, Sorum and bassist Duff McKagan) with Weiland, whose deep-voiced howls and flamboyant stage presence had made the Stone Temple Pilots one of the biggest selling bands of the '90s. Despite a rocky start—Weiland's legal problems delayed Revolver's touring debut—the band's two albums, Contraband and Libertad, were hits, with the latter earning the group the 2005 Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance.
Slash has indicated in recent interviews that Velvet Revolver still plans to release a third album sometime later this year, despite the now-vacant vocalist position.
Weiland is scheduled to take the stage with STP next month at the Rock on the Range festival in Columbus, Ohio, the band's first gig together since 2001. An announcement regarding a full-blown tour is expected sometime next week.
As for Weiland's replacement in Velvet Revolver?
"Good hunting, lads," he wrote in his email to MTV. "I think Sebastian Bach would be a fantastic choice."