Stone Temple Pilots
10 STP Facts:
1) Where Scott Weiland met Robert DeLeo: A Black Flag concert in Long Beach, CA.
2) Band names before Stone Temple Pilots: Mighty Joe Young and Shirley Temple's Pussy (that was a lawsuit waiting to happen).
3) On the road with STP: In '92 they toured with Rage Against The Machine and Megadeth. After that, they were headliners. The Butthole Surfers, fIREHOSE and Cheap Trick have opened for STP.
4) Band member with the most visible drug problem: Weiland. He was arrested for possession of heroin, cocaine, failure to appear, etc. In August, '98 he was sentenced to three years probation and 90 days at a drug treatment facility. After many trips, stumbles and falls, Weiland was sentenced to drug rehab (yet again) in '03. Unfortunately, the "busted/rehab cycle" continued.
5) The Led Zeppelin song STP recorded: "Dancing Days" for "Encomium: A Tribute To Led Zeppelin." They also covered "How Do You Sleep" for a John Lennon tribute. At a House of Blues performance in LA they performed "Roadhouse Blues" with Doors guitarist Robbie Krieger.
6) STP albums: They began recording for Atlantic Records in '92 with "Core." "Purple" followed in '94. '96 saw the release of "Tiny Music - Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop." "No. 4" shot out in October of '99 while "Shangri-La Dee Da" appeared two years later (that would be '01). '03 release "Thank You" packaged the hits and best known songs.
7) How it ended (the first time): STP went on a brief tour in support of "Shangri-La Dee Da" before pulling the plug.
8) In/out: Weiland left Velvet Revolver to join a reconstituted STP. But after one album the singer got bounced.
9) New face, new sound: Linkin Park's Chester Bennington became STP's frontman - much to Weiland's displeasure.
10) First recording with Bennington: The five song "High Rise" EP.
What goes around comes around: STP's subsequent implosion resulted in Weiland joining Velvet Revolver (for two albums) and the DeLeo brothers recording an album and touring. But in January, '08, Weiland announced that STP would reform. This news was greeted warmly, if only for the possibility of Weiland having a project to keep him busy and clean during Velvet Revolver's downtime.
A couple months later Weiland exited a rehab facility after undergoing treatment for an undisclosed substance problem. Just two days out of rehab, Weiland entered a not guilty plea through his attorney to a charge that he was driving under the influence of drugs when he was arrested on a Los Angeles freeway on-ramp the previous November. He remained free on $40,000 bail but faced up to one year in prison if convicted. Ultimately, he changed his plea to no-contest and was sentenced to 192 hours in jail and ordered to enter an 18-month alcohol-treatment program and pay $2,000 in fines. When it came time to do the time Weiland was in custody for 10 hours but only spent 14 minutes behind bars before being released.
While all this was swirling about, Weiland and Velvet Revolver parted company following a tumultuous European tour. Ironically, the announcement came on April 1st.
"This band is all about its fans and its music and Weiland isn't 100 percent committed to either," said Velvet Revolver guitarist Slash in a statement. "Among other things, his increasingly erratic onstage behavior and personal problems have forced us to move on."
On the same day, STP announced plans for an extensive reunion tour. In May, '08, they performed on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live. Then, a little over two weeks later, the group kicked off their trek with a headlining set at the Rock On The Range Festival in Columbus, OH.
STP fans were no doubt pleased when Weiland announced in late '09 "we're almost finished" with the band's first album of original music in seven years (since 01's "Shangri-La Dee Da"). "Fans are going [to] get a great STP record," Robert DeLeo later told Spin magazine. "We know what STP sounds like -- we have a sonic blueprint. It's always worked for me to put myself in the ears of the listener. I ask myself, 'What kind of STP record would I want to hear?'"
It appeared they dialed in the right approach. "Between The Lines," the lead single from STP's self-titled comeback album debuted at #40 on the Billboard Rock Songs chart. But then it made the biggest leap in chart history, moving to #2 in one week. From there it claimed the top spot. "Sometimes we don't feel musically what Scott does lyrically," said Dean DeLeo in a USA Today interview. "He took it to an exciting place. It's pretty twisted."
"['Between The Lines'] is as good as any of our great first singles," added Weiland. "These days, you always have nerves, because the market's totally changed. But radio still plays a big part in the success of an album, and we're off to a good start."
Weiland's nerves likely calmed after "Stone Temple Pilots" made its debut at #2 on the Billboard Album Chart (behind "Glee: The Music - Season 1, Volume 3 Showstoppers)."
As the summer of '10 wound down STP rescheduled a dozen tour dates so they could "take a short break" before resuming their fall trek. No reason was given for the changes but a show in Houston provided a possible explanation. The local press reported that Weiland seemed disoriented and delivered an opening rant that was followed by "odd and confusing" banter. At one point, Weiland admitted that he was drinking again.
Rumors also surfaced that the frontman was lip-synching or relying on a backing track for vocal cues. In the end though, low ticket sales may have actually been the deciding factor in postponing the tour.
Then, in an unexpected move - even for Weiland - he released a solo Christmas album, "The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year," prior to the '11 holiday season. The set included the title track, "The Christmas Song," "I'll Be Home For Christmas," "White Christmas" and other holiday standards. But the good cheer didn't last.
"Stone Temple Pilots have announced they have officially terminated Scott Weiland," read a terse February '13 statement from the band.
Weiland had only recently denied rumors the group was breaking up.
"Not sure how I can be 'terminated' from a band that I founded,' Weiland said in a statement. The singer had wanted the group to record a new album rather than tour playing songs predominately from their first two albums. Ironically, Weiland launched a tour shortly thereafter based around songs from those albums plus his solo career and his stint with Velvet Revolver.
As a result, STP filed a lawsuit against Weiland accusing the singer of "hijacking its name and songs to promote his solo career." They also claimed sole rights to the name Stone Temple Pilots, their music, copyrights and trademarks. "The band endured much strife and lost significant opportunities because of Weiland," stated the lawsuit.
At KROQ's Weenie Roast there was an unexpected Stone Temple Pilots performance with the band fronted by Linkin Park's Chester Bennington who imitated some of Weiland's signature serpentine stage moves. The group also premiered their single, "Out Of Time" at the L.A. radio station's annual fete.
Days later, Weiland issued a statement chiding the group for the performance with Bennington. "The band that played last weekend was not Stone Temple Pilots and it was wrong of them to present themselves as that. If my former bandmates want to tour with a new singer, that's their prerogative. I don't give a f**k what they call themselves, but it's not Stone Temple Pilots."
Unmoved by Weiland's comments, Bennington/STP performed at the annual MAP/MusiCares Fund Benefit Concert in L.A., where Bennington was presented the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award for his dedication to MAP/MusiCares and helping other addicts with their recovery.
In addition, STP/Bennington issued a five track EP in the fall of '13 titled "High Rise."
Weiland initiated legal action to halt the use of the Stone Temple Pilots name but the case was eventually settled so the group could use their original moniker without adding "with Chester Bennington."
With that business out of the way, Weiland (And The Wildabouts) released "Blaster" in '15. "The album has its own distinctive sound, but it also can entice those Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver fans who have stuck by me," said Weiland.
Just when it looked as though everything had finally fallen into place, STP suffered a setback. Bennington left in '15 stating that between STP and Linkin Park there was no room for a personal life. "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," added Bennington.
Meanwhile, Weiland was on tour with his solo band The Wildabouts. The trek had already been marred by tragedy when guitarist Jeremy Brown passed away at the age of 34, a day before the release of the group's debut album. Then, just eight months later, Weiland was found dead, apparently dying in his sleep, on a tour stop in Bloomington, MN. Detectives found a small quantity of cocaine in Weiland's tour bus bedroom.
The troubled singer was 48.
"Together we crafted a legacy of music that has given so many people happiness and great memories," STP wrote on Facebook. "We know amidst the good and the bad you struggled, time and time again. It's what made you who you were. You were gifted beyond words, Scott. Part of that gift was part of your curse."
Less than a year later, Stone Temple Pilots reunited with Bennington for a one-off performance at From Bach To Rock to benefit Palos Verdes Peninsula public schools.
1996 Tiny Music... Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop
1999 No. 4
2001 Shangri-La Dee Da
2010 Stone Temple Pilots
2013 High Rise EP
From "Core," the Stone Temple Pilot's debut, "Sex Type Thing" got a lot of coverage but the stellar moments are provided by "Plush" and "Wicked Garden." The "Purple" CD built their following big time with two show-stoppers, "Interstate Love Song" (probably their most popular song) and "Vasoline."
The crowning achievement came with "Tiny Music-Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop." The songs "Trippin' On A Hole In A Paper Heart" and "Lady Picture Show" lead the way. "No. 4" has the self-propelling "Heaven & Hot Rods," the rumbling "MC5," "Down" and "Sour Girl." It's up there with "Tiny Music."
"Shangri-La Dee Da" also lands in STP's upper tier. The album deals with drug abuse (Weiland's and others) and fame (Weiland's and others). The subjects are intertwined on the dense "Dumb Love," "Hollywood Bitch," the humorously titled "Bi-Polar Bear" and the airy "Too Cool Queenie" (a Kurt and Courtney fable). "Thank You" shows what STP accomplished and includes an acoustic version of "Plush."
The obvious question regarding STP's first album in nine years is whether it was worth the wait. The answer is an unequivocal 'yes'. "Stone Temple Pilots" opens with "Between The Lines," a fuzzed out masterpiece. Weiland is in excellent vocal form as he and the band use solo John Lennon ("Dare If You Dare"), Aerosmith ("Huckleberry Crumble") and even David Bowie ("First Kiss On Mars") as touchstones. Credit the DeLeo brothers and Kretz for providing the punch and tasty embellishments for a set of exceptional songs. The energy, drive and passion are back. The album marks a brilliant return - very reminiscent of their prime. But of course, it didn't last.
Weiland was right - STP without him is not STP. But STP with Bennington, as the EP "High Rise" clearly illustrates, is very good. "Happiness is overrated," a line from "Out Of Time," is one that Weiland could have sung with ease. But Bennington nails it as well and the band is right there with him. "Black Heart" features an awesome riff but it's "Same On The Inside" that leaves the most indelible impression. The track sounds like a band that's been liberated - or is dealing with a lot less tension.