STP Return With Heavy Riffs, ’90s Vibe
Hit reunion tour leads to Scott Weiland and Co’s first album in nine years
When the Stone Temple Pilots began recording their first new album since 2001, Scott Weiland wanted to work alone, so he tracked his vocals in the privacy of his Lavish Studios in Burbank, California, miles away from the rest of the band. “I’m comfortable singing here,” Weiland says. “I don’t like when everyone is inside the studio room listening to what I’m doing.”
The other members of STP weren’t exactly excited about the arrangement. “It’s a certain challenge,” says bassist Robert DeLeo. “But there is always a compromise to being in a band.”
This time around, however, the group seems to be willing to compromise for the sake of its future. The grunge-era band never officially split up, but it drifted out of action in 2002 after infighting, mostly over Weiland’s recurring struggles with drugs. But after Weiland left the supergroup Velvet Revolver in 2008, STP reunited for a summer tour ”“ and it went so well that they started writing new material during soundchecks.
The band regrouped in February 2009 to start working on the self-produced Stone Temple Pilots, which manages to conjure up the sound and vibe of STP’s best Nineties work: twisty Led Zep-style guitar riffs from Dean DeLeo, throaty choruses and cool, unexpected flashes of Beatles psychedelia. “Since it was our first record in a long time, it would be back-to-basics rock & roll,” says Weiland. Adds Robert DeLeo, “I asked myself, ”˜What does STP mean to me?’ The answer is strapping it on and kicking it out. That’s what excites me about being in this band.”
The first new track STP recorded, ”˜Huckleberry Crumble,’ delivers that punch with thick, Seventies-style stop-start boogie riffs. ”˜Between the Lines’ sounds like a British Invasion-era pop single gone grunge, with lyrics about the collapse of Weiland’s marriage: “I like it when we talk about love/Even when we used to take drugs.”
“There are a lot of things that are really sacred to me that I won’t put out there,” says Weiland, who is set to release an autobiography (co-authored by David Ritz) later this year. “But you can get the same point across by using metaphors and making it universal.”