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Meadow (live at KROQ)
by Stone Temple Pilots

"After an 18-month search, Stone Temple Pilots found its new singer in Jeff Gutt, and it happened by coincidence.

Guitarist/founding member Dean DeLeo and the rest of the band (bassist and Dean’s brother, Robert, and drummer Eric Kretz) spent hours reviewing tapes from singers across the globe. But the worldwide search wasn’t fruitful.

“I have well over 100 hours clocked behind my computer,” Dean DeLeo said. “The payoff was grim.”

After finishing a show in Detroit with a side project, Robert DeLeo was approached about Gutt singing in Stone Temple Pilots. He told his brother to check Gutt out, and the band started rolling again.

“Jeff (Gutt) didn’t even submit. He came to us. We played, and he was great,” Dean DeLeo said. “That kicked it off.”

The band gave Gutt seven songs to perform, including hit singles like “Big Empty” and “Trippin’ On a Hole in a Paper Heart.” While he impressed the band, the trio also wanted to see what he could bring to the studio.

“The question was whether he could craft a song and if he even knew how to do that,” Dean DeLeo said. “It was clear that Jeff had a great sense of melody and song. We threw about seven things at him the first day, and he came up with these incredible melodies.”

After the audition, the band began working on a new album. The result is “Stone Temple Pilots,” the band’s first full-length outing in eight years and seventh overall — a catalog that includes “Core” and “Purple,” and total sales of 35 million copies worldwide.

Gutt’s vocals on the self-titled album are eerily reminiscent of former singer Scott Weiland. Gutt wails amid the soaring guitars of “Six Eight,” combines light psychedelia and sweet vulnerability on “Thought She’d Be Mine,” and applies the right mix of grit and growl on “Never Enough.”

A former contestant on the reality competition show “The X Factor,” Gutt is the band’s third lead singer. Most fans remember founding member Weiland, whose image and voice propelled hits like “Sex Type Thing” and “Interstate Love Song.” In 2015, Weiland died of an overdose. Chester Bennington sang with the band for two years before returning to his main band, Linkin Park. Last year, Bennington committed suicide.

This latest chapter in the Stone Temple Pilots saga is starting on a positive note, but it doesn’t diminish the effect of Weiland and Bennington’s deaths to the founding guitarist.

“The tragedies between each person, Scott and Chester, were very different,” Dean DeLeo said. “Scott was in a very long-term decline. I don’t know which hurts more — to watch that over a decade or just the suddenness (of what happened to Chester). They’re both tragic and incredible losses.

“When it’s all said and done, I’m still scratching my head. There are still unanswered questions for me. It goes beyond words.”

In the immediate future, Stone Temple Pilots is hitting the road and playing live dates. Concertgoers can look forward to rotating set lists that feature eight to 10 songs the band has never played live before.

In short, Stone Temple Pilots is ready to rock.

“We love being out there, playing music and being in a room where everybody is tossing energy around,” Dean DeLeo said. “That night doesn’t just belong to us. It belongs to everyone. We don’t take that for granted. We love that aspect of it, seeing everybody and sharing love and this kindred spirit of music.”
Posted: 14th November 2019
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