Stone Temple Pilots are reborn on the band’s latest – Stone Temple Pilots (2018). It’s the group’s seventh studio album since its 1992 debut, but the first to feature new singer Jeff Gutt.
The band’s founding members — Dean DeLeo, Robert DeLeo and Eric Kretz — officially welcomed the Detroit native to STP last year after conducting an 18-month- long search for its third singer. Dean DeLeo says they wanted someone who had the vocal range to do the catalog justice, as well as the confidence and creativity to carve out a new path forward with the band. “We got our guy,” he says.
Soon after, the newly minted quartet assembled in Los Angeles with engineer Ryan Williams at Robert DeLeo and Eric Kretz’s studios to begin writing and recording STP’s first album in eight years. Gutt moved quickly, crafting melodies and writing lyrics for tracks the band had finished, and collaborating with them on new music. Robert DeLeo says: “What impressed all of us is how he lets the song dictate his direction instead of the other way around.” Kretz adds: “The chemistry was there from the start…We ended up finishing 14 songs, which is the most that
Stone Temple Pilots has ever recorded for an album.”
Despite being one of the best-selling bands of the 1990s with platinum records and a Grammy® to its credit, Dean DeLeo says this new incarnation of STP is focused on what lies ahead. “Thebest way for us to honor our past is to build on it and keep making new music.”
The band does just that on Stone Temple Pilots (2018). Straight-ahead rockers like the first single “Meadow” and “Never Enough” channel the gritty guitars and swaggering rhythms that STP perfected on Core (1992), Purple (1994) and No. 4 (1999). “Roll Me Under” glides along on a nimble bass line before slamming hard into gear during the chorus, where Gutt’s muscular baritone roars against a barrage of power chords.
Elsewhere on the album, the band tempers that unbridled aggression with a willingness to take the kinds of musical risks that enriched albums like Tiny Music… Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop (1996) and Stone Temple Pilots (2010). On “Thought She’d Be Mine,” Gutt laments a lost love accompanied by a kaleidoscope of swirling guitars that slowly dissolve into a sparkling coda.
The dreamy vibe continues on “The Art of Letting Go,” a wistful ballad anchored by Gutt’s heartfelt lyrics and haunting melody. It also happens to be the first song all four members wrote together. “Dean was messing around with some chords on an acoustic and I started to sing along,” Gutt recalls. “All of a sudden, the pieces fell into place and we had a song. That experience truly helped us gel as a band.”
This year, STP will begin writing the next chapter in its storied career with a new album and the group’s first North American tour since 2015. “It feels so good to put the band back on the tracks, and we can’t wait to get out there and see all of you,” Dean says.