Stone Temple Pilots

  • Alternative hard rock band formed in 1989 from San Diego California. The original members of the group were Scott Weiland (lead vocals, frontman), Dean DeLeo (guitars), Robert DeLeo (bass guitar, backing vocals), and Eric Kretz (drums). Weiland was the primary lyricist, while all members contributed to writing the music, with Robert DeLeo the primary writer of the music.
  • Weiland and Robert DeLeo met at a concert in Long Beach California in 1985. They discovered that they were dating the same girl, which gave them a common bond. They both broke up with the girl, and moved into her apartment when she left. Weiland had two other musician friends, and they performed at local clubs, using the name Swing. Over time, the drummer left, and was replaced by Kretz when they saw him performing at a gig. In 1989, the guitarist left, and Robert suggested that his older brother Dean join the group. Dean would not join unless they changed the name of the group, so they took the name Mighty Joe Young.
  • They performed in southern California and made a demo tape. In 1992, they signed a recording contract. While recording their debut album, their lawyer informed them that a blues singer was using the name Mighty Joe Young, so a name change was needed. They remembered the STP Motor Oil stickers that were popular when they were kids, so they considered names that would be abbreviated “STP.” After considering Shirley Temple’s Pussy and Stereo Temple Pirates, they went with Stone Temple Pilots.
  • Their debut album, Core, was released in September 1992. It was a huge success, peaking at #3 on the album chart. It eventually was certified 8x platinum. The singles Plush and Creep reached #1 and #2 respectively on the Mainstream Rock chart, and the band won a Grammy award for Best Hard Rock Performance for Plush. While they continued to win fans, music critics were less than enthused – they were labeled “grunge imitators,” and they were simultaneously voted Best New Band by the readers of Rolling Stone, and Worst New Band by the magazine’s editors.
  • STP’s second album was released in 1994 – Purple. It debuted at #1 on the Billboard Album chart, and it was certified 6x platinum. They scored their second and third #1 songs on the Mainstream Rock chart with Vasoline and Interstate Love Song – the radio-friendly Interstate Love Song was #1 for 15 weeks, which at that time set a record for the most weeks at #1 on that chart.
  • Their third album was a significant shift in style for the band. 1996’s Tiny Music…Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop was less of a hard rock album and more of a glam rock and psychedelic rock piece. It contained 3 more singles that would reach #1 on the Mainstream Rock chart – Big Bang Baby, Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart (nominated for a Grammy award) and Lady Picture Show. Their tour to support the album was cut short when Weiland checked himself into rehab.
  • The band continued on without Weiland, recruiting a new lead singer and performing under a new name – Talk Show. The band produced one album, and then split up. Meanwhile, Weiland released a solo album that was not successful.
  • In 1998, STP regrouped, and their fourth album, titled No. 4, was released the following year. They went back to their hard rock sound with this album, and eventually it was certified 2x platinum. The single Sour Girl peaked at #3 on the Alternative Songs chart, and it was their only song to chart on the Hot 100 chart, reaching #78. Another single, Down, earned them their third Grammy nomination.
  • Their next album, Shangri-La Dee Da, released in 2001, was a commercial disappointment, and the band went on hiatus after a fight between Weiland and Dean DeLeo. Weiland joined the supergroup Velvet Revolver, and the DeLeo brothers formed a supergroup called Army of Anyone. In 2007, Weiland reconciled with DeLeo, and the following year, a reunion tour occurred. In 2010, a self-titled album, Stone Temple Pilots, was released. The single Between the Lines topped the Alternative Songs and Rock Songs charts.
  • By 2012, conflicts within the band arose, and in February 2013, Weiland was fired from the band. In May that year, the three remaining members performed with Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, and soon, Bennington was the vocalist for STP. An EP was released in 2013, and the single Out of Time topped the Mainstream Rock chart. Bennington remained with STP until November 2015, when he left to focus on Linkin Park (Bennington subsequently died in 2017 – see my blog post on his death). Also in 2015, Weiland died of an accidental overdose while touring with his band The Wildabouts.
  • In 2016, Jeff Gutt was selected as the vocalist for the group. With Gutt as frontman, they released albums in 2018 and 2020. Their most recent, Perdida, features acoustic guitars, strings and a flute solo – STP goes soft rock!
  • Stone Temple Pilots was one of the most successful bands of the 90s, selling over 40 million records. Their first 2 albums are 90s classics. Here’s a great live version of Interstate Love Song – enjoy!

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