Stone Temple Pilots
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|Stone Temple Pilots|
The Pilots at their prime as a metal band. L-R: Eric-Paul Kretz, Scott Anselmo, "Dimebag" Dean DeLeo, and Robert Brown.
|Also known as||Chester Stone & The Pilots of the Mississippi|
|Origin||San Diego, California|
|Genre(s)||Grunge, country, everything else|
|Years active||1985–2003; 2008–present|
|Label(s)||"Those guys that sound like Pearl Jam"|
| Robert E. DeLeeo|
"Dimebag" Dean DeLeo
Eric "Cartman" Kretz
|Scott Weiland, Chester Barrington|
Stone Temple Pilots are a hardcore grunge metal band formed in San Diego, California in 1985 as a funk band. The band's original lineup, featured on all studio albums, consists of brothers, bassist Robert and guitarist Dean DeLeo, drummer Eric Kretz ,and Scott Weiland (drug addict, vocals, megaphone). They are widely recognized as an influence on Seattle grunge bands such as Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains, whom the DeLeo brothers maintain took their sound from STP. In fact, demos of STP from their 1980s funk music era all mysteriously vanished in the grunge era, around the same time as a large cloud of black smoke was seen emerging from the DeLeo's back garden.
The Pilots formed at a Willie Nelson marijuana benefit, where Weiland first met DeLeo. After releasing their debut Core (1992), Weiland discovered heroin, which he believed would turn him into a grunge God, but instead turned him into David Bowie, resulting in its follow-up Purple (1994). The albums gained much publicity worldwide, with comparisons to great bands that came before them. Despite Weiland's rampant drug abuse and violent temper tantrums - which forced a five-year break-up of the band in 2003 - they would follow these up with four more commercially successful (PSYCHE!) releases, their most recent being 2010's Eponymous Hippopotamus.
In December 2012, Scott Weiland was fired from the band for unknown reasons. He was told by the band it was just a publicity stunt to draw attention and to increase sales, and so Weiland happily confirmed the story to various news outlets. In 2013 however, the band hired his replacement Chester Bennington, and so much to Weiland's dismay, the publicity stunt story was just an excuse to get rid of their former singer. Bennington parted ways with the band in 2015; Weiland was so overjoyed he died. The remaining Stone Temple Pilots, not satisfied with having angered the fanbase enough, are now currently looking for nobodies to fill the gap of vocalist.
edit Early Years (1986 - 1992)
Scott Weiland and Robert DeLeo were attending a Black Flag concert in San Diego one night in 1985, supporting the legalization of Marijuana, when they took notice to each other and struck up a conversation. Eventually, they came to realize through this simple act of conversing that they were both dating the same woman. Upon further speculation between the two of them, they also came to the horrible revelation that the woman they were seeing was actually a transvestite. Immediately, moments before police raided the event, they left the concert, broke up with her, forced her out of town, and proceeded to take the deed to her apartment. Fearing they would once again be homeless when she came back to try and reclaim it some time later, they put their heads together, and came to the conclusion that, for their own safety and well being, they had to place a hit on her. Which was successful. This event also inspired the musical hit off of their first album, "Dead & Bloated". Which was equally successful.
In the time following this incident, witnesses were able to place the two at the scene of the crime. In turn, Weiland and DeLeo were both arrested and jailed for six years. This is where they had an epiphany. While they were sitting in their jail cells, contemplating life, they were listening to one of the other inmates playing a harmonica. As Scott Weiland would describe years later during a lucid moment, "the feeling... came over me, unlike my wildest hallucination. It was more powerful than any drug I had ever taken through the years. And that's saying something". This is when they knew it was their destiny, their calling, to start a band. After making a phone call to drummer Eric Kretz, and Robert's brother and guitar player Dean DeLeo asking them to join the prison band, they began playing to their fellow inmates under the band name of Reverend Joe Black, and later Shirley Temple's Pussy. After the two inmates were released into the outside world, they realised a name like Shirley Temple's Pussy, while appropriate in the hardcore realms of prison, would not be acceptable by major labels, so they settled on the name Stone Temple Pilots.
The Pilots' depressing heavy metal - complete with sludgy guitars and distorted vocals - had no place in the 1980s, and they failed to garner much success. The group was upset by this, and were planning on retiring when suddenly, in the early 1990s, a bunch of homeless musicians from Seattle began playing similar music and became a success. Stone Temple Pilots took their old songs and began roamin', roamin', roam around their native California state, playing their songs in the hopes that someone would find them. They did manage to become local legends in their place of origin, so much so that a certain San Diego vocalist called Eddie Vedder, himself a huge fan of the band, started a Stone Temple Pilots cover band. Unfortunately, he had to move to Seattle, where he wrote songs in the style of his heroes and sung like Scott Weiland. Sadly for Weiland, Vedder's band got successful first.
edit Hard Core Sex Offence and Purple
The Pilots were eventually discovered by a representative of Atlantic Records, playing on a street corner in Los Angeles for mere pennies, after which they went into the studio to record their first album, Core. The album was released on 27 September 1992, on the same day as Alice in Chains' second album. Music fans were hugely thankful for getting two superior grunge albums on the same day - critics, however, lambasted STP for being grunge yet not being from Seattle, which they considered a grave sin. The Pilots' legacy was not tainted by the unimportant words of mere critics, however; directly inspiring a slew of other artists in the grunge genre, such as Seattle's own Pearl Jam, was just one impressive feat of the band. One song from the album, "Creep", id often mistaken for a Nirvana song - frontman Kurt Cobain even committed suicide because he couldn't live up to Weiland's prowess, and felt guilty that people would associate him with such a superior band. The rest of the band even admitted to suicidal tendencies themselves, for lacking the technical proficiencies and inventions in melody that STP had crafted. And while this has driven Krist Novoselic to largely drop off the face of the earth following Cobain's death, Dave Grohl continues to this day, with the Foo Fighters, determined to try and better himself. Every attempt as of now has been in vain.
In 1994, with others in the genre still collapsing under their own weight, STP were finding success with the formula that the band had crafted. The group went on a world tour to support Core. In the summer, the group were staying at a hotel in Brussels that they thought was superb, loaded with several crates of the fine local beer Leffe - the song "Lounge Fly" was in fact written about getting drunk with a hermaphrodite in this fine hotel lounge. This was when Robert DeLeo, playing with a souvenir Belgian-flag lighter he bought, accidentally lit the room on fire. The group were forced to camp in a tent, where they wrote the song "Still Remains" about how sad they were. Realising that this fine Belgian beer was granting them superb songwriting powers, the group wrote the songs for their album Purple . The exception is the lead single, "Vasoline", which was written while Robert and Weiland were still in prison, about using vaseline lubricant (the duo will not disclose what they used it for). The crew noticed that Brussels' main claim to fame is their unfathomable obsession with a statue of a naked cupid urinating, depictions of which are plastered all over the city. The city's creepy obsession directly inspired the cupid on the album cover, although unlike the Belgians and even STP's contemporaries, they had the decency to keep their album-cover baby sufficiently clothed.
Staying at the #1 slot in the Billboard charts until the release of their third album, the band were once again praised for their efforts by fans, their many contemporaries, and critics alike. On the downside of success, this is also the period where Scott Weiland added heroin and cocaine to his drug roster. Further adding to the bands problems, one day in June 1995, an anonymous tip came into the Los Angeles Police Department that he was traveling in a white Bronco, north on Interstate 405, with an alleged 48 grams of the latter in his possession. After giving way to a 35 MPH chase that expended the use of 20 police cruisers, Weiland was arrested, tried, and convicted. He was then, following a plea bargain, sentenced to his first of many stints in rehab. He also formed a side-project called the Inglorious Bastards. They recorded one song for a John Lennon compilation entitled Lost Weekend: The Dead Beatle Collection. It was pulled from the record, however, after Scott realized, and was subsequently angered at the sheer notion that they would be paid in American currency for their contribution, and not in the china white they were allegedly promised and that Scott himself was rapidly and particularly becoming notorious over. After the widely televised incident, which escalated at the end of the year in an appearance on The Jerry Springer Show, the band broke up on less than amicable terms...
Man Dancing Soon Music... and No. 1694422
...Except for when they went into the studio in early 1996 to begin work on a new studio album, Tiny Dancer... Songs From The 1960s. The bands third album found them experimenting with attempts to widen the demographic to people over the age of 50, by writing songs based on 1960s rock. While it found success with critics, and the intended audience, long-time fans weren't exactly receptive to the idea. And this greatly upset Weiland, who dove deeper into his drug abuse at this revelation. He is quoted, as follows, from a 2008 issue of Rolling Stone magazine:
“I didn't expect this to happen. Not in a million years. We were on top for so long, and for the first time... I was afraid. So I kept using.”
Shortly after the release of the album, Weiland went back into Rehab again. Then, while the band took a three-year Hiatus, he recorded his first solo EP, 12 Beer Blues. After the tour, he was - again - back in rehab. Thinking he could stay sober this time, he reformed Stone Temple Pilots and went back into the studio to record the band's next album, the appropriately named heavy metal album No 4 (which was originally named "No. 1694422" after Weiland's prison mug shot). №4 found the group returning to the heaviness of their Core days, in an attempt to revive grunge, as the genre was pretty dead at this point. The album was a success, primarily due to the failure of the public masses to notice the grungier elements, but also because those who did notice them were sick and tired of the post-grunge and Britpop crap that was around at the time.
edit Shangri-La Dee Da and break-up (2001 - 2008)
The band's fifth "effort" (term used loosely) Shangri-La-Dee-Diddly-Doo-Dee-Howdyreeno-Don't was released in 2001 to negative reviews, even from the fans. Surely the critics would be expected to snub the band's efforts, but now even the fanbase was refusing to fork out the dough to buy this album. Riding on the singles "I Love U (Every Day Of The Week)" (Feat. 'NSYNC), and "Hollywood Is Just Fantastic", the album was a flop in the music billboards, but it did quite well in art museums, where the museums hung up LP copies of the album on the wall for snobby art critics to view them and pretend to "understand" the meaning behind such an image. The band thought it would be best to take the album on tour as a last ditch effort to regain their place in music. Not too surprisingly at this point, they failed. At 2003, now at their wits end with Weiland's half-assed performances, frequent trips to rehab, and spontaneous outbursts of rage at random passers-by - which almost escalated into a knife fight one day with Dean DeLeo - the band decided to call it a day. The great Stone Temple Pilots was no more.
The remaining members would stay out of mainstream media attention for five years - whether this was intentional, or as a result of hilarious failure, is unknown. During this time, Weiland took to becoming a professional drug counselor. This attempt at leading a straight life fell through after only one week, however, after he was caught by a patient in the rehab facility where he was working at time time, snorting heroin. He would then go on to form his own supergroup, Velvet Revolver, for the remainder of STP's dissolution. The DeLeos and Kretz created their own fun separately with Filter's Richard Patrick through the one-off pro-war side-project Army Of America.
edit Reunion, Eponymous Hippopotamus & Weiland's termination (2008 - 2012)
After releasing their self-titled album, and going on tour with Ted Nugent, they too would dissolve. As this occurred, Velvet Revolver were also undergoing changes to their dynamic after Weiland accused Slash of stealing his drugs. Seeing it as the opportune time to bring back a band everybody knows and loves, STP officially settled their differences and got back together. In the end, it played out just like an episode of One Life To Live.
In 2008, after Weiland broke it off with Velvet Revolver and completed his second solo album, Unhappy On Anti-Depressants, the band reunited. With the Fuck You greatest-hits-and-a-few-flops compilation nearly forgotten at this time, and everything else perfectly fine on the home front, everybody welcomed them back with open arms. The Pilots went back into the studio in 2009 to record the long-awaited reunion album, which would be named Eponymous Hippopotamus. The album was well-received by critics, though expectedly, with the band's fans all over fourty by now, the fanbase maintained the group's older work is better. In the time that ensued, things were smooth sailing and STP were here to stay, until Dean DeLeo caught Weiland having sexual intercourse with his wife at a 2012 Christmas Party. Why Deleo objected to the vocalist having sex with Mrs Weiland is anybody's guess. A coup de tat took place after, which resulted in the official firing of Scott Weiland from the Stone Temple Pilots outfit. He was later replaced with Linkin Park's Chester Bennington.
edit Chester Bennington era, and future of STP (2013 - present)
Following Weiland's termination, the new lineup, featuring Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, went on to record their first single, "Out of Thyme", a song revolving around an unfortunate series of events that had occurred when the DeLeo brothers were preparing dinner one Thanksgiving, and forgot to pick up the oft-sought after ingredient during an earlier excursion to the supermarket. In July, the song was confirmed to be off of their EP of mostly 1950s American songbook standards, entitled High On The Maritimes. To nobody's surprise, the EP was a disaster, and after two years of touring, Bennington was kicked out of the group. It is suspected that, due to the old age of the other Pilots, their hearing was too impaired and thus it took them three years to realise how bad a vocalist Bennington was - however, to avoid hurting his feelings, no official reason was given to press.
After a long history of making various side projects that would never last very long, Weiland disbanded his latest group, named Weiland and the Wildabouts, and decided to join Layne Staley and Mike Starr in founding a grunge supergroup. Unfortunately for Weiland's fans, such a task meant relocating to another plane of existence. As a result, with both Weiland and his replacement out of the picture, the future of Stone Temple Pilots is currently uncertain, but it is hoped that the band will pull together through the tough times and disappoint their fans one last time.