Stone Temple Pilots
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|Stone Temple Pilots|
The Pilots at their prime as a metal band.
|Also known as||Chester Stone & The Pilots of the Mississippi|
|Origin||San Diego, California, USA|
|Genre(s)||Grunge, country, everything else|
|Years active||1985–2003; 2008–present|
| Chester "Stone" Bennington|
Robert E. DeLeo
Eric "Cartman" Kretz
The Stone Temple Pilots are a hardcore grunge metal band formed in San Diego, California in 1985. 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.
The Pilots formed at a Willie Nelson marijuana benefit, where Weiland first met DeLeo. Their first two albums, Core (1992) and Purple (1994), gained much publicity worldwide, with comparisons to such greats 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.
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.
edit Hard Core Sex Offence and Purple
After they were discovered by Atlantic Records, playing on a street corner in Los Angeles for mere pennies, 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).
edit Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, The Breakup, and Fuck You (2001 - 2008)
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da was released in 2001 to slightly better, but nonetheless shitty reviews, as opposed to the previous effort, No. 1694422, which had been largely snubbed by the general public as well. Riding on the singles "I Love U (Every Day Of The Week)" (Feat. N*SYNC), and "Hollywood Is Just Fantastic", it faired slightly better on the Billboard charts, and 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. Now at their wits end with Weiland's half-assed performances, frequent trips to rehab, and spontaneous temper tantrums, which almost escalated into a knife fight one day in 2003 with Dean DeLeo, the band decided to call it a day. Equally fed up with trying to get their fans to like them again, but desperately needing the money, they released a compilation of their own polka covers that same year entitled Fuck You.
They would proceed to stay out of the spotlight, under the STP moniker, for five years. During which time, Scott 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 join Velvet Revolver for the remainder of STP's dissolution. Robert and Dean DeLeo, as well as Eric Kretz, created their own fun separately with Filter's Richard Patrick through the one-off pro-war side-project Army Of America. 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.
edit Reunion, Eponymous Hippopotamus & Weiland's Termination (2008 - 2012)
In 2008, after Scott Weiland broke it off with Velvet Revolver and completed his second solo album, Unhappy On Anti-Depressants, the band reunited. With the Fuck You compilation nearly forgotten at this time, and everything else perfectly fine on the home front, everybody welcomed them back with open arms. Following that, the band embarked on a 71-date world tour through Venice. Which was well-received. Then they went back into the studio in 2009 to record the long-awaited Eponymous Hippopotamus. It was also well-received. In the time that ensued, things were smooth sailing until Dean DeLeo caught Scott having sexual intercourse with his wife at a 2012 Christmas Party. A coup de tat has since taken place, 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 Stone & The Pilots of the Mississippi era (2013 - Present)
Following Scott'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 evening, and forgot to pick up the oft-sought after ingredient during an earlier excursion to the Supermarket. On July 15th, the song was confirmed to be off of their EP of mostly 1950s american songbook standards, entitled High On The Maritimes, marketed under the band's new moniker Chester Stone & The Pilots of the Mississippi following a judge's ruling in a recent lawsuit between the three original members and Scott Weiland. The EP was released on October 5th, 2013, after which the band underwent another world tour.
To much protest from the band's already meager fan base, and Scott Weiland himself, the writ on the name Chester Stone & The Pilots of the Mississippi expired in March 2015.