Stone Temple Pilots

Stone Temple Pilots
Stone Temple Pilots

Stone Temple Pilots, from left to right: Dean DeLeo, Scott Weiland, Eric Kretz, and Robert DeLeo
Background information
Origin San Diego, California
Genres Alternative rock, grunge
Years active 1986–2003, 2008–present
Labels Atlantic
Associated acts Velvet Revolver, Camp Freddy, Army of Anyone, Talk Show, The Magnificent Bastards, The Wondergirls
Scott Weiland
Dean DeLeo
Robert DeLeo
Eric Kretz

Stone Temple Pilots (abbreviated to STP) is an American rock band from San Diego, California that consists of Scott Weiland (lead vocals), brothers Robert DeLeo (bass guitar, vocals) and Dean DeLeo (guitar), and Eric Kretz (drums, percussion).[1]

The band's early hard rock, grunge-reminiscent style of music found them immediate success in 1992 with the release of their debut album Core, which initially led critics to dismiss the band as "grunge imitators." Further releases from the band have shown a variety of influences, including psychedelic rock and classic rock.

Core, certified 8× platinum by the RIAA, drove the band to popularity.[2] STP went on to become one of the most commercially successful rock bands of the 1990s, selling nearly 40 million records worldwide,[3] including 17.5 million units in the United States,[4] before their dissolution in 2003. STP reunited in 2008 and released their sixth studio album, Stone Temple Pilots, in 2010. They have a seventh studio album in the works. The band has had 16 top ten singles on the Billboard rock charts, eight of which peaked at #1,[5] and one #1 album for Purple in 1994.[6][7] That same year, the band won a Grammy for "Best Hard Rock Performance" for the song "Plush" from the album Core.[8] Stone Temple Pilots were also ranked #40 on VH1's The 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.[9]



Formation and "Mighty Joe Young" demo (1986–1992)

Stone Temple Pilots can trace its beginnings to a Black Flag concert in Long Beach, California in 1986, where Scott Weiland met Robert DeLeo. They began discussing their girlfriends, and, after realizing they were dating the same woman, developed a bond. They each subsequently broke it off with the girl, who left town, whereupon Weiland and DeLeo moved into her vacated apartment. Immediately, Weiland and DeLeo formed a band with two of Scott's friends from Edison High School, Corey Hicock (guitar) and David Allin (drums). After Allin's departure, drummer Eric Kretz joined the band. Soon after, Robert DeLeo's brother, Dean DeLeo, decided to play guitar in the band replacing Hicock, completing the quartet. They then named their band Mighty Joe Young. The band recorded a demo tape that was completed around 1990.[10] The "Mighty Joe Young" demo features tracks that would go on to be re-recorded for the band's first studio album, as well as some musical styles not featured on any of STP's albums, such as funk and yodeling.

The group then began to work on their debut album with Brendan O'Brien. During the recording, they received a call from their lawyer who informed them that there was a bluesman who had already claimed the name Mighty Joe Young.[11] They eventually settled on the name "Stone Temple Pilots". Scott Weiland later said on The Howard Stern Show that the band's name was inspired by a carving in an ancient temple that depicts a man in a small flying ship, a reference to ancient aliens.

Early years and mainstream success (1992–1994)

Stone Temple Pilots built a fan base in San Diego clubs in order to steer clear of the Los Angeles corporate music scene and build up their technique and following in the clubs. In 1992, Stone Temple Pilots signed with Atlantic Records. Their first album, Core, was released on September 29, 1992, and peaked at #3 on the Billboard Albums Chart. Core was a big success, producing hits "Sex Type Thing," "Plush," "Creep", and "Wicked Garden." Despite hostile reviews from critics, Stone Temple Pilots continued to gain fans. They toured for four weeks, opening for Rage Against the Machine, and then played a 40-date tour supporting the heavy metal band Megadeth. 1993 brought continued success on the road, with the band headlining a two-and-a-half-month American tour. Around this time, Stone Temple Pilots also performed at benefits for pro-choice organizations.

Despite commercial success, the music press criticized the band as grunge imitators.[12] Jon Pareles of The New York Times wrote in a 1993 concert review, "The San Diego band has climbed onto the Seattle grunge bandwagon. Its slow songs, with heaving riffs and half-speed vocals, are second-rate Pearl Jam; for variety, there are some midtempo groans that imitate Nirvana."[13] Weiland told Entertainment Weekly in 2008, "It was really painful in the beginning because I just assumed that the critics would understand where we were coming from, that these weren't just dumb rock songs."[14]

In 1993, the band filmed an episode of MTV Unplugged, where they debuted the song "Big Empty." In a January 1994 Rolling Stone poll, the band was simultaneously voted Best New Band by Rolling Stone's readers and Worst New Band by the magazine's music critics. The following month the group won Favorite Pop/Rock New Artist and Heavy Metal/Hard Rock New Artist at the American Music Awards. In March 1994, the group won a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance for the song "Plush."[15]

In the spring of 1994, Stone Temple Pilots returned to the studio to work on their second album, Purple. Completed in less than a month, Purple debuted at number one in the United States upon its release on June 7, 1994. The radio-friendly "Interstate Love Song" quickly became a big hit, spending a record-setting fifteen weeks atop the album rock tracks chart. Other hits from the album included "Vasoline" and "Big Empty" (the latter also being featured on the soundtrack to the film The Crow). By October, just four months after its release, Purple had sold three million copies.

Legal troubles and Tiny Music... Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop (1995–1996)

Although the band's success continued into 1995, it would not be a good year for the band. Two weeks of recording session work had to be scrapped in February, and in May, Weiland was arrested for possession of heroin and cocaine in Pasadena, California, when police found the illegal drugs in his wallet. Facing up to three years in prison, Weiland pled not guilty, and a trial date was set the next year.

Following Weiland's arrest, the Pilots separated. Weiland formed a temporary side unit called The Magnificent Bastards, which contributed a song to the movie soundtrack of Tank Girl and a cover song to a John Lennon tribute album. By October 1995, however, the band regrouped with Weiland to begin recording its third album, renting out a mansion in Santa Barbara, California for the band to live together during the recording process.[16]

Stone Temple Pilots released their third album, Tiny Music... Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop, on March 5, 1996. Fans again showed their support of the band when the album debuted at number four on the U.S. charts. Critical reception, however, was mostly mixed.[17][18][19] David Browne of Entertainment Weekly wrote: "None of it ... has a distinct personality."[19] Rolling Stone was more favorable, regarding the release as the group's best effort to date. They expressed surprise, however, at "the clattering, upbeat character of the music" given Weiland's much-publicized run-ins with drugs and the law. Stone Temple Pilots were also featured on the cover of issue #753 in February 1997.[20]

However, Weiland's drug addiction again became a serious obstacle to the band's success. The band was unsuccessful in being able to fully tour in support of Tiny Music.... A short tour in the fall of 1996 ensued in the U.S. but final dates at the end of December in Hawaii had to be cancelled. The band issued a statement saying that: "[Weiland] has become unable to rehearse or appear for these shows due to his dependency on drugs. He is currently under a doctor's care in a medical facility."

Weiland's entry into a drug rehabilitation program was not voluntary. In April 1996, he was ordered by a Pasadena judge to spend up to six months under 24/7 medical supervision. After Weiland completed five months in a drug treatment program, the charges of cocaine and heroin possession were dropped in October 1996. Weiland's 1996 stay in a rehabilitation center proved unsuccessful and in January 1997 he checked himself into another drug treatment center. This resulted in another cancelled tour.

Scott Weiland and Dean DeLeo (with Eric Kretz in the background) perform at the Rolling Rock Town Fair on August 4, 2001.

Later projects and separation (1997–2002)

As a result of Weiland's personal issues, Stone Temple Pilots went on hiatus. The DeLeo brothers and Kretz formed Talk Show with a new singer, Dave Coutts, releasing one album in 1997. In 1998, Scott Weiland released his first solo album, 12 Bar Blues. After the commercial failure of both Talk Show and Weiland's solo album, Stone Temple Pilots reunited.

The band released No. 4 in 1999. STP scored one of its biggest hits since the success of Core and Purple with the single "Sour Girl". Inspired by Weiland's failing relationship with his then wife, the single peaked at number 78 on the Billboard Hot 100. The popular music video for "Sour Girl" featured actress Sarah Michelle Gellar. Shortly after No. 4's completion, Weiland was sentenced to a year in a Los Angeles county jail for violating probation, making a tour in support for the album impossible. Despite this setback, the album went on to become certified Platinum by the RIAA.

During the summer of 2001, the band released their fifth album, Shangri-La Dee Da, which produced two modest rock radio hits: "Days of the Week" and "Hollywood Bitch". The band began work on a sixth studio album in 2002 that reportedly would go back to their Core-era sound and planned on finishing it in January 2003, but when Dean DeLeo and Scott Weiland nearly got into a fistfight during the last show of Stone Temple Pilots' fall 2002 tour the band decided to separate.[21][dead link]

Post-breakup and subsequent projects (2003–2007)

On November 11, 2003, Atlantic Records released a greatest hits album, Thank You, with a bonus DVD. The compilation included a previously unreleased single called "All in the Suit That You Wear". The bonus DVD included an acoustic performance of "Plush" filmed in 1992 on MTV's Headbanger's Ball.

That same year, Weiland joined the successful supergroup Velvet Revolver, composed of former Guns N' Roses members Slash, Matt Sorum, and Duff McKagan, as well as former Wasted Youth guitarist Dave Kushner. The band released two albums with Weiland, Contraband (2004) and Libertad (2007).

The DeLeo brothers formed Army of Anyone with vocalist Richard Patrick, from the industrial rock band Filter, and drummer Ray Luzier. The band released its only album on November 14, 2006. Army of Anyone went on "indefinite hiatus" in May 2007 after Richard Patrick announced he was working on a new Filter album. Eric Kretz kept a low profile during this time, operating his own studio, Bomb Shelter Studios, and drumming for the band Spiralarms.

Reunion tour and self-titled album (2008–2011)

According to Dean DeLeo, steps toward a Stone Temple Pilots reformation started with a simple phone call from Weiland's wife, Mary Forsberg. She invited the DeLeo brothers to play at a private beach party, which led to the reconciliation of Weiland and the DeLeo brothers.[3] In 2007, Dean DeLeo and Weiland discussed a concert promoter's offer to headline several summer festivals. Despite clearing the brief tour with his Velvet Revolver bandmates, Weiland would be ostracized and, as a result, in the middle of a Velvet Revolver show on March 20, 2008, Weiland announced that it would be his last tour with the group.[12]

STP (from l-r: Scott Weiland, Robert DeLeo, and Dean DeLeo) playing at the Virgin Mobile Festival in Baltimore on August 10, 2008

The following month, Stone Temple Pilots announced they were reuniting for a 65-date North American tour. During one of these shows, Weiland hinted at a possible future album, stating that he had "lots of new songs in his head".[22] Prior to the tour's start, Weiland was ordered by a court to serve an eight-day jail sentence on charges from the previous year for driving while intoxicated.[23]

In June 2008, Atlantic Records filed a lawsuit against Weiland and Kretz for trying to end their contract to the label early. (The DeLeo brothers had been released from their contract in late 2003 for pursuing separate careers.) Although the band recorded six albums for the label, Atlantic wanted Stone Temple Pilots to record a seventh album, in addition to two more albums if the label decided to release the records.[24] The band released a statement hoping for "negotiations to continue in a positive spirit rather than under a dark cloud of hostility."[25]

Stone Temple Pilots toured throughout the summer and fall, headlining the Virgin Mobile Festival in Baltimore on August 10, 2008, as well as the 10th annual Voodoo Experience in New Orleans on the weekend before Halloween. This marked one of their biggest and most successful performances since reforming. The band's six-month reunion tour wrapped on October 31, 2008 in Pelham, Alabama.

Scott Weiland released his second solo album, "Happy" in Galoshes, on November 25, 2008, and toured throughout 2009; this was his first solo tour since 1998.[26]

Recording for the band's sixth studio album began in mid-2009.[27] By June 2009, the band had written 18 songs, twelve of which were planned to be released on the album.[27][28] [29] The band performed at South by Southwest in March, debuting four new songs live,[30][31] and also appeared at England's Download Festival 2010 in June,[32][33] as well as at the Hurricane Festival and the Southside Festival in Germany.[34] The band also performed during the Final Four Concert Series in Indianapolis on April 2, 2010. The band appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman for the first time in ten years on May 19, performing "Between the Lines."[35] STP's self-titled sixth record was released on May 25, 2010,[36] debuting at #2 on the Billboard 200.

In September 2010, STP announced it was rescheduling several U.S. tour dates so that the band could take a "short break." This announcement came a few days after Weiland said the following at a show in Houston, Texas: "I started drinking again. My brother died, me and my wife got divorced, and my whole world basically spun around. So you know what? I'm going to take care of myself because that's what I need to take care of. Instead of just having a few shows, I want to have a whole hell of a lot of shows."[37]

In 2011, STP toured Southeast Asia for the first time, playing in Philippines (Manila), Singapore, and Indonesia (Jakarta). Following this, the band played successful shows in Australia, including sell out performances in Sydney and Melbourne.[38]

Planned seventh studio album (2011–present)

In October 2010, after STP resumed its tour, drummer Eric Kretz hinted at a possible seventh album for the band, stating: "We're maybe looking at putting out another record next year or touring some more and trying new ideas of how to present music, especially for downloading."[39] In November 2011, frontman Scott Weiland told that Stone Temple Pilots are "getting some rough ideas together" for their new album and "then putting rough ideas down on ProTools with no lyrics and no melody." He later added, "And then I start listening to it and see if it's just a straight-ahead rock 'n' roll record or if it's more of a concept album like Shangri-La Dee Da was. Once we decide that, it should go full speed ahead."[40]

Musical style and influences

The band's sound is considered a blending of modern alternative rock and hard rock of the 1970s.[41] While Core and Purple resembled a strong grunge-inspired sound, later albums would include elements of psychedelic rock, power pop, garage rock, glam rock, bossa nova, and country. Dean DeLeo's trademark guitar sound is considered to be "crunchy" and especially distorted.[citation needed] DeLeo's playing has received critical acclaim, as Stone Temple Pilots' second album, Purple, was ranked number 73 on Guitar World magazine's list of the 100 greatest guitar albums of all time.[42] Stone Temple Pilots has covered several popular classic rock artists live and in the studio, such as The Beatles,[28] Led Zeppelin, Kiss, The Doors, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, as well as reggae artist Bob Marley.

Though critics initially claimed Weiland's vocal style to be similar to that of Eddie Vedder and the late Layne Staley, Weiland has said his vocal style is inspired by the late Jim Morrison of the Doors, and has also cited David Bowie as a major influence.[citation needed]

While mainly an alternative rock band, the band has incorporated a large number of musical styles throughout their career, including hard rock, psychedelic rock, jangle pop, and funk rock. Guitarist Dean DeLeo uses heavily layered and distorted guitar playing and bassist Robert DeLeo continues to draw influences from genres such as rhythm and blues, lounge music, and ragtime. Weiland is the band's primary lyricist.




  1. ^ "Biography: Band Members". Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Gold and Platinum". Retrieved January 23, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Harris, Chris (April 8, 2008). "Stone Temple Pilots Reunite To Continue 'Legacy,' Thanks To Scott Weiland's Wife". Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Top Selling Artists". RIAA. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Stone Temple Pilots Billboard Singles Chart". Allmusic. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Stone Temple Pilots Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Stone Temple Pilots Billboard Album Chart". Allmusic. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  8. ^ "The 36th Annual Grammy Awards: And the Grammy Goes to . . . Winners According to Category". Los Angeles Times. March 2, 1994. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Rock On The Net: VH1: 100 Greatest Hard Rock Artists". Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ Ticket Specialists Biography Last Accessed June 10, 2008.
  12. ^ a b Greenblatt, Leah. "Rebuilding the Temple". Entertainment Weekly. May 9, 2008.
  13. ^ Pareles, Jon. "Review/Rock; The Barrage Method of Tweaking Taboos". The New York Times. August 10, 1993. Retrieved on June 21, 2008.
  14. ^ "Rebuilding the Temple". Entertainment Weekly. May 2, 2008. Retrieved on October 14, 2010
  15. ^ Pareles, Jon. "Top Grammy to Houston; 5 for 'Aladdin'." The New York Times. March 4, 1994. Retrieved on June 21, 2008.
  16. ^ [2][dead link]
  17. ^ "Stone Temple Pilots - Tiny Music... Songs from the Vatican... (album review)". Sputnikmusic. 2005-06-12. Retrieved 2010-10-15. 
  18. ^ Thomas, Stephen (1996-03-26). "Tiny Music...Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop - Stone Temple Pilots". AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-10-15. 
  19. ^ a b Reviewed by David Browne (1996-04-05). "Tiny Music...Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop | Music".,,291961,00.html. Retrieved 2010-10-15. 
  20. ^ "Allposters". Retrieved October 18, 2008. 
  21. ^ "The Recorder". Retrieved 2010-10-15. 
  22. ^ Van Gelder, Lawerence. "Stone Temple Pilots to Rock Again". The New York Times. April 9, 2008. Retrieved on June 21, 2008.
  23. ^ Chinen, Nate. "Lead Singer Back in the Fold, Not Back From the Edge". The New York Times. June 2, 2008. Retrieved on June 19, 2008.
  24. ^ Chasan, Emily. "Record label sues two Stone Temple Pilots". June 12, 2008. Retrieved on June 19, 2008.
  25. ^ "Atlantic Sues Stone Temple Pilots' Weiland, Kretz". June 13, 2008. Retrieved January 22, 2010. 
  26. ^ "Billboard Article". Retrieved October 18, 2008. 
  27. ^ a b "Stone Temple Pilots Working With Producer DON WAS – May 28, 2009". Retrieved January 22, 2010. 
  28. ^ a b Florino, Rick (June 16, 2009). "Interview: Stone Temple Pilots". ARTISTdirect. Retrieved January 22, 2010. 
  29. ^ Goodman, William (January 19, 2010). "In the Studio: Stone Temple Pilots". Retrieved January 22, 2010. 
  30. ^ "Stone Temple Pilots Completes Mastering New Album". Roadrunner Records. February 20, 2010. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  31. ^ "Music News, Videos, Photos, Artists, Playlists and More". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2010-10-15. 
  32. ^ "First Bands Confirmed For Download Festival 2010". Metal January 25, 2010. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  33. ^ "Download Festive '10 lineup". Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  34. ^ [3][dead link]
  35. ^ [4][dead link]
  36. ^ "Stone Temple Pilots Release self-titled album May 25!". February 25, 2010. Retrieved February 25, 2010. 
  37. ^ Vick, Megan. "Stone Temple Pilots suspend tour after outburst - Yahoo! News". Retrieved 2010-10-15. [dead link]
  38. ^ "Stone * Temple * Pilots - STP Tour". Retrieved 2011-10-20. 
  39. ^ "The Stone Temple Pilots soar into Santa Barbara and L.A. next week >> Ventura County Star". Retrieved 2011-10-20. 
  40. ^ "Scott Weiland Honors 'The Golden Era' on Christmas Album". 2011-11-01. Retrieved 2011-11-03. 
  41. ^ Thomas, Stephen. "Stone Temple Pilots". AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-10-20. 
  42. ^ "List of 100 Greatest Albums". Retrieved October 18, 2008. 

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