Dean DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots Talks "Out of Time", New EP, and Looks Back on "Purple"
Tue, 27 Aug 2013 09:51:17
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Chester Bennington and Stone Temple Pilots make for rock 'n' roll's ultimate dream team. Not only can the Linkin Park and Dead by Sunrise singer pull off that classic Scott Weiland-style bravado characteristic of the band's hits, but he's adding his own decidedly personal flare to new material such as the swaggering single "Out of Time". He locks in with guitarist Dean DeLeo, bassist Robert DeLeo, and drummer Eric Kretz as if he was meant to be there all along, and something much larger emerges. This is one of the most formidable and important rock bands in history reborn...
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Dean DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots opens up about "Out of Time", the group's new EP, and even takes a look back at Purple.
How did "Out of Time" come together?
It came together like no other we've ever done in the sense that it was pretty much conceived on bass. Robert was in the market for a new old P Bass. He was looking at some early sixties P Basses. He had like three or four of them sent to his house. He picked this one up, and it was one of those "antenna moments" where the guitar just spoke. He basically wrote those riffs on bass. That's why the song is so riff-oriented because it was written on bass. We got together to do the song, and we all threw our two cents in and came up with the tune. Like no other song we've ever done, it was conceived on bass.
What does the song mean to you?
Oh my goodness, it is a new chapter. We changed our quarterback, man! There's never really a concerted effort when we go into the studio that we have to do this or write that. We just do what we do. We want to make sure each of us are happy with it, and it resonates with us. Usually, when that happens, it does what it's supposed to do, and other people are moved by it as well. Music is a place to dip our minds and our hearts, right?
Is this a good gateway into what's to come from Stone Temple Pilots?
Well, you're going to get to hear that. We just finished up the EP. I really do wish we were able to have the time to contribute an LP. For those kids out there, LP means "Long Play" [Laughs]. With everybody's schedules and Chester having a huge responsibility to Linkin Park, we finished tracking everything on this one night. It was one of those dreaded last days in the studio where we were putting the finishing touches on something at about four in the morning and Chester had to leave at about 4:30am-quarter-to-5am in order to pack for Asia that day with Linkin Park. He's still over there now. He's been them for two-and-a-half weeks. He gets home, and we have rehearsals on the 29th. Then, we're off on September 3 for a one-month run. Time was of the essence for this. We did manage to eek out four new songs, and we will include "Out of Time" on the EP. We'll have a little five-song EP here, hopefully showing up in October.
What ties those five songs together? What completes the vision of the EP?
I think this where the vision lies. When you first write a song, the task at hand is really trying to get what's going on in your head to come out in the speakers. It's just that journey to get there. For me as a guitar player, my brush and palette is probably a little bit bigger than the others. It's just a matter of completing the painting.
Chester's an avowed fan…
It's funny. When we first spoke, he was shocked at how long it took to get the call. I discovered this later after we decided to do this together. If you go on his Wikipedia right now and read it, he's quoted as saying, "I one day dream of being in Stone Temple Pilots". It gets a little crazier. He said, "When I was just dating my wife nine or so years ago, I said to her, 'I'm one day going to get a call from them to be in the band'." Chester's bursting with ideas. He brought in so much. It's almost like he was bringing in a song every day. It's like, "Hey man, let's just stick to these four!" [Laughs] There's actually a song on here that Chester wrote musically, lyrically, and melodically.
What's the first thing now that you think of when you think about Purple?
Well, there's a lot that goes along with that. It was a very interesting time in life. We were down in Atlanta making that record. I knew we were tapping into something really special. We were actually on tour for the Core album. We played this club called Masquerade, which happens to be in Atlanta as well. We were in the parking lot of the hotel, and Robert was sitting on the bumper of the Winnebago we had and he said, "Check out this song I wrote!" He whistled me the melody. Robert wrote that entire song—guitar, bass, and melody. The only thing he didn't write on that was the lyrics. We were in the parking lot of this shit hotel, and he played that song on an acoustic guitar and whistled the melody. I said, "That's really special". It was "Interstate Love Song", of course. If I can fast-forward to 1994, I got a call from Danny Goldberg who was running Atlantic Records at the time, he had Gold Mountain Entertainment who managed Nirvana and stuff. Danny's a brilliant guy. He's great to be affiliated with. He called me and said, "Hey man, I want to congratulate you for 'Interstate Love Song' being seventeen weeks at number one". I was like, "That's great!" He went on, "I don't know if you know the impact of this Dean. This is number one for seventeen weeks. This is like of all-time. You beat out 'We Are The Champions' by Queen and 'Start Me Up' by The Rolling Stones and an Elvis Presley track. This song was seventeen weeks at number one. It's the longest run for a song at number one in the history of records!" Since then, it's been surpassed. Getting a call and hearing that knocked me off of my feet. I thought, "Okay!" It takes me back to the day in that parking lot in Atlanta and Robert sitting on the bumper of the Winnebago playing and whistling that song to me.
What's your favorite Stone Temple Pilots song?