Interview: Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots — "The fact that we constantly change has helped us last…"
Mon, 24 May 2010 06:41:45
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Stone Temple Pilots are about to save rock 'n' roll again.
Their self-titled sixth album burns brilliantly with the same sonic fire that fueled Core and Purple, but it's got a psychedelic sensitivity that makes for some of the deepest cuts the band has ever penned."Between the Lines" is a rip-roaring rocker, while "Cinnamon" swirls through a gorgeous guitar haze and some of vocalist Scott Weiland's most pristine harmonies yet. From the bluesy stomp of "Take a Load Off" to the country swagger of "Hickory Dichotomy," Robert and Dean DeLeo are locked into overpowering grooves, riffs and rhythms that are as unforgettable as they are unique. Propelling it all is Eric Kretz's percussive wizardry. Make no mistake about it, this is the rock record of the decade, and I'll reiterate that here and now!
Legendary Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland sat down with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino for an exclusive interview about Stone Temple Pilots, when he really discovered Led Zeppelin, building a legacy instead buying Maseratis and so much more…
Where did this new album take you?
Rock 'n' roll's been taken in a lot of directions. I simply hope we've taken it in our own direction the right way, and I think we have. We made a standard rock 'n' roll record this time as far as Stone Temple Pilots goes. In the past, we'd make a rock record, then branch out and make an art record and then go back to making a rock record. It was the best choice to reconfigure and do what we do best this time.
You've also gotten even better at telling stories in the lyrics on this record.
I think Bob Dylan was the greatest at doing that, which he got from Woody Guthrie. Dylan was definitely big influence. I've thought about this lately, all songs that are great songs, were considered "alternative" at the time like Pink Floyd was, and they're on classic rock radio now. It's funny…
In terms of self-producing, looking to legends like Dylan must've been inspiring…
We had additional help from Don Was in the studio too. He was working on three records at the same time, but he definitely came in at the right moment. He just got us altogether and had us play through all of the songs and record them live.
Did the reunion tour function as a real catalyst for the new music?
I actually thought we'd record before the tour [Laughs]. Due to the fact that rock records don't sell the way they used to and there was definitely a market for STP live shows, we toured for quite awhile—a couple years on and off since 2008. We just played the hits. Even when I was in Velvet Revolver, it was my feeling that STP really wasn't ever finished and we never officially broke up. If you look at it like a bookshelf with book ends, there was a book end missing. The story wasn't completely told yet. From the beginning, our whole purpose and desire wasn't to own Maseratis that go 185, it was to create a legacy. Mainly, we're influenced by the greats of the past—The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and Led Zeppelin as well as what was going on in the late '80s and early '90s. That was the last time and, maybe, the only time that there will ever be a real movement in rock 'n' roll shook and woke up the youth. It woke them up in a social way and a political way. If you think about it, it was really Generation X that made President Clinton, "President Clinton," when he went on MTV.
Fans have always felt that honesty in your music, and it certainly comes through on the new album!
We're just as dedicated and musically and physically youthful as we were when we first started. We're just as hungry. I think we put on a show at this time that rivals any show we put on in the '90s. We're a four piece band that performs everything live that we write.
You've really channeled something that The Beatles did on this record in terms of bridging so many gaps.
We're music lovers. We love art and fashion as well, and music, art and fashion all go hand in hand. They influence each other. The longer we're together, the more influences we pick up, so the songwriting gets even more diverse. It's funny, as a kid, I was never a big Led Zeppelin fan. I was actually schooled in the area of Led Zeppelin and everything they were about by Robert once we formed STP. Bands these days usually have one sound that you can define them by. The fact that we constantly change has helped us last.
At the end of the day, what does this album mean to you?
It means a sense of freedom. I feel like this record is right up there with Purple as far as being progressive yet still rock 'n' roll. We knew we were taking a big risk when we set out to make [its predecessor] Shangri-La Dee Da. That was originally going to be a double album. It just came out at a time when all of the Disney kids were starting to take over the airwaves and boy bands were doing their thing. In the end, I feel like that album will also be appreciated as one of our best albums.
Have you heard Stone Temple Pilots yet? Have you seen the band live recently?
For more of Scott Weiland and STP click here!