Stone Temple Pilots’ Dean DeLeo on Scott Weiland: ‘I Was Affiliated With One of the Greatest Singers’
The remaining members of Stone Temple Pilots have launched a public search for their next singer, and guitarist Dean DeLeo has opened up about the process and the death of the band’s original frontman Scott Weiland.
STP have uploaded instrumental versions of “Interstate Love Song,” “Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart” and “Vasoline” for would-be bandleaders to add their vocals and submit the recordings for consideration. All submissions are viewable on the band’s website, and applicants can also put forth original material that only the band will be able to see. Once DeLeo, his brother and bassist Robert and drummer Eric Kretz find the right man or woman for the job, they have enough new material ready to record their next album.
“Robert, Eric and I have a lot of material kicking around,” DeLeo told Rolling Stone. “A lot, man. We really want to be able to make new music and forge on, move forward, evolve.”
STP’s search for a new singer follows the December death of one-time frontman Weiland. When reflecting on their time together, DeLeo said, “I was affiliated with one of the greatest singers.” DeLeo noted he wasn’t in contact with Weiland for a few years prior to his passing, but the guitarist is constantly reminded of his former bandmate and his inimitable talent:
You know, it’s sad man. It sucks. I wasn’t in much contact at all with Scott for a few years. But I’m reminded and think about him daily. And when I say it’s sad, I’m not referring to Robert, Eric or I; we were divorced and most likely never going to work with Scott again. What really, really bums me out is we all have kids. He’s not going to see his daughter go to her first dance or his son go to his prom or help him parallel park. That’s what really, really brings me down…
My wife is notorious for leaving the radio on in the car; whenever I get in the car lately, there’s an STP song on the radio. And I’m just, “Aww, man.” I’m reminded of him daily and I’m reminded of him at a time when he was vibrant and so full of life and hope, a time when he was electric with creativity and inspiring. That’s when I’m reminded about with him because like I said, man, he and I were pretty much out of touch for at least the past three years. We didn’t see one another or speak.
In 2013, Stone Temple Pilots fired Weiland and replaced him with Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington. Bennington left the band late last year, finding it difficult to juggle STP, Linkin Park and his home life. DeLeo said there are no hard feelings:
I will tell you this: Mr. Bennington gave it absolutely all that he had. I love him dearly. I love what he brought to the band on every level. He approached the stage each night like it was his last day alive, man. But it was very evident that time was just not allowing us to do what we wanted to do.
Following Bennington’s departure, DeLeo said it was important the band change up their process in finding his replacement. “We’d be doing ourselves… a disservice if we didn’t allow all the talent that is out there to become a part of this,” he said. “So good or bad, we opened the floodgates.”