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Stone Temple Pilots Biography
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Scott Weiland - Vocals

Dean DeLeo - Guitar

Robert DeLeo - Bass

Eric Kretz - Drums

 

 

Whilst many fans believe the origin of Stone Temple Pilot's (STP) name has far greater meaning, it actually originated from a S.T.P motor oil logo with the band using these initials to form there meaningless title. Just as innocuous was STP's formation.

 

Lead singer Scott Weiland met an unknown bassist named Robert DeLeo at a Black Flag concert in Long Beach in the late 80's. This may seem ordinary enough, but the two realised whilst talking that they were in fact dating the same girl. A altercation may have followed in other instances, but the two got along so well that this only added to their similarities to each other and the seed that became Stone Temple Pilots was planted.

 

After moving in together and of course, breaking up with their singular girlfriend, the founding member's unearthed drummer Eric Kretz. At the time both Weiland and DeLeo had watched Kretz play a local gig, both agreed Kretz was the loudest drummer they had ever heard. Perfect. There was still one more piece of the puzzle however, and after an unsuccessful period trying to find the right guitarist DeLeo convinced his brother Dean to join the band. The quartet was ready to take on the world of rock just as the grunge revolution was starting to gain momentum from Seattle.

 

In 1990 STP began playing as many local gigs as possible supporting whoever would take them under the name Mighty Joe Young after moving to Sand Diego from L.A. Their sound was unrelenting, tight and powerful with loud guitars, heavy Bass and a pounding drum beat. This was grunge rock in all its glory. The sound was obviously influenced by up and coming Seattle bands such as Alice in Chains, Soundgarden and most notably Pearl Jam. STP drew numerous comparisons to the latter in particular with Weilands vocals often sounding like those of Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder. Many critics of the band labelled them rip off's and ignored them. Despite this the individualism of Weiland and the unrelenting pounding of their sound were undeniable. They built a strong local following and after two long years STP was signed to Atlantic records after a booking agent saw them play.

 

At the dawn of production the band chose their new name and STP first album "Core" was produced in 1992. The album was immediately successful producing huge singles in "Plush" and the controversial "Sex Type Thing" which had lyrics reminiscent of a date rape. The ensuring media backlash to this only adding to the bands mounting exposure. The album also spawned fan favourites "Crackerman", "Wicked Garden" and "Dead and Bloated". The album, currently certified 8 x platinum, peaked at number 3 on the U.S Billboard charts and saw STP win best new artist award form Rolling Stone along with many other award nominations. Despite critical acclaim large sections of the media still branded them a poor mans Pearl Jam and predicted there downfall as other grunge heavyweights headed by Nirvana, began to sky rocket in popularity.

 

After two years STP were back in the studio and in 1994 released "Purple" which mostly silenced critics. Purple topped the U.S Billboard charts and has been certified 6 x platinum. Purple had the power of Core but was a more polished, melodic and occasionally softer effort, which translated into more commercial success than ever. Radio friendly tracks such as "Interstate Love Song" opened up their audience base along with "Vasoline". Of the singles released it was perhaps the slow, melodic darkness of "Big Empty" which garnered most attention though, not least of which was due to its addition to the hit soundtrack of the film "The Crow" starring Brandon Lee. A world tour followed along with a well earned break.

 

Whilst STP reached the height of their success the band began to de-rail. During the bands break Scott Weiland became dependent on heroin and struggled with his addiction being charged with possession in 1995. These problems continued whilst recording the bands third album in 1996, "Tiny music….Songs From The Vatican Giftshop". The album was moderately successful and produced the hit singles "Big Bang Baby" and "Lady Picture Show" but with the band unable to tour to promote the album due to Weiland re-entering rehab, it never reached the heights of its predecessors. This began a downward spiral which saw Weiland in and out of rehab over the next 3 years along with stints in prison for drug related offences. Weilands addiction and the bands frustration seemed to signal the unofficial end of a great rock band. This was further evident with the remaining band members embarking on another project in Weilands absence entitled "Talk Show". Despite the expected media attention, this project proved unsuccessful.

 

With renewed vigour Weiland came back from the brink of self destruction and the remaining band members from mediocrity to release "N.o 4" IN 1999. It sold surprisingly well and produced the hit single "sour girl" despite the grunge and rock era being all but over. Unfortunately the band was unable to tour again as Weiland was thrown in prison for heroin charges after relapsing into addiction.

 

In 2001 the band released their fifth studio album, "Shangri-La-Dee Da". This failed to achieve the success and accolades of any of the bands earlier efforts or the quality of those albums. However, the greatest success of the album was its confirmation that Weiland and the band had jointly defeated his addiction to heroin which to STP fans was better than a string of hit singles.

 

As tumultuous as their career was the band continued to appear to implode after releasing a greatest hits album in 2003 entitled "Thank You". Then in 2004 Scott Weiland joined an all-star cast in the band "Velvet Revolver" which included guns and roses axeman Slash. With Velvet Revolvers impending success STP unofficially appeared over once again.

 

"Sing the Song or keep it inside" were words revealed by Scott Weiland and this explains much of the bands style. Throughout the controversy surrounding the band they were always unwavering and powerful, censorship was never an option and they were always themselves. They always sung the song.

 

Mark Barnes

January 2006

 


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